By Lisa in Florida (left), and Carol in England
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Frequently Asked Questions


I received the first two comments in response to a request for input from those who didn't buy my book. The rest are actually only occasionally asked questions, but if I'd called this OAQs no one would get it.

  • I am basically lazy when it comes to reading a book. I know that there are several videos available on this subject, and feel that 'a picture is worth a thousand words' as the saying goes. I would personally prefer to learn by watching a video or DVD.   I was well aware that many of my readers would prefer a video, and wrote these how-tos with those who learn visually (like me) in mind. The shades displayed around the site verify this seems to be working, coupled with the fact that I rarely get any construction questions. The handful of available videos are considerably more expensive, for far less information, and the only stretch-shade video offers pattern-making instructions that will rarely, if ever, work. In fact, these videos were the impetus to my writing this book. Not only that, but books are a whole lot easier to reference when learning any new craft.

  • I would love to learn how to do this, but was looking for free information.
    I'm not sure why some people (willing to buy books and magazines) expect all information on the Internet to be free. My only response is that this is my sole source of income, and simultaneously to your acquiring a swell new set of skills, your support of my small business allows me to continue providing the basis to a lot of other (primarily women's) small businesses, for less than the cost of one glued-together, store-bought shade.

  • How will I receive my copy of the e-book?   This e-book is in PDF format and comes attached to the e-mail you'll get within 24 hours of my receiving payment. You must have (free) Adobe Reader to open PDF files, and a download link is provided. If a Dropbox link or another alternative delivery method is required, just let me know when you get the e-mail.

  • How long is the book and must it all be printed?    The book is 150 pages long, and printing instructions are included, though in most cases all you have to do is hit PRINT. If you don't have a printer or your printer won't handle it or you're conserving ink (the pictures look just fine in black and white), the file was designed to read on your computer. Or you can choose to print just the construction how-tos and read the support chapters from your computer.

  • Can I really learn how to do this if I don't know how to sew? Must I have a sewing machine?    If you have little to no sewing experience, and/or think you can't learn how to sew, let alone well enough to accomplish this, read So, you say you can't sew on the first page of the tour, and Lisa's testimonial at the top of Unsolicited Testimonials. The Sewing Primer provides everything you need to teach yourself how to sew well enough to make lampshades (and much more), including how to buy and use a sewing machine. However, only stretch shades require a machine. Victorian-style and other panel shades are all hand sewn, with the stitches covered up, a technique that can also be used with any stretch-style frame.

  • Can I use these instructions to restore a particular shade?   The question I get more often than any other is whether a particular shade can be restored. While you may not be able to duplicate the fabric and trim (though trim can sometimes be reused), you will be able to create a shade that's close enough in appearance to look appropriate, if not even better than the original.

  • Can I use the same fabric I used to make pillows, curtains, etc.?   I actually receive this question, on occasion, with no more detail than this provided. Of course, the answer depends on the fabric. Stretch shades, as the name implies, require fabric with a little give to it, though other fabrics can often be used on the bias (see the first shade on the tour). Cotton, velvet, raw silk, brocade, and most other fabrics with no give can be used for Victorian/panel-style shades, or for stretch-shades, if using the panel-shade construction method. However, if the same fabric can't be used, something that coordinates can be.

  • Does the book include instructions for how to make traditional, lined lampshades, Victorian-style shades, and/or are the instructions complete enough to actually make a lampshade?   Although these questions are well answered elsewhere, I still get them (probably from people who skim rather than read). Simply put, the answer is yes.

  • Do you include supply sources? Do you sell the supplies? Do you know where I can get certain supplies?   My ultimate goal is to start an international shadecrafting supply company with local distributors. I envision a lampshade lady (or man) in every town of much size, or at least, in every county. If interested in this, please let me know. In the meantime, the handful of supply companies are included on the book supply list, and loads of sources for fabric, trims, embellishments, and other supplies are included on The Shadecrafters Club site. With regards to my providing supply sources to those who haven't bought the book, I hope you'll understand, but I don't do this.

  • Are people actually making money at this?    I know for a fact that there are a number of people making money with the skills they acquired from this book, and some are now full-time, professional lampshade crafters. See Making Money Making Lampshades for more.

  • I'm interested in making hardback (paper and plastic) shades. When will this chapter be available? Can you tell me where to find fiberglass for making '50s shades?   I hope to have the hardback chapter done soon, but can make no promises as to when this will be. The fiberglass material used back in the 1950s isn't made anymore, and the (one kind of) fiberglass now in use is not only heavier, but extremely problematic to work with, requiring gloves, and even a dust mask (if you're smart). There's a "faux fiberglass" available (a search will find it), but it's plastic covered on one side with paper, and quite faux looking, indeed. I'm still working on this problem, which is further discussed on The Shadecrafters Club site.

If you still have a question, and/or you're not buying the book today, but would like to be on my mailing list, please Click Here (or on Contact).

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Copyright 2013 by Maude Gold Kiser
The Gold-Kiser Company
Nashville, Tennessee
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