I got the idea to make lampshades from teapots when I saw a few around, although they were all of the kind that you hang in a window or somewhere. Very stylish for sure but I don’t have those kinds of windows; I wanted teapots on a stick to put it simply.
The choice to use this kind of teapot that they sell at the asian supermarket has to do partly with my love of them: I think they are very stylish in their simplicity and I knew from using small teacups as tea lights that they small “dots”, where the material is thinner, gives a very cosy effect.
This all came to me in London and I was lucky enough to have someone there that knows a thing or two about D.I.Y. I was instructed to buy a special tool(from Dremel or equivalent) and diamond-slip discs and then get to work. Sounds simple,no?
It isn’t. You have to be very careful or you’ll crack the teapot. I broke two. It takes at least an hour of very slow cutting along the lower rim to make it. Try to get the edge as neat and straight as possible as sanding it down (also with bits included or bought for the tool) takes time. It makes a lot of noise and dust so you have to wear ear protection and a mouthguard(and be someplace where this is acceptable). I wondered more then once what I had gotten myself into.
There are teapots that look beautiful,often of japanese origin, that are to thin to actually function as teapots, they were made as decoration and are easier to make into lampshades but then you have to be super careful; they crack very easily.
As these were made before I started blogging I have no pictures of the process to show you but hopefully it makes sense. I imagine there can be better tutorials online if you look, or versions of this.
I made three for myself and as everyone around me got excited I made a few more to give away as presents. But then people started asking me to make teapots they already had into shades so I did that instead.
When the cutting and sanding of the lower rim is done it’s a matter of getting a “holder”. This is easiest found by going to a flea market and buying an old worn out lampshade and stripping it of everything but the attachment. This is what holds up the teapot on the lamp /the foot but don’t get the kind that is put on the bulb; these shades are too heavy and it will only fall to the side(and possibly break). Make sure that it fits in the teapot first, you want it to be invisible. There are store that sell supplies for making ordinary lampshades and those are also a good place to visit(although when I did,looking for holders, the staff looked at me like I was mad when I explained what I needed them for).
All in all it took a fair bit of time and effort(and some money) but I’m very happy with them. If someone wants to buy one,make me an offer; I have more then I need.
A much easier way to go about it is to buy a teapot like this, or one in thin porcelain , and just put one of those battery-driven light garlands in it. Will look great in the kitchen.