How To Make a DIY Drum Shade

Apartment Therapy Design Evenings

At last night's Apartment Therapy Design Evening, we heard from a couple of readers who presented their original DIY projects in front of a sold-out crowd. For this DIY, Isabelle LaRue of Engineer Your Space explains how to make a custom shade to spiff up a less-than-exciting ceiling fixture. Renting doesn't mean you have to live with boring ceiling light fixtures. Instead, you can camouflage them with a DIY drum shade! Find more of Isabelle's DIYs for renters at her website, Engineer Your Space.

What You Need

For the shade:
• Embroidery hoops (2)
• Poster board
• Wallpaper or fabric
• Ribbon
• Glue and sealer
• Eye screws (3)

For the diffuser:
• Flexible chopping mat or fluorescent lighting panel
• Sheer white fabric
• Sealer (Mod Podge)

Step By Step Instructions

Making the Shade:

Pin it button
1. Cut the poster board to size and glue to embroidery hoops.

From Isabelle: The diameter and overall size of the shade should be large enough to leave sufficient clearance around the existing fixture to allow the air to circulate and the heat to dissipate. Incandescent lighting should be avoided.

Pin it button
2. After the rings are in place, glue the seam in the poster board.
Pin it button
3. Glue wallpaper or fabric to poster board.
Pin it button
4. Add finishing touches (ribbon around the top, etc).
Pin it button
5. If you choose, you can add some kind of finish (paint, stain, or rub n' buff) to the bottom rim.

Making the Diffuser:

Pin it button
1. Cut the light panel according to the instructions above.
Pin it button
2. Add fabric to diffuser panel with Mod Podge.
Pin it button
3. Trim fabric and place diffuser panel inside shade.

Ceiling Installation:

Pin it button
1. Add 3 evenly spaced eye screws to the inside of the top embroidery hoop.
Pin it button
2. Remove the existing fixture cover.
Pin it button
3. Use hooks to attach drum shade to the holes in the existing fixture.
Pin it button
For more info, check out this video tutorial and resource guide from Isabelle's site that will take you through the project step-by-step. The possibilities are endless!

Thanks, Isabelle!

(Images: Isabelle Larue)