DIY Swag Lamp and Drum Lamp Shade We Made!

I searched for days for a swag lamp that I adored, but they were all so very expensive.  I finally Googled for tips on making one and found this most helpful blog.  It teaches in detail how to make a lampshade.  I bought the supplies for the shade from the Lamp Shop while John bought the swag kit and socket from Home Depot.

The fabric was unusable material we bought from IKEA to make the valances from, but the image was so horribly printed on the fabric, they they proved useless for curtains.  We decided it was the perfect material for the lamp shade!

After deciding on the size (9 x 13 inches), I bought the top and bottom washers, a foot of the pressure sensitive sytrene, and an accordion bottle of tacky glue from the Lamp Shop.

Then I measured the fabric a little larger than what I needed.  I figured it would be easier to trim the extra fabric off the styrene once the fabric was adhered to it.

Because the styrene had been hand-cut rather than factory-cut, John had to square it off with his handy shop tools.  We then had a perfect strip nearly 42 inches long (the diameter of the drum shade x 3.14 plus about an inch for the overlap) and 9 inches wide (the height of the shade).  He then trimmed the excess fabric with an x-acto blade.

I continued following the instructions I received from The Lampshade Lady blog.  I applied glue to the top washer while rolling the washer onto the fabric. John clipped clothespins onto the washer as I glued and rolled.  Do not skimp on this adhesive!  You'll wonder if it's going to glue well when you're in the middle of it, but you will be astonished at how tacky it really is once it dries!

For the bottom washer, we set the washer down on a flat surface, then set the shade on top of it and began applying the glue from up above.  We also chose to use clothes pins to hold in place while the bottom washer dried.  We then left the entire thing to dry overnight.

Once the shade was dry, I adhered some inexpensive trim to the top and bottom.

Finally, John assembled the socket, wiring and swag kit.  Remember to thread the cord through each link in the chain, and remember to do this before you secure the socket into the washer.  (Ask me how I know this).

And, here is the finished product.

Cost breakdown:

Fabric (1 yard) $6.99
Trim $4.16
Washers $3.82
Styrene $7.15
Accordion bottle of glue $2.45
Socket $3.97
Swag kit $11.97
Total cost = $40.51

I still have plenty of glue and fabric left over too!


judy lake said...

I love to hear all the success stories! Great job. Just watch out; you'll be doing all your lamps over. Thanks for the nice mention. Stay in touch,
judy lake

kath said...

I was looking for a project to make a swag lamp -- but I'm not too sure about that whole wiring of the socket part. It looks to me like the swag kits come with a cord with an online switch -- what kind of socket did you buy to go with that and is it easy to wire it up? You know, other than feeding it through the chain links.. ;)
Thanks for any info.

Dawn said...

It was a regular push-through socket, and it was easy to hook up the two wires. This should help: http://www.familyhandyman.com/DIY-Projects/Electrical/Electrical-Repair/how-to-wire-a-light-socket

kath said...

Thanks so much!!

Kathy I said...

This turned out wonderful! I have to make one now. What kind of glue did you use for this? I've never seen any that come in a squeeze bottle before.

Dawn said...

Thanks, Kathy! I purchased all hardware and the glue from the Lamp Shop linked in my post. :)

Darmit said...

This really looks like a swag lamp. Please check out my lamp designs on koglenlampe.dk