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Inka Shade is a new company and concept which is bringing a wonderful new product to the colouring market – lampshades! Like many of you, now I’ve started adult colouring, I’m always on the lookout for new things I can colour, as soon as I see something black and white I instantly start imagining colour schemes so I was very excited when I discovered that colouring lampshades were a reality! These lampshades come in two styles and each style can be either a main ceiling light or a lamp, some designs are only available in one style but each listing clearly states if this is the case. The kit contains your colouring lampshade strip which is a surprisingly long piece of plastic-backed material with the design printed on the outside. Many of the designs can be ordered in plain black and white or as a partially coloured option with the background printed in a specific colour. I requested the beautiful Dragonfly Pool design from Tangle Wood by Jessica Palmer with a pale blue background. The kit also contains two large metal rings, one for the bottom to hold the shade in the correct shape, and one for the top so that it can be fixed to your ceiling light. It also contains a self-adhesive Velcro strip so that the lampshade strip can be fastened around the metal rings and a long self-adhesive strip with rubber grooved material to place the metal rings into on the inside of the lampshade. It also contains a very well-written instruction booklet including diagrams and clear step-by-step instructions, while it’s easy to follow these, it’s a bit fiddly putting the whole thing together so I’d advise roping someone else in to help you, I did mine this weekend with my mum which made it much easier. I found that mine was a little loose around the metal rings but it’s possible to adjust it with the help of another person by undoing the Velcro and tightening or loosening it around the metal rings. Another quick note is that the metal ring at the top that fastens on to your ceiling light fixing is very large and you’re likely to need a silicone ring to make this ring smaller so that it fits, a link to the ones we purchased for this can be found below, just above the photos. All parts of the lampshade are made really well and are good quality, nothing feels cheap or poorly made or fitted.
The lampshade itself is either entirely white or has a coloured background, these are clearly marked on the website so there’s no confusion, they’re not currently available in a range of colours, each is available plain or in one colour of their choosing. There is a huge range of designs and many are from artists you’ll recognise including Chris Garver, Jessica Palmer, Valentina Harper and Kludo White. The content of the designs is also really wide-ranging from mandalas to campervans, animals to plants, patterns to quotes and so much more. I’m a huge fan of Jessica Palmer’s work so when I saw that some of the lampshades had her designs on, I had to choose one of those and I’m so glad I did. The linework is printed really crisply onto the lampshade and the background is also printed faultlessly, one small criticism I have is that some small sections of the background haven’t been filled in and colour-matching to fill these in was pretty difficult, however there were only about 5 small sections on the whole lampshade so it’s not that noticeable and this may not be the case in other designs and obviously wouldn’t be in the case in any of the plain styles. I was sent the barrel lampshade without a lamp kit so that I could use it on a ceiling light and it’s huge, much larger than most lampshades I’ve seen so do check out my photos below and the measurements on the website before ordering. The barrel shades are significantly larger than the pedestal shades. The lampshade strip is really long so you’ll need a good clear space on the floor or a large table to be able to colour it easily. Pencils and water-based markers won’t work on this material so this is definitely a project for those of you who like to use alcohol markers. It is possible to blend on this material if you wish, I’ve not got a lot of experience of doing this so I played it safe and block coloured everything which I thought might look a bit rubbish but I’m honestly in love with the finished piece. I would suggest thinking through your colour choices quite carefully, very dark colours like the darkest green and dark purple I used don’t work so well as the light doesn’t shine through it enough so slightly brighter or paler colours are best to stick to and then they give an almost stained glass effect. The lampshade material is quite strange to colour on and does seem to use up quite a lot of ink so make sure you’ve got new pens or spares so you don’t run out half way through, it doesn’t feel absorbent and I really can’t describe it properly as it’s not paper, it has no texture and seems to be shiny but not totally plastic. If you’re careful you only get minimal striping in your colouring but this doesn’t totally disappear like it does when using alcohol markers on paper. According to my contact at Inka Shade you can also use crayons, or oil pastels, even if you’re able to get pencils or water-based pens to work on the material which I think would be a struggle, they don’t have enough colour pigment to illuminate well so I’d strongly advise sticking to alcohol markers so you get a nice vibrant finish.
In terms of mental health, I would highly recommend these lampshades. They take hours to colour and provide a very good project to work through, they also give you a huge sense of achievement and satisfaction when they’re finished. While they’re a bit fiddly to assemble and you may need help from another person, once they’re assembled and up, you’ll be instantly cheered up, I honestly smile every time I see mine whether the light is on or off because I’m just so pleased with how it turned out and proud of how lovely it looks. They’re a bit addictive too, now I’ve done one I keep looking at the other designs and thinking about how good they’d look in all of the rooms in my flat and even as gifts for people! The line thickness varies across the designs but there are lots of photos on the website of each one as well as dimensions so you’ll be able to pick one out that will suit you. The intricacy and detail level also varies hugely between shade designs with some being extremely detailed and others being much more open designs with larger spaces to colour. The design I chose has a variety of line thicknesses and sections sizes and instead of colouring within each tiny space on the dragonfly wings, I decided to block colour over them and use the lines as texture underneath which I’m really pleased with. You also don’t have to colour each section and could easily leave some white as the light still shines through, I drew turquoise lines on each of the bubbles to indicate shape and left the background of each white and I love the effect it’s given. The sheer number of designs offered means there’s something suitable for everyone with themes ranging from nature to patterns to vehicles, there’s sure to be something that will help your mental health, and suit your home décor and once finished it makes a great talking point too!
Overall, I would highly recommend these lampshades. They’re great fun to colour, really varied in content and they’re a lovely reminder of all you can achieve!
If you’d like to purchase one, all of the designs can be found here, they currently only offer delivery to the USA but you can contact them on the website to arrange shipping elsewhere in the world where they will provide you with a quote once you’ve provided your address.