Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo

Create a custom silhouette lamp shade

by: Jo

Create a custom silhouette lamp shade
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I’ve seen some really cute lampshades that looked fairly plain when turned off but when you turn them on, you see a neat design. I thought this would be a perfect solution for my boring white lampshade on the kitchen work desk. Now, I just had to figure out what design to do and how to do it.

The idea came to me when I was using my Cricut to make some scrapbook layouts the other day. By selecting an image and cutting it out of black paper, I could place the cut-outs on the inside of the shade so that the shadow would show up when you flipped on the lamp. I was so excited to try my technique!

First, I picked out my design. I chose the cityscape from the Going Places Cricut cartridge. Next, I measured the height of my lampshade so I could decide how tall to make my design. I went for a 3 inch cutout for my 5 inch lampshade.

I cut out the design multiple times and started to apply it to the inside of the shade. I quickly realized that I would have to cut the design into smaller pieces to account for the curve of the shade. I cut straight lines between the building sections and overlapped them slightly to make them lie flat against the shade.

I used basic spray glue to to attach each building to the lamp.

Cricut lampshade

I continued cutting out the cityscapes and gluing to the inside of the shade until I made it all the way around. At this point, you could still see a few white gaps along the bottom between the buildings. I fixed this by applying a decorative black ribbon around the outside of the shade that has a white stitch down the middle to make it look like a street.

Now, the lampshade is still fairly unobtrusive when the light is off but when you turn it on…wow! I love the look of the light coming through the tiny windows. I couldn’t be happier and I am already thinking of other designs I could do.




Create a custom silhouette lamp shade
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38 comments so far:

  • 1
    dot 02/03/2009 at 9:14 am

    very cool!

  • 2
    Andrea P. 02/03/2009 at 2:21 pm

    Awesome! I loves it!!!

  • 3
    Rachel 02/03/2009 at 4:28 pm

    Oh I love that! Super creative! I’ll be linking.

  • 4
    Marilyn Weadok 02/03/2009 at 7:00 pm

    What an nice inspiration.
    I love your idea.
    thanks for sharing.

  • 5
    Jo 02/04/2009 at 12:19 pm

    Thanks everyone for the nice comments. I have to admit, this is one of my favorite projects I have done recently.

  • 6
    Nancy 02/06/2009 at 2:56 pm

    What a great idea. Have some lamps I’m trying to bring new life too. I will definitely have to try this. Just one question; how do you adhere the paper to the lampshade?

  • 7
    Jo 02/06/2009 at 3:06 pm

    Nancy, thanks. I used spray adhesive. Please send us some photos of your finished projects. We love to see our readers’ ideas.

  • 8
    Heather K. 02/10/2009 at 10:30 am

    WOW! I *love* this idea! I have the Going Places cartridge and have been trying to think of something neat to do with that skyline cut. I am so going to do this!

  • 9
    Chica 02/10/2009 at 11:55 am

    Have fun, Heather! We’d love to see your finished lampshade when you’re done.

  • 10
    Laurie F. 02/22/2009 at 9:23 pm

    How so very cool!!!!!Love love love this. Gotta find some lamps to do this.TFS

  • 11
    Rain 05/14/2009 at 5:49 pm

    WOW! That’s wicked cool.

    I just realised I have no lampshades in my house. Dang!

  • 12
    Laura 06/24/2009 at 3:26 pm

    Just wondering – do you use regular card stock and is it safe or is there a risk of fire?

  • 13
    Chica 06/24/2009 at 3:36 pm

    Hi Laura. Jo did use regular card stock for her lamp. Since most lampshades are lined in a paper-like material anyway, we don’t feel there’s any more risk with the card stock than there is with a regular lampshade — as long as you don’t use a super-high wattage light bulb. Never exceed the maximum wattage listed on the lamp, and never let the bulb come in contact with the shade or paper.

  • 14
    Carol 09/10/2009 at 9:33 pm

    I saw, on tv, today a very unique blackboard that is called a chalkboard decal. It is found on The one I particulary like is called Rocco. I’m sure those creative people here (ahem) Chica and Jo, can find a way to make these. I plan to try to make some of the other types on the website for the grandkids, cut a board into a shape and paint it with chalkboard paint. How easy is that?

  • 15
    Jo 09/10/2009 at 10:10 pm

    Carol, I especially love the animal shaped ones they have on the site. How cute! I like your idea of just painting some thin cut-out shapes. You could use luan or it might even work to use foam core, they would be really light for hanging. I wouldn’t mind trying to use a normal stencil and painting the chalkboard paint directly onto the wall. The downside there is that it is a lot harder to get rid of! If you do this project, please take a picture and send it to us!

