28 March 2012

How To: (Re)Cover A Lampshade

This How-To is so easy that I am embarrassed to even post it, but the results are fantastic and if you're looking for instant gratification, this is the project for you.  Start to finish it took me about 20 minutes and required less than a yard of fabric, scissors, spray adhesive and a hot glue gun. 

Please note that unless your lamp shade has absolutely no taper, the pattern will not show up perfectly straight and centered.  Because of this, I do not recommend using a stripe or any strongly repeated vertical pattern.  I chose a "no-no" fabric that I knew would not end up straight, but I liked it so much that I didn't care!  However, if my lampshade bothers you, I recommend using a very large scale print, most florals or, better yet, a solid for this project.


Step 1:  Lay the fabric out and iron it flat.

Step 2:  Lay the lampshade on it's side on top of the fabric, lining the original seam up with the edge of the new fabric.  On the fabric, mark about an inch from each end of the lampshade.

Step 3:  Roll the lamp shade across the fabric, continuing to mark on each side as you go. 

Step 4:  Cut along the lines you have marked.

Step 5:  Spray the fabric with spray adhesive a portion at a time.  Line the lamp up and lay it down on top of the fabric and begin to roll.  Spray more.  Roll more.  The spray adhesive is very forgiving so you can go back and adjust and work out kinks if there are any.  (It's best to put an old sheet down for this step to avoid getting spray adhesive everywhere) 

Step 6:  Flatten out all lumps and cut off any excess at the end, leaving enough to fold over for a clean edge.  Fold end over and glue down with a hot glue gun.  I like to carefully iron this edge before using the hot glue gun for a clean crisp edge.  If your shade is tapered, chances are, the pattern won't match up.  This part will go at the back of the lamp OR you can cover the seam with decorative ribbon or the like to lessen the unmatching pattern.



  1. A girl after my own heart...GREEN! I have many a lampshade to cover, and have just not had the inspiration to tackle the project, I even have the spray adhesive...consider myself inspired!

  2. Looks great! You have inspired me to try this myself. I could use a little freshening around here. ;)