31 Days Of Decorating With (Re) Purpose- Tutorial For Covering Old Lampshades


Lamps can go out of style yet still be functional. This one isn’t that bad, but after 10 years, it is drab.

It resides on our nightstand, and I wanted to create a softer look. There are lots of angles and I couldn’t afford to change out the whole lamp, so I bought a yard of fabric. This is soft, stretchy and flouncy. Perfect.

After attempting to figure out how to line up the rows of ruffles, it was time to call in my back up technician. My knight of a husband took pity on my weakness in math and figurin’ (I am a creative type, not logistical). Turns out, measuring is helpful. I like to act and then figure things out. Not with new fabric!  Measure the diameter of the top and bottom opening, and cut 1 inch larger than the dimensions.

For our project it was a large square, we needed to fold and tuck the top to match up the rows. Before doing that, the dangling jewels were removed. Starting from the bottom, we pinned the fabric to ensure a neat and consistent row as a guideline. Sorry, this is somewhat of a trial and error depending on your skill level. If I sewed I might do things more precisely, but I use the glue gun. It covers many, um, miscalculations.


Next, if you are using a pattern or fabric like ours with rows, clip the top onto the shade. This is important to line up before gluing. Allow an overlap of fabric on top, to be able to glue slightly inside the frame.


With the slight fabric overhang, glue the top just inside the frame. Remove the pins from the bottom and finish that up. You might not need continuous seams of hot glue, just dabs periodically.

When our lampshades had the fabric securely fastened, it was time to accent it. When we placed it in the room, it was still missing something. I decided to try adding a thin, sheer ribbon.

Then, if you’ll recall I love bling. A few gems were in order.


The finished product changes the look in a soft, romantic way. This project did take a little bit of figuring, but very little money. My husband surely saved me time by engineering the beginning stages. He deserves a shout out for all the times my grandiose projects stumped me. My imagination, his ordered mind to take me there. I love this man. Even more so for saying he liked these lamp makeovers, even when they are somewhat “feminine“.

The corner home where these lamps sit boasts minimal natural light and lots of hard architectural angles. These now lend a soft, updated look. With and without the light on.

In the meantime, go to The Nester and check out those other great 31 day participants.


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