  • 16
    Wooden Letters 10/13/2009 at 7:14 pm

    What a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

  • 17
    Janine 11/13/2009 at 8:53 pm

    Wow…that lampshade is amazing! I just recently found your website—I think it’s going to become my new online home. Great stuff!!

  • 18
    Jo 11/14/2009 at 12:25 am

    Thanks, Janine! So glad you found us. Make sure you add us to your reader so you don’t miss a thing. Please feel free to send us any questions about our projects. We love to hear from our readers.

  • 19
    Andrea 11/25/2009 at 10:27 pm

    Wow i loooveee this idea
    i want to do this for my art project, but i want a different sort of trim. i like the skyline idea, but the little windows will be hard to do. mabey a checkerd trimming the bottom and mabey top.

  • 20
    Jo 11/25/2009 at 10:38 pm

    The windows would be really hard if you didn’t have a Cricut machine. Love the idea of the checkered pattern.

  • 21
    Sasha Frugone 01/11/2010 at 5:21 pm

    Use the winterwoodland cartridge and make the reindeer starting at 2 in going up to 6 (1-2″, 1-3″, 1-4″, 1-5″, 1-6″)

    Cut some snowflakes – decoupage on inside of lamp shade – you will have reindeer flying through snowflakes

  • 22
    Jo 01/11/2010 at 5:44 pm

    Sasha, what a cute idea! I will do that next year and change out my lamp shade for the Christmas season. A simple decorating idea.

  • 23
    Molly 07/01/2010 at 8:10 am

    so modern and such a money saver. i’m gonna make one right now!!!!1!!!one!!!1

  • 24
    Amy 07/02/2010 at 6:45 am

    i agree with molly, in a credit crunch this is what i need to snaz up my home!

  • 25
    Nora 08/30/2010 at 2:56 pm

    Thats unbelievable. I just saw this lamp a couple days ago and I was lookin around in the internet A LOT to find how they did it. Im so happy and Ill start it soon. oh btw, the one in the photo is soo expensive too, its 170€, what is like 200$. i found a cheaper way .. yay yay

  • 26
    istikbal 10/19/2010 at 3:16 pm

    Very good lampshade model

  • 27
    Michelle 10/29/2010 at 4:52 am

    It would be cute for a sports themed room using the Sports Mania (I think that’s right) cartridge…especially if you have a child involved in sports or a hubby with his own “man cave.”

  • 28
    Sam 07/05/2012 at 2:07 pm

    so pretty! if yo sold these, you would make a fortune

  • 29
    Lorri 08/23/2012 at 3:24 pm

    I’m not crafty and i don’t have any of these fancy tools, but I’d buy it! My kiddo loves the city theme now, and I just bought a skyline lamp shade at World Market, but I like yours much better!!

  • 30
    Anita 09/14/2012 at 10:56 pm

    I looked through Cricut Cartridges and found the “Going Places” cartridge, but I didn’t see any building shapes on it. Could you have mistaken the name of the cartridge?

  • 31
    Jo 09/17/2012 at 4:02 pm

    Anita, it’s the right cartridge. On the back of the box, the skyline is in pink.

  • 32
    Fran Hallock 03/15/2013 at 11:09 pm

    Wow…I just found this. I love your idea. I plan to do this with the new Southwest cartridge. What do you think about using vinyl. I want to do it like you did–putting the design on the inside. I use the new cooler light bulbs.
    Can’t wait to get started. Thanks

  • 33
    Chica 03/16/2013 at 9:44 am

    Fran, as long as the vinyl doesn’t melt from the heat of the bulbs and you can get it to stick to the shade, seems like it would work fine.

  • 34
    Hannah 04/22/2014 at 4:19 am

    I was trying to search for ideas in the internet on how to design my lampshade. (It’s actually a fluorescent lamp, not a bulb… so anyway I made a rectangular lampshade) I might as well try this…… Thank you guys for the good idea :) GOD Bless you guys and may you continue to inspire others with your artworks!

  • 35
    Deb 08/03/2014 at 8:12 pm

    What a great idea. So many possibilities, love it!!!!

  • 36
    Jody 09/17/2014 at 11:02 pm

    This lamp shade is awesome. My son just moved to Minneapolis and I know he would love this. I am going to make it for him. Thanks for sharing!

  • 37
    Laurie 04/02/2017 at 8:22 am

    Iovebthis idea I’m turning my family room into a Disney Oasis. This will be perfect!
    I can’t seem to find the jpg. Can you send it it to me please?
    Thank you

  • 38
    Jo 04/02/2017 at 2:07 pm

    Laurie, we do not have a JPG available for this design. It came from the Going Places Cricut cartridge.

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