The Lampshade Saga

Fabric lampshades are a fantastic way to add a pop of colour to a room. And they are easy to make yourself, too. We stock lampshade rings, made right here in New Zealand – NZ Made for The Win!! (Available in store and for out of towners, here)

Things have come a long way from the days when a lampshade was made from a wire frame. Today’s lampshades comprise two rings – one containing the ‘drop’ for holding it to the light fitting, and ‘styrene’, a stiff translucent plastic that provides rigidity to the body. This means you can make them any size or shape that can be had from your choice of rings, and that is plenty.

Of course I just had to have a go straight away, and my efforts are in the shop. I am happy to explain to anyone who wants to know how to do it, and for those who really want to be guided through the process, I’m holding regular classes. Check the Calendar!

All you need besides the rings is styrene, spray contact adhesive or mod podge and double sided tape. We have all of these supplies, of course!

As for the cover fabric, the world is your oyster! Light coloured, lightweight fabrics are best, as they let the light through best.

DSCF0168These are the results of our second class – eight fabulous lampshades in fabrics as diverse as their makers! And they all looked fab too.

This Post Has 27 Comments

  1. Mark Davies

    Hi Maryanne,
    website looks great, well done & best regards
    Mark Davies

  2. janet macklin

    am I able to buy lampshade rings etc from you . I live in Cambridge.


  3. Kate

    I am after a small quantity of pvc liner for 2 lampshades. Am I able to purchase this from you? I live in Palmerston North

    1. Made Marion

      Absolutely. It is styrene not pvc, white and opaque not translucent but the light comes through it just fine. All commercial lampshade makers use it. It is $14.50m, 91cm wide, and the minimum we can send because of its fragility is 2m. If you can give us a height and length, we can cut it to size for you and that may work out cheaper, even with a cutting charge 🙂

  4. L Parker

    Hi do you sell diffusers to go with these drum lampshade kits?

  5. Delara Dehnavi

    Hi there,
    I live in Hastings,
    Please advise how can I order some white Styrene for my stand up lights,
    2 of ( 160cm x60cm) size.
    And how much will be the freight cost ?

  6. Tricia Burns

    I too would ask if you can send me some white styrene, we live in One Tree Point, south of WhangareiI see you can only send a minimum of 2m, and you would cut to size.

    Many thanks Tricia

  7. Tony Mitchell

    Hi Marion
    I am looking to replace 4 only translucent white glass (pendant type) lampshades 200mm diameter x 450mm high.
    I thought the best way would be to buy some translucent white plastic ( HDPE) and 4 wire frams and rings 200mm in diameter.

    Do you know where I can get these items?

    1. Made Marion

      Hi Tony, I can do you 230mm diameter rings and white translucent styrene if that’s any use? You’ll also need white binding for the tops and bottoms.

  8. Hind

    I bought a lamp shade that I want to convert into a pendant. I think I’ll need to attach a new lamp shade ring on the top of it. As it is now the ring is on the bottom if that makes any sense? Do you sell rings? And how would I go about attaching it? Thanks.

    1. Made Marion

      Hi, yes you can do that but you will have the fitting in the bottom of your pendant shade unless you hack saw it off or something. We sell rings in a lot of sizes – you will need to measure the diameter of your shade and we can see if we have a size that will suit. Best to email us or call us – or 04 801 5850. Cheers!

  9. Stephanie Murray

    Hi, I bought a mid century cork/mahogany lamp which did not come with its original shade . I think it would have originally had a slightly cone shaped tall shade. The diameter of the base is 32cm so I think the diameter of the shade would need to be at least 35cm and tapering slightly towards the top (to about 6-7cm less than the bottom) with a height of around 40cms. Do you have any idea where I could get one like this. Also, the stem of the lamp is meant to be seen as it’s copper so the part of the wire fitting that the bulb would go into would need to be lower down in the shade approx 7cm up from the base of the shade. If you know of anyone who sells mid century print fabric that would be great too. Thanks for any help you can give me. Kind regards, Stephi

    1. Made Marion

      Hi Stephanie, I am afraid I can’t really advise you on conical shades, they aren’t our thing at all! We can do a 38cm straight sided kit that generally looks amazing with those older ones, and the bottom offset is 6.2cm so the copper would show. If that sounds useful, you can purchase it from our Etsy site:
      From a fabric perspective, it’s just a matter of keeping an eye out – trademe, op shops, Facebook swaps etc. They do turn up!

