Lampshades are wonderful to make and add to the character of a room, whether lit at night or when off during the day.

Making lampshades seemed a natural development from making large carnival lanterns. They always receive delightful responses and there’s never any shortage of ideas and designs. I’ve used willow, salvaged umbrella frames that I’ve decorated with Quality Street wrappers, hacked wire lampshade frames and repurposed plastic, globe beer-kegs and covered them with disposable cigarette lighters!

Covering the frame with wet-strength tissue paper diffuses the light perfectly, which can then decorated with coloured tissue paper. Coloured cellophane, leaves watercolour paint and marker pens work well too. Lampshades are a great creative project to do with a friend and they make excellent gifts.

A good way to make a shade for a ceiling is to construct a frame around a wire ‘spider duplex adapter’ (the bit that fits onto the light fitting) and old bedside lamps are easy and fun to rejuvenate! Simple conical shades make great bedside lamps and LED units illuminate and entertain to your heart’s content.

Table Lamp

Wedding gift for close friends on their special day.

Cat Lamp

Private commission. I was asked to make an interesting lantern: a birthday gift for someone who likes cats.

Lampshades need never be boring again!

What would you make?!


I recently made willow lantern-puppets and props for two shows: ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ (Beverley Puppet Festival 2020) and ‘Eddie the Elf’ (Virtual Puppet Residency, Pittsburgh P.A. 2021). The owl was lucky enough to appear in both shows!

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