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9 Ways to Revamp Plain Lamps

Brighten boring lampshades and bases with stickers, paper, paint, ribbon, and thread. These creative ideas add personality to any room!


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Paper Mosaic

      Get the look of broken tile without the mess and fuss of traditional mosaic. Cut irregular squares and rectangles from patterned paper, fit the pieces together on the base, and adhere them with decoupage medium.

    • Dimensional Stickers

      For a quick and cheap lamp base design that really shines, apply dimensional stickers. Position a trio of flower stickers on the base and create stems with adhesive gems. Coat the base in a clear adhesive to keep the stickers in place.

    • Flower Mask

      Use a mask to create stylish flowers on a lamp base. Made of flexible plastic, a mask is opposite of a stencil and is easily applied to the base. Attach the mask to the lamp, then spray-paint the entire base. Remove the mask, immediately after spraying, to reveal the graphic design.

    • Computer-Printed Letters

      Straight-cut letters adhered to a curved lampshade create a playful design that is ideal for a child's room.

    • Adhesive-Backed Paper Letters

      Make decorating a lampshade quick and easy by using a computer to print letters onto adhesive-backed paper. Cut out the letters and adhere them along the bottom of the shade.

    • Colorful Chain-Stitched Swirls

      Make lampshade stitching pop by choosing contrasting and complementary colors. Here, bright orange and subdued purple swirls enhance blue swirls.

    • Stylish Color Schemes

      Chain-stitched swirls in orange, blue, and lavender add a whimsical punch of color to a plain white lampshade. Lightly draw swirls on the shade with a pencil, then use an awl to carefully punch holes approximately 1/4 inch apart along the lines. Use embroidery floss to chain-stitch through the holes.

    • Decorative Paper Overlay

      After adhering patterned paper to a lampshade, add grosgrain ribbon to the top and bottom edges. Keep the ribbon in place with small stitches or clear double-sided tape.

    • Subtle Ribbon Embellishments

      Use a large sheet of decorative paper to make a pretty overlay for a plain lampshade. Roll the shade on the back of the paper sheet and trace along the edges. Cut out the pattern 1 inch outside the traced lines. Apply spray adhesive to secure the paper to the shade, wrapping the extra paper over the top and bottom edges.

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      Garden-Style Lampshade

      Paper flowers found in the scrapbooking aisle of a crafts store give this shade garden appeal. Pick flowers in a unifying color scheme and hot-glue the arrangement to the sides of the shade.

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      Simple Brad Accents

      Before adhering paper flowers to a lampshade, poke a hole in the center of each one and add a colorful brad. Brads in contrasting colors make flower centers stand out and are a quick and easy design enhancement.

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      Playful Zigzag Ribbon

      Add pizzazz to a bland lampshade with fun zigzag ribbon stripes. Cut two ribbon lengths for each zigzag and wrap the ends around the shade edges, hot-gluing them in place.

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      Ribbon Placement Made Easy

      Determine the placement of each ribbon zigzag by measuring the circumference of the shade and dividing it by the number of desired motifs. The end product will be perfectly placed ribbon accents.

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      Laser-Cut Felt Wrap

      Add personality to a ho-hum lampshade with laser-cut felt ribbon available by the roll. Simply measure the circumference of your shade, cut the felt to length, remove the paper backing, and stick in place.

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      Wrapped Ribbon

      Found an ideal ribbon design but it's not the right width? No problem. Trim or stack ribbon to suit your lampshade needs.

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      Next Slideshow 11 Picture-Perfect Ways to Hack a Cheap White Frame

      11 Picture-Perfect Ways to Hack a Cheap White Frame

      Make simple tweaks to a standard frame and mat, add on-point art, and achieve a look that's better than basic.
      Begin Slideshow »



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