How to upcycle an old lampshade…

February 28, 2013

I’ve been adding pops of color throughout my house…I have a total itch for Spring! Here’s my latest pop of color…a lamp in my family room. I had some leftover fabric from when I sewed my kitchen curtains and knew it was perfect for recovering this lampshade.

DIY Lamp Makeover ItsOverflowing


I separated the shade from the lamp base, grabbed my sewing scissors, some fabric spray adhesive, and the fabric I wanted to use.


Lampshade DIY 4 ItsOverflowing


A little sneak peek behind the lamp in the picture below — I’m loving my new family organization system. Life moves so fast, I was having trouble keeping track of life’s important dates! More on that later.


DIY Cover a Lampshade ItsOverflowing


My lampshade is 9 inches tall and slightly angled. I used a piece of fabric, 38 inches long and 17 inches wide. Depending on the angle of your shade you’ll need to allow enough fabric. The more angled the shade, the more fabric you will need and the more obvious your fabric’s pattern change will be.


Lampshade DIY ItsOverflowing 3


To wrap the fabric around the lampshade, I sprayed the wrong side of the fabric, then started attaching one end of the fabric to the lampshade, after a small portion was adhered, I used my hands to remove bubbles, then continued wrapping. I continued pressing the fabric to the shade until the shade was completely covered.


Lampshade DIY ItsOverflowing 2


When the shade was covered, I trimmed the excess around the top and bottom, leaving about a half an inch to fold into the inside of the lampshade. Once trimmed, I glued the seam with more fabric glue.


Lampshade DIY ItsOverflowing 5


Then I cut a slit where the fabric meets the shade’s frame.


Lampshade DIY ItsOverflowing 6


The seam was attached with a bit more fabric glue — I folded the top piece of the seam under 1/8 of an inch before adding the adhesive.


Lampshade DIY ItsOverflowing 8


If your shade is angled and the backside of your shade will be visible you will want to choose fabric in a small pattern without visible repeats. I didn’t worry about the repeat pattern of my fabric because the backside will not be visible.


Lampshade DIY ItsOverflowing 7


I can’t wait to show you the lamp looking pretty in my living room!



Visit Aimee’s blog (here) to see more decorating tutorials. She is so talented.

16 comments on “How to upcycle an old lampshade…

  1. Donna Ingalls says:

    Love this idea.
    Have you ever tried to do this with a pleated shade?

    • Anonymous says:

      Aimee, you are so talented and the tutorial was so easy to follow. I am going to try this on a living room lamp! Thanks for sharing! Carol Adams

  2. Thank so much for sharing my tutorial Toni!!! XO, Aimee

  3. Heather says:

    What a great idea! My mom just gave me an old lamp, and the lampshade definitely could use a face lift!

  4. daisy says:

    It looks great! Do you have to use a certain type of fabric? I’m gonna do this! Thanks for sharing!

  5. That is so cute!! I did a lamp shade makeover as well. Mine is a bit more shabby chic. You can check it out here if you would like.
    Have a lovely day.

  6. I love this recovered lampshade. The yellow bright is so bright and cheerful! Awesome job.

  7. So pretty, fresh and ready for Spring!! I’m with you – I can’t wait for Spring to finally get here. So done with winter!!!

  8. Sandy says:

    This is absolutely stunning! I really love that fabric and what a transformation!

  9. Christina says:

    Definitely doing this! I have two old lamps in need of a makeover.

  10. Beckie says:

    Very nice idea! I love your fabric – simply lovely! Thanks for sharing Aimee!

  11. Crystal says:

    Beautiful!! I love the pattern! This will be a great update for my lamps. Thanks for the idea! It turned out beautiful!

  12. Libby says:

    I love Aimee’s blog as well. This is a great lampshade makeover and I love the fabric choice as well. I just found a lamp base on clearance for $0.70 and can’t wait to find the perfect shade to upcycle.

  13. Crystal says:

    I love this lamp shade!! It would look great in my living room! Thanks for the tutorial. It looks pretty easy to do. Need to guy some fabric now.

  14. Marjorie says:

    Lovely! Another idea to avoid the separation line in the pattern is to pick colors that aren’t at a great contrast, go with a solid color, or decorate at certain intervals (and over the line) with some sort of fabric line from top to bottom.

    Luckily, mine all face a back wall!

  15. Anonymous says:

    I change my décor fairly often and don’t even both with lamp shades because I’ve always felt shackled to the shade…no more! Thanks!

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