In pursuit of a simple, fabulous, imperfect life at home.

How to Recover a Lamp Shade

You will need:
  • an ugly old lampshade (I got mine at a thrift store for 2 dollars)
  • spray adhesive
  • a glue gun and glue sticks
  • fabric
  • some ribbon
  • scissors  
Step One:
Deconstruct your lampshade.  If your lampshade is in reasonably good shape and one of those flat, simple ones without any gaudy trims, you might be able to skip right to step 3 and just attach your new fabric over the old stuff.  But on this lampshade, the old stuff had to go!

Remove any trim around the outside and inside of shade.  There will probably be a sticky bias tape or similar edging holding on the current fabric.

You will now be left with a plastic or cardboard base.  Depending on your lampshade, your metal frame might still be attached. Mine was attached using the same bias tape that held on the ugly fabric, so  it will need to be reattached later.

Step Two:
Lay out your desired fabric.  To make sure you have enough fabric and to consider positioning before gluing, roll your lampshade on the fabric, starting at the seam.  Roll it until you get back around to the seam to make sure the you are going to have enough fabric to cover the whole thing.

Then spray the shade with spray adhesive, a section at a time,  starting at the seam.  Lay the sprayed part down on the part of fabric that you determined you would begin with.  Carefully roll the lampshade on the fabric, making sure that the fabric is adhering smoothly.  Continue with another section, and another, until you are back around to where you began.  Leave some overlap at the seam.

Step Three:
Trim the fabric so that you have a little bit extra at the top and bottom, to fold over.

Step Four:
Using a hot glue gun, reattach the metal frame, if necessary.

Step Five: 
Create a nice seam in the back by folding and gluing the fabric.

Step Six:
Spray the extra fabric you left sticking out at the bottom with spray adhesive.  Fold into the lampshade and secure with clothespins until dry. Repeat with the top.  For the top you will probably have to cut slits in the fabric to accommodate the metal wires that span the top, and a couple more to get it to fold in nicely.

Step Seven: 
If you would like you can add ribbon around the inside to give it a more finished edge. You'll probably want to take your time and do a nicer job that I did in this picture.  Also, you probably won't want to answer the telephone while working with the spray adhesive.  I did and now my phone is sticky...

Ta-Da.  There you have it. One brand new lampshade. 

 Now you can adorn it if you'd like.   I put some pom-pom trim and flowers on mine.  Originally this lamp was to go on the more boy-ish side of the nursery, but It turned out pretty darned girly, so I guess it's going on the girls side of the nursery!

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  1. Bling-a-holic's rejoice!! One more uplifted drab shade! Stopped by from Tip Junkie blog hop- I did a shade this week as well.....ahh, the great crafty minds at work. Stop by, say 'Hi'- and oh btw- great job! Can't wait to try this one as well :D

  2. So adorable! I love how simple it looks. I just got some new lampshades last weekend (for free) maybe I'll give this a try.

  3. That is adorable! I love the transformation. Thanks for linking to Home Decor and Organizing Link Party.

  4. Lady, you are amazing! Been scrolling through your diy and wow....are you productive and inspired! And inspiring also...but i fear that as much as i love to start projects, i have difficulties terminating them. So no starting new ones until i finish at least one of the existing..
    Thanks for a very nice blog
    Laura in Sweden

  5. That looks great! Can't wait to to do my own :)

  6. Can't believe the first tutorial I find is for the exact same lampshade I'm redoing. However, mine is so old the stiff plastic "lining" crumbled to bits when removing the fabric. Think mine will be a little bit more work. LOL


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