Option 2: Panoramic Vision

A great panoramic photo wraps well around a lampshade. There are some great premade shades at noodlEonline.com, but here’s how to make your own.


– A frosted-glass lampshade (we found ours at IKEA for $20)

– Paper to make a template

– Computer editing program (Canon’s PhotoStitch software is a good choice)

– Inkjet printer

– 11×17 transparency film (we recommend Inkpress Transparency, 4 mil Resin Based Inkjet Film, 11×17, $35, amazon.com)

– X-acto knife

– Archival, clear, double-sided tape, Try Vyco Double Sided Tape, $3.95 at Utrecht (1122 NW Everett St, utrechtart.com)

– Bias tape from a craft supply store like Michaels


First, measure your lampshade. A perfectly cylindrical or drum-shaped frosted-glass shade would be the easiest choice for this project; the cone-shaped shade shown can be a more difficult fit.

lampshade 3 opener
Image: John Valls

Wrap a plain piece of paper around the shade, cut it to fit and measure the circumference and height of the template. Next, crop your photograph on a computer editing program so it equals the template’s dimensions. If you don’t have a panoramic photo, some computer editing programs (like PhotoStitch) will stitch together separate photos into one panoramic shot.

Using an inkjet printer, print the landscape image onto 11-by-17-inch transparency film. Check your computer and printer for a transparency setting, and follow the film’s specific instructions on density and quality.

Once your transparency is fully dry, trace your template onto the image and cut it out using an X-acto knife. Then use strong, archival, double-sided tape to attach the photo to the outside of the frosted-glass lampshade. Optional: For a finished look, run bias tape along the top and bottom of the shade.


– Get a shade shaped like a cylinder. It will be easier to attach your photo without distortion.

– If you’re mounting to a cloth shade, make sure the it is smooth and almost translucent.