tie the knots to make our unique lampshade
This project can be made using a variety of dyes and hues – it’s over to you – but the same rules apply to achieve that gorgeous colour gradient.
What you’ll need
Craft Tee recycled t-shirt yarn (available from Spotlight) Lampshade frame (re-purposed or available from Spotlight) Scissors Spray bottle filled with water Indian Ink or fabric dye Shallow dish/container for dye Small paintbrush for touch-ups
1 Start by measuring out lengths of cotton yarn. Make your pieces 6 times the length of your chosen frame. This will give you enough to allow for all the ties and knots. The number of pieces you need will be determined by the circumference of your lamp frame. 2 Fold a piece of cotton yarn in half. Wrap the folded end over the top ring of your lampshade. Thread the ends down through the loop and and pull tightly (see pic A). This will secure the cotton yarn on the lampshade frame and give it a nice tidy edge. Repeat with other strips of yarn to cover the entire top circle of your lampshade frame. 3 There will be two pieces of yarn hanging from each knot. Take one strand from each of two adjacent knots and tie together in a simple knot approximately 5cm from the top (pic B). Pull tightly to hold in place (pic C). 4 Continue all the way around until you’ve completed your first row. Check that all the knots are about the same height from the top. Repeat this method all the way to the bottom of the frame, completing one circular row at a time and checking the distances between knots. This method should create a diamond shaped gap between your knots (pic D). 5 Once you reach the bottom (pic E) separate the two strands from each knot and loop around the base ring of your lampshade (pic F). Bring together again and tie them as you would a shoelace (pic G). Repeat until all pieces are attached to the base. When doing this you can pull down the knotted strands to give your lamp a firmer shape (pic H). 6 Using the same method as in step 3, tie adjacent strands from each knot together and pull the knot up to fill in gaps around the base ring. Once completed, you can trim the ends to your desired length.
Now that your lamp has taken shape, it’s time to get the perfect hue. 1 Working from the top, spray a third of your lampshade with water. 2 Mix a solution of water and Indian Ink to create a grey colour (approximately 1 part ink to 2 parts water). If you like, you can use some cut-off pieces of yarn to experiment and test the depth of colour. Pour the solution into a shallow dish, then turn your lamp upside down and dip the top into the dye. The dye will start to creep up the cotton yarn. It will continue to run into the wet yarn even after the lamp has been removed from the solution, so you don’t need to leave it in the dye for very long. You can spray more clean water onto your lamp if you need the colour to bleed a little more. 3 Set the lampshade aside to dry slightly or just until the dye has stopped moving. Use a brush to touch up any missed areas. 4 Discard the remaining grey dye and then pour 100 per cent Indian Ink into your shallow dish. Quickly dip the top ring again, taking it out as soon as the top cotton loops are covered in ink. 5 Set aside to dry completely, then add a bulb to light it up!