Give an ordinary lampshade a whimsical touch with cascades of hand-stitched fabric yo-yos.


Fussy-cut quilt

Creating a fussy-cut quilt like this can yield a lot of small fabric scraps not suitable for larger projects.


Vintage bedroom nightstand

So we took our pile of cast-offs and created some unique room accents for a re-energized bedroom decor we shared in this post.


Fabric yoyos

Ideal for stitching while watching a movie, listening to music or an audio book, sitting quietly on the porch, or riding long-distance in a car, yo-yos are easy to create and require little in terms of supplies.


Yoyo materials

Gather Your Materials

  • Fabric scraps
  • Clover Yo-Yo Maker (optional)
  • Cardboard for template
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Glue gun and glue sticks
  • Lampshade (opt for a drum shape or a shade with only a slight taper for best results)


Yoyo Cut a circle template plus materials for step

To make one yo-yo, cut a circle from cardboard about twice the size of the desired yo-yo. Trace the circle onto the backside of a piece of fabric and cut out the shape.


Yoyo Making stitches with finished and unfinished yoyos and needle and thread

Fold the edge under ¼ inch. Make small running stitches near the folded edge—all the way around the circle.


Yoyo Fabric and disk in tray

If using a yo-yo maker, place the fabric right side down in the plastic tray and snap the plastic disk in place over the fabric, aligning the ridge lines on the disk with the notches on the edge of the tray. Fold the fabric seam allowance over the disk and hold in place with your finger and thumb.


Stitch the yoyo step

With a needle and thread (knot the end or leave a tail), stitch from the disk side, through the folded seam allowance and bring your needle up at one end of the first crescent-shape stitch guide in the tray and back down through the other end of the same crescent. Work your way around the rest of the yo-yo.



Yoyo Pulling thread through step

Pop the disk out of the tray by pushing through the hole on the tray. Pull the thread to gather the folded edge into a pleated circle. Knot the thread; cut off the excess.


Finished fabric yoyos

Repeat to make enough yo-yos to cover the lampshade. Sounds more complicated than working without the maker, but trust me, it’s much easier and zips along once you’ve made the first yo-yo.


Stitch yoyos together step

Make strips by connecting one yo-yo to the next; place flat sides together and attach with a whipstitch. Create strips long enough to cover your lampshade from top edge to bottom. Sew enough strips to cover the lampshade all the way around.


Yoyo_Attach with hot glue

Attach the yo-yo strips to the shade with hot-melt adhesive. A generous dot of glue at the top of the shade and at the bottom is enough to hold each strip in place.


Yo-yo lampshade

Continue attaching strips all around the shade. Don’t crowd the strips too closely together, especially if your lampshade has a slight taper. Place the shade on a color-coordinated lamp base and you’ve got a unique accent for table or nightstand.


© Caruth Studio

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