The Complete Lampshade Course: A Four Day Workshop



Creating bespoke lampshades is one of the most rewarding interior crafts and a way of adding impressive and beautiful pieces to any room. This four-day course has gained a reputation as one of the best ways for lampshade makers to learn a repertoire of skills to a professional level. Join lampshade maker, author of best-selling book Sewing Lampshades and teacher Joanna Heptinstall at the Lampshade School for a creative workshop concentrating on mastering the three main lampshade making techniques: tailored; gathered and pleated. The Complete Lampshade Course is friendly, industrious and creative, and everyone is taught to a professional standard. Whether you are a beginner to sewing or professional soft furnisher, you will be encouraged to develop your creative style, and will take home three impressive handmade shades and the skills to make many more. We will begin the most useful technique, created a fitted cover for a tailored lampshade. Joanna will present the core skills in easy stages: binding, pattern cutting, sewing and fitting the top cover; fitting a balloon lining and how to apply decorative fringes and braids. As you work we will discuss ways each technique can be brought forward to create more unique and bespoke shades. We will then move on to gathered and pleated skills, exploring how the maker can plan and measure for all frame shapes and sizes. Masterclass intervals Throughout the course we hold short ‘masterclass technique’ sessions, where we demonstrate advanced lampshade making skills, including: handmade frills, flowers and fancy edges; layering trimmings for creative impact; using dye to hand colour your own fabric and trimmings The Lampshade School is a dedicated, airy well-equipped studio and is part of Joanna’s Traditional Upholstery School. It is based in rural Wiltshire, close to a good network of roads, and has its own parking and kitchen. Students will go home with three finished shades. Our aim is that you leave well equipped for many years of inspired lampshade making. With four days together, this course is great if you have a long way to travel. About the tutor Joanna Heptinstall is a versatile and experienced upholsterer, teacher and maker, with a particular interest in lampshade making. Following the completion of a Fine Arts degree at Sheffield Hallam University and subsequent post-graduate studies in journalism, Joanna worked for several years in magazine publishing before re-training as an upholsterer 26 years ago. She soon developed a love for lampshade restoration, reviving almost-lost skills and writing her best-selling book Sewing Lampshades to share those skills with other makers. Joanna lives in Wiltshire, teaching professional upholstery and lampshade skills in her own school, enjoying making, and walking with her spaniel Nellie. Please bring 1m standard width top fabric for each of the three techniques. For gathered and pleated lampshades we recommend cotton lawn such as Liberty tana lawn, Indian block printed cotton muslin and light/medium weight silk fabrics. Avoid anything bulky or stretchy. For your tailored shade, a patchworking weight cotton, or similar, would be ideal. We have a small and useful selection of gimp braids and long fringes. If you would like something very particular, please do bring it along. While we have all the equipment you need, we find that students like to bring their own scissors, haberdashery kit and even their sewing machine. Your packed lunch. For those travelling and staying over, there is a great café locally for those wanting to buy a healthy lunch on the day. Further details Please select 'Chat with the maker' if you would like to contact Joanna in advance of booking with any queries about fabrics and trimmings, or would like recommendations for places to stay.

What's included in the price?

Tuition, binding tape, specialist threads and lining fabrics, with refreshments provided throughout the day. While we have all the equipment you need, we find that students like to bring their own scissors, haberdashery kit and even their sewing machine. We will have a wide selection of shades frames suitable for learning the techniques, priced from £8 each. Students will require three frames.


4 days

Cancellation policy

Medium - Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 4 weeks before the course starts



The Lampshade School

with Craft Courses since 2023

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The Lampshade School is based in lovely, roomy workrooms near Bradford on Avon in rural Wiltshire. It offers a range of professional lampshade making skills workshops. It was founded by Joanna Heptinstall, author of 'Sewing Lampshades'. The Lampshade School is also home of Traditional Upholstery School, one of Britain's few training centres delivering AMUSF accredited training.

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Seniors
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced/pro level
  • Parking provided
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Unit 2, Holt Holdings, Broughton Road, Holt, TROWBRIDGE, Wiltshire, BA14 6QU