May Arts Ribbon Blog

Tattered Collage Lampshade Tutorial

Entry #14 from our Calling All Bloggers challenge was sent to us by Kimberly Jones of Serendipity Vintage Studio:

Tattered Collage Lampshade

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Tattered lampshades have a sculptural quality that is very appealing. I often find them languishing in dusty corners at antique stores, or cast aside in a thrift shop. I’ve been gathering lampshades for a long time, waiting for just the right inspiration. When I discovered several gorgeous stereoscope cards at an antique store, I knew I had the perfect project! The cards tell a story about a wedding, beginning with the proposal and ending with the kiss that seals the union. A tattered lampshade collage seemed the perfect way to display these lovely cards.

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This pair of lampshades has very elegant trim in a creamy ivory hue. I simply removed the tattered fabric from the lampshade on the right using a craft knife and a pair of scissors to clean up any frayed edges.

I wanted to use materials that evoke the idea of bridal finery, so I chose sheer white rosettes and gorgeous white silk ribbon from May Arts. The lampshade for the collage is trimmed in ivory, so I decided to tea dye the rosettes to lend them a subtle vintage patina. The silk ribbon already had a perfect pearly sheen, so I chose not to dye it.

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Here’s the process:


  • Place three family size tea bags in a large bowl. (Use more for a darker color)
  • Pour a kettle full of boiling water over the bags and brew for 10 minutes. Remove the bags.


  • After the tea has cooled, add the sheer rosettes trim and submerge completely in the liquid. Let the rosettes steep for about 90 minutes. Remove from the bowl and gently squeeze to remove excess liquid.
  • Do NOT rinse the rosettes as this will remove all the color!

Air Dry

  • Allow the rosettes to air dry completely. (I hung mine outside on a very hot day, and they were dry in about an hour)

Tea Dyed Rosettes!

  • Soft and dreamy rosettes perfect for a bridal collage!

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I wrapped the roses around the bottom of the lampshade and secured with Fabri-Tac glue.

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Bridal gowns are designed to look well from the back, so for an extra touch of glamour I used May Arts 1 ½ inch white silk ribbon to emulate the look of a corset style dress that laces up from the back.

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I used the silk ribbon on 3 panels, and the tea dyed rosettes on 3 panels. The rosettes are tied on the lampshade at the top with a double knot and then stapled on the bottom.

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A jumble of pearls, vintage costume jewelry, sparkling rhinestones, vintage stereoscope cards, and bits and pieces of lace are the elements I selected for my collage. Simply gather treasures from your own stash, or use this as an opportunity to wander through your favorite antique and thrift stores to find materials that inspire your own collage theme.

I used clip on earrings to secure the stereoscope cards, so I can remove them anytime I wish. In fact, all the collage elements are easily removed! The bracelet and necklaces are simply hung on the top of the shade, and even the ribbon can be taken off and used in another project. But I have a feeling I’ll keep this lovely tattered collage lampshade just as it is for a very long time!

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 Created by Kimberly Jones

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  1. Eniko

    This is simply brilliant! Congratulations!

  2. Dolly

    This is lovely Kim. Your vintage ideas are always beautiful. Can’t wait to see more!
    Thanks for the idea. Dolly

  3. Lexi

    This is so pretty and very unique. Love out-of-the-box (or lampshade in this case!!) ideas!

  4. Michelle Mathey - POMI

    This an absolutely beautiful project – so inspiring!!

  5. judean

    clever idea!

  6. Jenifer

    This is very cool thanks so much for the Idea I have never thought about using the guts of a lampshade before, I can jus imagine this changed out at xmas time to display cards or pictures the possibilities are endless. Wow thanks so much


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