If you follow this blog you may notice I that some posts are experimental projects . This was the case with the Head Lamp lampshade made from thin plastic cutting sheets (link). I thought it was sort of an interesting idea, and I actually continued to play with the concept event after the blog post, until I stumbled across the Monte Bell Crushable Lantern Shade, which is basically a small stuff sack that you slip over your headlamp and it diffuses the light. Once I saw that I realized that the cutting sheet derived lampshade was kind of silly, and was able to move on to some other things.
Recently one of those other things to trying to teach myself sewing. Looking for some practice projects, I remembered the stuff sack lampshade. After a couple prototypes here is the result. Like I said it is just a basically a small stuff sack, but it really is successful on two fronts. It does a great job diffusing the light and a very easy project to practice sewing on .
The next two pictures try and illustrate the difference the lampshade makes. The first shot is the naked headlamp pointed at the greatest book ever , “The Golden Book of Camping”. The second shot has the lampshade on. Note the much more pleasant and evenly diffused light.
But even these photos don’t show how well this little sack takes the harsh headlamp and makes it much more friendly and useful.
As I mentioned, I am just learning sewing and this is not a sewing tutorial. In addition to what I have described below you might want to search youtube for tutorials on basic sewing (if you are a beginner like me) and making a stuff sack
It looks like the Monte Bell is made from polyester tent fabric (30 Denier according to the description) . My version is made with something called non woven polypropylene. If you are not familiar with this material, it’s most common use is in the making of reusable shopping bags. If you happened to have a white reusable shopping bag , you are all set, just start cutting. If you need to track some material down , it is sold under the the Oly Fun brand name. One of the nice things about this material (besides that it does a very nice job of diffusing light) is that since it is not woven, it does not unravel and there is no need to hem.
Besides the non woven polypropylene and the usual sewing supplies, the only other thing you will need is a something for the draw string. I am using paracord.
The only thing slightly unusual from making a typical stuff sack (besides the diminutive size) is that I have doubled over the material to increase the diffusing effect.
On with the instrutions
First start with a piece of 7 X 9 inch material
Fold it in half horizontally. Pin the material to keep it from moving and mark a line ¾ of an inch down from the fold to mark the sew line for the drawstring channel . Cut out some 45 degree cuts on each side of the drawstring channel which will make the openings neater.
Sew the drawstring channel (Just a straight line ¾ inch from the fold.) and then remove the pins..
Fold vertically and pin in place
Sew along the open side and bottom, then remove the pins.
Thread the drawstring, turn the sack rightside out, and you are done!