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How to Makeover a Lamp Shade Using Fabric Tutorial

Do you have a lamp shade with a design you no longer love, but the size and shape of the lamp shade are still perfect for the lamp base? Simply recover the lamp shade using fabric and my How to Makeover a Lamp Shade Using Fabric Tutorial! Tastes and trends can change over time and buying a new lamp shade can be expensive, but a quick and inexpensive makeover simply using fabric to recover the lamp shade gives it a whole new look!

How to Makeover a Lamp Shade​ Using Fabric Tutorial

I have a vintage lamp in my bedroom that I love love love, but I no longer like the lamp shade​. The size and shape of the lamp shade​ work well with the lamp, but the color and design no longer work with the colors and design in my main bedroom, so I’m sharing an easy tutorial on How to Makeover a Lamp Shade​ Using Fabric! 



Several years ago in college, I recovered a lamp shade​ with fabric in order to make it match the rest of my tropical, tiki-themed room. I did NOT do a good job. Every time the light was turned on, you could see the crappy cut and paste job I did with the leftover fabric on the inside of the lamp shade​.

But, I learned my lesson! 


So, when I decided to give the lamp shade​ in my main bedroom a makeover using fabric, I knew I needed to cut and glue the fabric with precision in order to make it look professional. 

If you’re ready to learn how to makeover one of your lamp shade​s using fabric, let’s get started!

You’ll need a few materials:


Also, please be sure to use a face mask and work in a well-ventilated area when using super glue and spray adhesive. Be sure to read all of the manufacturer’s instructions and follow all directions and warnings. Wash hands thoroughly after handling.

Step-by-step tutorial:

1. First, if you’re recovering a tapered lamp shade, you’ll need to make a paper template. (If you’re recovering a drum lampshade with no tapered sides, you’ll just need the measurements and can use a ruler to make a template.) Trace the lamp shade onto the paper with a pencil to create your template. Start and end at the lamp shade’s original seam so you know where to start and stop.

2. Cut out the template and make sure it fits the lamp shade.

3. Next, trace the template onto the fabric. And then add an inch to both the top and bottom as well as two inches to the right side to give you enough fabric to make a seam.

4. Cut the fabric following along the outer dimensions with the extra 1-2″ added.

5. Attach the fabric to the lamp shade along the lampshade’s original seam using super glue.

6. Then spray the backside of the rest of the fabric with spray adhesive and begin attaching the fabric to the lamp shade, making sure to pull the fabric taut, ensuring there are no air pockets, and following along the top and bottom traced template lines so the fabric fits accurately when you get to the end.

7. When you get to the end, fold the edge of the fabric over twice (so no rough edge is showing) and glue it in place using super glue. 

8. Make cuts at the joints in the top of the lamp shade frame to allow the fabric to lay flat.

9. Using sharp scissors, trim the excess fabric from around the top and bottom of the lamp shade, trying to get as close to the wire frame inside. (To be honest, I cut mine a little too short, so make yours a bit longer than the photo below.)

10. Add super glue along the groove of where the wire meets the frame and using a craft stick or flat head screwdriver, tuck the fabric into the groove to give it a finished look.

11. Reattach your lamp shade to the lamp base, plug it in, and admire your beautiful lamp shade makeover! 

I absolutely love how it turned out! 

The pink of the original lamp shade and the busy design was just too garish for my current room. I had purchased the lamp shade almost 10 years prior when I was living alone and had an apartment full of bright pinks, teals, and purples.

Now, I’m married and living in my forever home and I like the luxe feel of the velvet and the jewel tone colors!

Just in case you’re curious, yes, the original lamp shade does bleed through the new purple velvet lamp shade when the lamp is turned ON, so if you’re recovering an old lamp shade with a bold design, be aware that this is likely to happen, even with a heavy, dark upholstery fabric like the purple velvet that I used.

Before I started the makeover, I tested to see if it was see-through, but decided that even though it does show through, I like it! It actually doesn’t bleed through as much as the photo below shows, it’s probably 50% of that in real life.

Will you try making over an old lamp shade using fabric? If you do, please share a photo of the finished lampshade with me!

Looking for other crafts? Check out some of my other DIYS!



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Elise Laney

Tuesday 3rd of December 2019

What a beautiful lamp! - The purple is so unique.


Wednesday 8th of January 2020

Isn't it gorgeous? So much better with the new lampshade!

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