A Bright Idea for a Workshop

Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

The finished product!

Lampshade Parade was launched last year by local Amersham entrepreneur, Katrina de Toney. Katrina has a love of making things and after starting her online haberdashery business, Poppies & Polka Dots, she couldn’t help but play with the fabrics and so began her business creating and selling handmade lampshades and bespoke orders. She is now diversifying into running workshops of various sorts and has even launched a event called ‘The Makers Retreat’: a spa day for people who love to craft.

Katrina invited me along to one of her Lampshade Making workshops at Jack & Atticus in Amersham and I joined another 5 ladies for an afternoon of concentration and craft — take a look at what we achieved! Katrina arrives equipped with everything you need to make a lampshade from start to finish — attendees usually bring their own, but a range of fabrics are available to buy on the day, for a really reasonable cost (about £6–8 for half a metre).

I’m planning on redecorating soon so I chose a cute monochromatic pattern of tiny flamingos (so on trend!) which would work well in any setting.

Now I’m not the most creative, and whilst I have a real leaning towards seeking perfection, it’s not usually something I can deliver! So I wasn’t sure how well I’d do in a workshop like this which required precision….but it was so EASY! Needless to say, I WAS the only one who cut my fabric slightly smaller than the pattern through some overzealous use of the roller cutter (it’s all good fun until somebody loses a finger…my mother would say) but it didn’t matter in the slightest, a tiny bit of fix it spray and it was good as new.

Katrina is hands on throughout, showing us how to cut the pattern correctly (ok I was too busy snapping pics to pay close attention!), how to use the double sided tape on the frames and the trickiest bit of all, how to roll the two frames at once onto the fabric.

There’s always one, larking about.

Then it was down to us.

Using the most unassuming little tool I’ve ever seen, you cinch the fabric into the frame using the jagged edge of a piece of card, then use the point of the triangle to tuck it all away seamlessly. It’s terrifying as the noise it makes sounds like you are tearing the fabric and you can see the point almost coming through the other side, but it never does, and everyone’s lampshade made it through unscathed. Phew!

A bit of finishing and we were done, and a beautiful, handmade, bespoke lampshade was ours to take home.

I almost feel guilty saying how very easy it was, as Katrina is so skilled, but I would even feel comfortable ordering a kit from Katrina now and making my own at home.

And it seems like I wasn’t the only one! Look at these beauties! (Do you think coral is the colour of the season?)

And here’s my lovely shade in situ — for now. Now something in emerald and copper for the hall I think……

Katrina runs workshops at Jack & Atticus, at her Poppies & Polka Dots studio in Chesham Bois and more recently at Studio Portobello in Chartridge. She also offers a lampshade making kits via her Poppies and Polka Dots website so you can continue the fun at home. It’s really so easy and economical to make something beautiful and personal. I’m really proud of my work!

Thank you again to lovely Katrina!

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The next Lampshade Making Workshop is on:

Saturday 16th September from 2–4:30pm at Jack & Atticus in Amersham and there are still a few spaces remaining.

Take a look at Katrina’s websites to find out more or book a session: http://www.lampshadeparade.co.uk

http://www.poppiesandpolkadots.co.uk

or follow her on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/LampshadeParade/?fref=ts

or Instagram: @lampshade_parade (to see more of her beautiful pieces and the fun of the workshops!)

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