Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Recovering a Lampshade Tutorial

This is a project I've been meaning to share for awhile now, but haven't had the time to sit down and write up the tutorial.  I recovered my first lamp shade two years ago while decorating my daughter's nursery.  I found a great deal on a floor lamp at TJ Maxx, but the fabric on the shade did not match the decor in the nursery.  Out of necessity, I learned how EASY it is to customize a shade that will look like you bought it from a pricey designer store! 

I was in one of my favorite furniture stores last year with my mom and about fell on the floor when I saw a lampshade for sale for $150 (!!!!) that was covered in some Amy Butler fabric I had sitting in my sewing room!   I'm sorry for whoever bought that lamp!  You can create the exact same thing for under $20 (fabric included) if you know where to look for your shade. 

I've found the best places to find them cheap are at thrift stores like Goodwill or His House.  People toss out old lamp shades all of the time and you can find some really interesting  shapes that look like they've come straight from a designer magazine when recovered with the right fabric!  Ask around and see if any of your family or friends have extras sitting in their attic they no longer need or want.  If all else fails, Target sells a basic white square shade for around $6 that can clip onto any lamp base.

First lampshade I recovered for Anna Cate's nursery

This one was given to me by my friend's mom who bought a lamp from TJMaxx but didn't like the original fabric on the shade.  I love the unique shape of this one!

Let's Get Started!

 Materials Needed:
-Fabric of your Choice 
-No Sew Fabric Glue
-Heat N Bond Hem Tape
-Clothespins or Paper clips

Step 1:  Using a sheet of the newspaper, trace one of the sides of the shade to create a pattern.  Depending on how many sides your shade has (most have 4 or 6), use this paper pattern to cut out the correct number you will need from your fabric.

Now measure the length (top to bottom of shade) of one of the sides.  Cut appropriate number of strips you will need to cover the edges of your lamp.  I usually cut my strips about 1 1/4 inches wide, but you can make them wider if you so desire. 

You will also need a strip of fabric for the top and bottom circumference of the shade. 

Step 2:  Take each strip of fabric and lay it out flat.  Now cut a piece of the Heat N Bond Hem tape that is the same length as your strip of fabric.  Lay the hem tape down the center of the strip and iron in both sides so that they meet.  As you iron, the hem tape will glue the fabric together to form a finished edging for the lamp.  Repeat this step until all of your strips have been ironed together. 

Step 3:  Now take your fabric glue and apply around all 4 edges of one of the sides of the lamp.  Carefully place one of your pre-cut fabric pieces over the face of the shade and smooth to make sure there are no wrinkles.   Repeat for all sides of the lamp.  (*Please note that I do not spread glue over the entire side of the shade.  Just glueing the edges will hold the fabric secure, making it easy to take apart if you ever wish to recover the shade in the future).

Step 4:  Now take the fabric strips you just ironed and glue them to each corner of the shade.  This strip of fabric should cover over the seams where your fabric is glued to give it a finished edge.  

Step 5:  Almost finished!  All you have to do now is glue the strips of fabric around the top and bottom of the lamp to completely finish off all of the raw edges.  I usually will fasten paper clips to the edges while the glue dries to ensure that it is securely fastened to the shade. 

Step 6: Now enjoy using your new lampshade! :) 


michellejohnnie said...

Great Tute! I have a lampshade I want to recover and now i know how to do it!!! I linked at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com.

KatyO! said...

great tutorial! This is exactly what I was looking for

Summer {Bisfor...} said...

thank you for this! i have a round shade that i won't need sides for. gonna order the glue online now!

maureencracknell said...

Thank you for this tutorial. I found you through a google search and found this very helpful. I plan on recovering a stained lampshade and will probably share that on my blog -- I'll be sure to link to you for this tutorial. Thanks again!

: )Maureen

Patrick said...

This is now the Tutorial of the Day on my blog, The Crafty Artisan. I have posted a photo and a link to send my readers to your web site.

Happy Crafting!


Anonymous said...

I've been half-thinking of recovering a lamp as part of a bedroom set. Having read your tutorial I'm feeling all inspired and can't wait to get started. Thanks!

Jen Migonis said...

This is a great tutorial! I just found you from a google search for a lamp shade tutorial. Jen at www.migonishome.com

Jamie Cline said...

I found your tutorial today and made a lampshade! I'm excited to do a couple more soon.

Premier Lampshades said...

Its nice to see that you have taken your time to share your lampshade recovering skills with everyone and wow what an excellet job you did with it. We have also just posted a blog on how to restore an old vintage lampshade. You can see it here at www.premierlampshades.co.uk then click on to our news blog. I think you might find it very interesting.

Virginia Allain said...

This was just what I was looking for. I'm linking this into my page on Squidoo about Sea Coral Lamps and Shades. I wanted to have covering a lampshade in coral designed fabric as one of the options.

Anonymous said...

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