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Lampshade Decorated with Skeleton Leaves

Here's a quick fix for a plain and boring lampshade. These lampshades were bought from a well-known bargain value high street store, and we have made them more interesting by decorating them with skeleton leaves.

Skeleton leaf silhouette on lampshade

The skeleton leaves are available from the George Weil website as are the PVA glue, glue spreader and paint brushes needed to complete this project.

How to Create the Lampshade

The leaves are very delicate and will crumble if not handled carefully. The best way to apply the leaves is to put a dab of PVA glue in the centre of the leaf and then gently press it into place. Repeat this process until all the leaves are glued to the shade.

Delicate Skeleton Leaves

The next stage is to dilute some PVA with the same amount of water and stir the mixture until the glue has dissolved in the water. Using a large, soft brush (an artists wash brush is ideal for this) paint over the leaf outwards from where it is glued and then over the fabric of the shade until you reach the next leaf. You do not need to overload the brush and soak the fabric because the delicate skeleton of the leaf will stick readily.

It is important to paint the entire outside of lampshade because the dried glue solution will leave a slightly shiny coating.

Using PVA glue on leaves

The delicate paper lampshade below looks very effective when lit.

Decorated Paper Lantern lampshade

Paper shade hand decorated by Allison Holland

You can experiment with this technique using handmade paper, newsprint, pictures from magazines, or by wrapping string around the lampshade working from the top to the bottom and gluing it in place. The delicate Mulberry paper is translucent and has wisps of texture running through it to add interest. The paper can be torn by first folding it and wetting it along the edge of the fold. The lightweight tissue paper then pulls apart where wetted, leaving a pretty feathered edge.

Mulberry tissue paper

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