About: Very playful and fun loving - young for my age. Live life to the fullest.

This is my first instructable that I have made since joining the site.  I hope that I made all the instructions clear enough for people to follow them.  I made these lampshades as gifts for my family, and they thought they were really a great idea, so I wanted to share with you how I made them.  It isn't that difficult of a job, and it doesn't require a big expense to make one.   I didn't finish the one in this photo, because I am only using it as a demo for this instructable so you can see how it looks with the photos lit up.

Step 1: Photo Gallery Lampshade

List of needed materials:

computer card stock
tracing paper
color printer (good to  have one that can scan old photos also)
software on you computer that allows you to re-size photos.
scissors or paper cutter is easier to use.
temporary/permanent spray adhesive
white lampshade (most craft stores carry them at inexpensive price - I paid about $6 each)
photos that you have acquired or scanned to your computer.

Step 2: Photo Gallery Lampshade

First step is to decide how big you want your photos to be and how many rows that you want on the shade. 
You can take one of the photos on your computer and make a copy of it by right clicking on the photo file and selecting "copy" then point the cursor to an empty space in the folder and right click again and select "paste"  now you can play around with re-sizing the file without damaging the original file.  You will use whatever photo editing software that you have and select the re-sizing feature of the program.  I used Nero but most programs have that feature.  In the re-size window you will have 3 areas that you can use to change the size of the photos so they will all be the same height.  I found the best one to use is the Pixel Dimension area.  Also make sure that there is a check mark in the constraint proportions box and Bilinear (Bartlett) is selected from the drop down arrow under it as shown in my photo.  This will make sure that your pics are all in proportion to what ever height you decide on.  The size in inches at the bottom will give you an idea of the height but I found that in order to make all the pics uniform it's best to use the Pixel Dimension size for the exact height.

Step 3: Photo Gallery Lampshade

Now, you are ready to test out the re-sized photo on the lampshade to see if it is going to work for the number of photos that you want to use in rows to fill it up.  Right click on the re-sized photo and select copy.  Open Word pad on your computer and right click again in the area where you would start a document,   Now select "Paste" from the list, and it will put your re-sized photo on that page.  Next, print out the page on regular computer paper.  If you plan on making 2 or 3 rows of photos around the lampshade, take that photo and cut it out, and use it to cut out one blank piece of paper, cut to the same size as the photo, for how ever many rows you plan on making.  You can now manipulate those squares on the inside of the lampshade to see how close the rows will fit together, and make any re-sizing adjustments until you are happy with the layout.  As you can see by the photo of my demo shade about how much of a gap that I had between rows.  Don't worry about the photo width, as you can manipulate your photos to make them work in the rows; as some photos are wider than others.  It's mainly the height that needs to be uniform.

Step 4: Photo Gallery Lampshade

Once they are all the same size height, you are ready to start your photo document,  Open a new Word pad document and begin the following procedure.  In order to get more photos per page in Word pad, on page set up, you can decrease all the margins to lowest setting for more photo room.  You can also go to "print setup" and select "landscape".  Now go to your uniform photos and copy and paste them onto the word pad page, one at a time, so there is no gap between the photos.  Sometimes word pad wants to put the next image on the next row even though there is room for it on the row you are adding to.  If that happens just right click on the wrongly pasted image and select "cut" then click next to the last image you inserted and right click again selecting "paste".    While inserting you photos to the document, as you reach the end of a row, simply hit the enter key so there will be only a minimum  gap between the rows of  photos.  It will not effect cutting the images apart, especially if you use an inexpensive paper cutter and your edges will be neater too. Check as you make rows of photos, by using the print preview, so that you know how many rows to make a page.  That way you will also know how many pages you are going to need to make.  Once you have all of your photos in the document, be sure to save the file, until ready to proceed to the printing step.

Step 5: Photo Gallery Lampshade

Next you must prepare your printing media.  Take a piece of card stock and lightly spray it with temporary adhesive spray.   Wait the time suggested on the can for temporary adhesion.  Now take a piece of tracing paper and align the top corner of the two papers together as you will have to trim the tracing paper to equal the card stock size to prevent paper jams in your printer.   Quickly smooth the tracing paper to the card stock to eliminate air bubbles.  You must now trim the tracing paper to be the same size as the card stock.   Make as many of these pages as you will need to print out all of your photos (your print preview will let you know how many pages you will need.).  It is now time to print out your photo document.  Retrieve your Word pad photo document and make sure that the Landscape setting is still set (sometimes it reverts back to "Letter" and you may need to reselect your choice).   Only place one of the tracing paper pages into the printer at a time.  It's okay to print out the document now.  Your printer will automatically tell you to add more paper as you print each page of the document.  Just add your page and hit okay as if you normally would each time your paper runs out.   Remove each page as it is ejected from the printer and allow it to sit until completely dry.  Once all the printed pages are dry you can proceed to the next step.

Step 6: Photo Gallery Lampshade

Now, you can cut apart all of your photos with either your scissors or a paper cutter.  Do not remove the tracing paper from the card stock backing yet.  At this time you want to start arranging your photos.  You can make the arrangement easier if you make a template of the lampshade out of paper.  That way you can lay the template out flat and place the photos on it, and move them around for the best fit.  To make the template just lay your lampshade starting at the seam on the paper and use a pencil to move along the paper with the top of the shade as you roll it towards the other side of the seam.  Then move your pencil to glide along the bottom edge of the lampshade until you are back to the seam again.  Draw connecting straight lines on you paper, from the beginnings of the seam margins of the top and bottom lines, and then from the ending seam margins lines, from top to bottom.  Cut out your template and lay it flat on the table where you plan to work arranging you photos and applying them to the shade .  If you would have removed the card stock you would have a more difficult time arranging the photos as the tracing paper is so thin that it tends to want to curl into a roll.

Step 7: Photo Gallery Lampshade

Gently peal off the tracing paper images from the card stock backing, one at a time,(you will note that the image did not bleed through to the card stock) and then return them to their place in order on the template.  Now spray the inside of the shade with a good coat of the spray adhesive.  You will not wait, as you did for the temporary adhesion.  Beginning at the bottom of the shade, place your photos as close to one another as you like, smoothing them out as you go, until you have all of your rows completed.  Note you may have to lightly add additional spray if it begins to lose it's stickiness.  Not to worry, it doesn't effect the images that you have already adhered.    Your Photo Gallery Lampshade is now complete, and ready to give as a gift, or use yourself.  You will see that when the lamp is off, the photos are barely visible, but when you turn it on, the light shines through them, and you can clearly see your gallery.  I hope you have as much fun making yours as I did making mine.  The one that I gave last year to my family included old family photos that I scanned of them when they were kids, and of their parents and grandparents, as well as ones of  their own children and grandchildren.  I hope have fun making one either for yourself or someone you love too.  You can also find other ways to arrange your photos to make it your own like making little frame around the photos with lace cut-outs etc. 

Make It Glow Challenge

Participated in the
Make It Glow Challenge

Be the First to Share


    • Pocket-Sized Speed Challenge

      Pocket-Sized Speed Challenge
    • Super-Size Speed Challenge

      Super-Size Speed Challenge
    • Metalworking Contest

      Metalworking Contest

    2 Discussions