Tutorial: Re Cover a lamp shade: Revamp your lamp!

This was my first project after moving into the house.  I started this a day or two after we got all our furniture delivered.  I couldn’t help myself. I had to… Forget unpacking, I needed to re-create something, like BAD.  So, my victim was this:

… a lamp shade with a great shape, but it didn’t match the decor in the room it was going…. enter: a great excuse for a DIY project and tutorial.  All in all I think this took me less than an hour to do.  Not bad.


Old lampshade that needs new life

Hot glue gun

New fabric to recover lamp shade with


*Note, if there is a better glue to use for this, I am all ears.  I needed something that was not flammable.  And you would be absolutely SHOCKED how many glue products are extremely flammable.  Not good when being mixed with a light bulb that could potentially become hot. Anyways, I can not comment on the longevity of using hot glue for the project because it’s only been about 2 weeks… but so far, so good!  Any other suggestions would be awesome!

STEP 1: DECONSTRUCT LAMP SHADE:  The first thing I did was to pull the existing fabric off of the shade.  I wanted to keep the shade lining as intact as possible, because I needed to reuse it for the lampshade structure, and because it would act as a non flammable barrier between the fabric and the light bulb. Discard old fabric.

For this step, I hot glued the metal top and bottom structures back to the plastic lining of the shade.  I used a generous bead of glue and held in place until dry.  I glued small sections at a time.  Don’t worry, this will not be the only thing holding the lamp shade together!

STEP 3: Measure the distance from the top to bottom of the lamp shade and add about 1/2 inch.  Measure the circumference of the shade and add about 2 or three inches.  This will allow you to fold under the edges where they will meet and overlap for a more finished look.

Now you will begin gluing the fabric to the shade.  You should have about a quarter of an inch of fabric on top and bottom hanging over the edge of the shade.  Run a bead of glue on the metal part of the frame and wrap the fabric around it… so now the fabric is completely covering the metal frame.  Continue until top and bottom are glued in this manner.

I don’t have a picture of this step, sorry… But here is a rough visual. You will need to create a seam where the fabric comes together vertically on the shade.  Just fold each side under, and overlap.  Run a bead of hot glue on the under side of the fabric to create a neat, straight seam where the fabric comes together… Does that make sense?

Once the fabric is all glued neatly around the metal frame and dry… I ran a bead of hot glue around the top and bottom of the lamp shade where the fabric met the white plastic liner….the best way I could think to describe this step is ‘caulk.’  It was as if I was caulking that space to ensure that the fabric was fully adhered to the frame as well as to give a finished look.  You can’t really see the bead of glue in the picture above… it wasn’t very thick.

Let dry and admire your newly covered lamp shade!  Waaa La… Not bad!

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2 Responses to Tutorial: Re Cover a lamp shade: Revamp your lamp!

  1. jenn king says:

    thanks, this is just what i needed! i just moved a few days ago too and i am eager to start some DIY projects!

  2. Pingback: Make: Modern Lamp Makeover | MyHeart4Him

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