How To: Recover a LampshadeAT Washington DC

How To: Recover a LampshadeAT Washington DC

Maxwell Ryan
May 23, 2008

Looking for a simple project to spice up your Memorial Day weekend? Consider recovering a worn out lampshade to give your room a custom look. Though this post is all about recovering a lampshade using fabric, you can follow the same steps to recover using your favorite decorative paper or wallpaper...

If you can trace, cut, and glue, you can recover a lampshade. For this simple project you will need:

  • Lampshade (to use as a template)
  • Paper (butcher or craft paper works best)
  • Pencil/Pen/Marker (for tracing)
  • Fabric and decorative trim or ribbon (select something fabulous)
  • Scissors (fabric shears work best)
  • Spray adhesive
  • Glue (or a glue gun)
  1. Lay your paper out on a flat surface and place the lampshade on top to trace. Matching up the seam on your shade with the edge of the paper is the best way to start; if the bottom of your shade is much wider than the top, make sure that the bottom edge of the shade is at the bottom edge of the paper. Roll the shade across the paper slowly while tracing the top edge with your pencil. Remember that the shade will create a curved line as it rolls. Stop when you get to the seam again.
  2. Match up your lamp shade seam and paper edge again, and repeat the tracing on the bottom edge this time. At the end, use a straight edge to connect the two curving lines.
  3. Trim the pattern. Spray with adhesive and lay out on your fabulous fabric. Cut out the pattern, leaving at least a ¼ inch seam allowance at the end. Pull off your paper pattern and let the adhesive dry completely. Turn under the ¼ inch seam allowance and use your iron to press it flat.
  4. Spray the reverse of the fabric with adhesive. Line up the edge of the fabric with the seam of the shade and start to attach it. Work slowly, stretching and pressing as you go to prevent bubbles or wrinkles. End by covering the raw edge with the ironed edge.
  5. Measure the circumference of the top and bottom edges of the shades. Cut out trim, adding a ½ inch seam allowance. Attach with a glue gun, turning under the edges for a finished look (and to avoid fraying).
  6. Attach shade and lamp and admire. Post pictures to internet so the world can admire. Be proud of your new personalized lampshade.

>> If you are a more visual learner, check out this excellent video on Howcast that walks you through this simple project.

>> If your lampshade is not a simple drum shade, but rather more detailed like the one pictured up top, ginamstudio's excellent tutorial on Flickr can help you recover it with style.

- Colleen Quinn

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