Saturday, 21 December 2013

Abakhan Projects on a Budget

Hi, I'm Fiona and I blog at Celtic Thistle Stitches. I was delighted when Lynne picked my project for a Christmas project as part of her series
I used to have an Abakhan store nearby when we lived in Riga, Latvia and it was my go-to shop for all things fabric or crafty, it was definitely one of the things I missed when we moved back to the UK just over a year ago. So, it was great to get a chance to try out the online Abakhan store and recreate my shopping forays from the comfort of my sewing room! As we head ever closer to the big day on December 25th, I thought it would be nice to create something different in the way of a home decoration project. So, with the help of the lovely people at Abakhan, and Lynne's generosity in hosting the post I am delighted to bring you a guiding light for Santa and his reindeer :)

It would never do for Santa to get lost on Christmas Eve, now would it? With this lampshade there is no chance of him missing his way. To make your own guiding light you will need the following :

1 30cm Drum Lampshade Making Kit 1m Quilters Calico 2 Felt Squares - Dark Brown 1 Felt Square - Crimson 2m Owl and Snowflake Ribbon Ivory Red In addition, you will need an A4 sheet of double-sided fusible web to attach the sleigh and reindeer to the lampshade fabric. If you wish to add bells to the reindeer collars and sleigh you will also need a length of embroidery floss and 4 Jingle Bells. I had these in my stash already, but you can also find them here The Lampshade Kit contains comprehensive instructions on putting together the lampshade as well as a link to a video tutorial, so I will concentrate on the embellishments that I added to the basic lampshade in this tutorial.

The first step in making your lampshade is to mark the dimensions of the backing fabric on the back of the calico. Before you proceed to the next stage in the kit instructions you will need to create and attach the felt reindeer and sleigh.

Draw out the sleigh and reindeer figures on the double-sided fusible web and then iron the web to the back of your red and brown felt squares. I used this image for Santa and his sleigh and the Sizzix Reindeer die 657246 to cut out my Reindeer, but the Santa image also comes with reindeer too, so you could use them instead. You will need 4 reindeer images and one Sleigh to complete the circle of the drum shade. Don't forget to reverse the images, you wouldn't want Santa to be flying through the skies backwards!

With your fabric right side up, and making sure that you keep within the marked lines on the back of the fabric, decide where to place your reindeer and sleigh. Once you are happy with the placement remove the backing paper from the felt cut-outs and fuse the figures to the calico fabric.

To attach the reins and bells (optional) using 6 strands of white embroidery floss stitch lines loosely from the sleigh to the first reindeer and then to each subsequent reindeer. If you are attaching the bells on the sleigh and reindeer collars you will need to take the embroidery floss behind the felt and thread the floss through the top of the bell and back through again then through to the back of the felt to firmly fasten the bell in place. Bring the floss back up at the neck edge and carry over loosely to the next reindeer to repeat the process. 

Fasten off after attaching the bell collar on the furthest reindeer from the sleigh. Follow the kit instructions to attach the backing fabric to the calico shade. If you have added bells to the reindeer collars and sleigh, you will find it easier to attach the backing fabric up to each bell and then roll the fabric over the bell before continuing to the next bell, rather than attaching the backing in two stages as in the instructions.

Using the double-sided tape supplied in the kit, tape the lampshade rings and attach the lampshade fabric to the rings.

Tape around the bottom edge of the covered lampshade and attach the Owl and Snowflake ribbon to the edge of the shade. You will have enough ribbon to attach a border at the top edge of the shade too, but I chose not to do this as it would have been too close to the reindeer antlers on the highest reindeer! Attach the shade to your light fitting, then sit back and wait for Santa and his reindeer to arrive :)


  1. Love it Fiona! Well done for creating something so unique!

  2. Most original Christmas project I have seen... love it!

  3. What a cute idea! I love this. I wish I had the time, plus I've been wanting to learn how to make a lampshade. I'll have to file this away for later. Have a super day!

  4. Fun lampshade! What a great idea to finish the bottom with ribbon!

  5. This is darling Fiona! So creative! What a fun idea - love the bells!!

  6. Wow, fabulous! Thanks for the very well written tutorial, Fiona:)

  7. Fab!! Is this the reindeer on son's pjs too ? Great use of the die


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