  10. Pene Jarvis

    Kia ora, I see above (13/5/16) that you sell styrene for lamp making. Is the price still $14.50 per
    metre? How much would it be to send 2m to Chch please?
    I’m assuming it doesn’t have an adhesive on it.

    1. Made Marion

      Hi Pene, it’s gone up to $15.50m, and minimum for posting is 2m because it is so brittle. Not adhesive, it’s so hard to work with adhesive stuff if you get a wrinkle! We use Mod Podge instead, works really well. We also sell kits with it precut.
      If you want a rice for shipping etc, do email us with your address, or you could ring 04 8015850. Thanks!

  11. Rosa Reed

    I am looking to purchase 15 metres of styrene ( acetate ) for lampshades , how much would that cost ?
    Per metre and is it cheaper for larger amounts
    Regards Rosa

    1. Made Marion

      Hi Rosa, absolutely we can do that. It is $9.60m for 10 or more metres. Please call us on 04 801 5850 or email to arrange this. Thanks!

  12. Sharon

    Good morning

    I have 2 fabric light shades in my living room on the ceiling which the diffusers need replacing.
    Could you please tell me where I can get replacement diffusers for my pendant light shades as none of the lighting stores in Christchurch seem to have them?

    I look forward to your reply.


    1. Clever clogs

      Hi Sharon
      Thank you for asking. We do not sell diffusers but we do sell the sytrene we make the lampshades out of that you could cut to the size you need.
      The cost is $15.50 a metre and it is about 91 cm wide. (We prefer to send a minimum of 3 metres so as to avoid damage in transit but you can get as much or little as you like.)

  13. Pieter Albertyn

    Hi. I am looking for a sheet of styrene suited to lamp shade making. Do you stock such material ? If so, will it be possible to send me a roll by post ? I live near Fairlie. Regards. Pieter Albertyn

    1. Clever clogs

      Hi Pieter
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      We sell all the things needed to make drum lampshades either in kits or individual bits. Email us directly at and we can get the bits you need to you. We regularly courier all round the country.

  14. Ali

    Hi, I am really keen to make myself 2 bedside lamps. I am a potter so plan to make the ceramic bases and install the electric light bit. I have beautiful toile fabric to make the shades. Are you able to advise where I can purchase the styrene? I live in Masterton so would probably buy online.
    Thank you

    1. Clever clogs

      Hi Ali
      Thank you for asking. We send our lampshade kits all round the country. If you let me know what sizes you are looking for I can let you know how we can help you.
      We sell a range of size rings and the styrene can be cut to whatever height you like.
      Email us at for full information.

  15. Elizabeth Barr

    Is it possible to make shallow drum shades which can clip onto to a light bulb installed onto the ceiling?

    1. Made Marion

      Hi Elizabeth, Yes! We have flat fitting rings in the mid range of sizes available that will sit flush to the fitting. Perfect for a lower stud height.

  16. Ruby

    Hi there,

    I am looking for a metal lampshade frame that is made in NZ for a pleated lampshade. I was wondering if you had any other frame styles in store. If you email me I can send a photo of what I am looking for 🙂

    1. Made Marion

      Hi Ruby, I’m afraid we don’t stock frames only rings. The NZ company that made frames for the past 60 years or so ceased production after last year’s lockdown and the new people are only getting up to speed with ring making so it may never happen. Your best bet is to look for a second hand shade and rec-cover it.

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