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Quick-Change Lamps

Tired of that plain lampshade? Add a touch of personality with these quick and easy ideas.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Wicker Lamp Base

      A wicker vase becomes almost unrecognizable when used as a lamp base. Paint the vase, then turn it upside down. Drill a hole through the bottom to fit a lamp kit. Follow the kit's instructions to wire the lamp. Top with a shade.

    • Tea Towel Shade

      A pretty tea towel adds beauty to a simple vertical shade. Wrap the towel around the shade. Cut off excess length and width, keeping two finished edges. Apply spray adhesive to the wrong side of the towel. Carefully wrap the fabric around the shade. Smooth out air bubbles by hand. Overlap the raw edge with the finished edge and adhere it with hot glue.

    • Surprise Lining

      A surprise paper lining is perfect for a contemporary lamp. It looks great when the lamp is off and even better when the lamp is on! Cut decorative paper to fit inside the shade. Attach it with double-stick tape.

    • Self-Adhesive Shades

      Use leftover wallpaper and/or decorative paper scraps to cover self-adhesive shades. Remove the existing shade paper. Using the paper you removed as your pattern, place it on the desired paper and trace around it. Cut it out and adhere to the shade.

    • Felt Details

      Add life to a dull shade by adhering sticky-back felt details available in crafts and scrapbooking stores. To create a scattered look, start with larger embellishments at the bottom, and mix smaller stickers into the spaces.

    • Ribbon Stripes and Beaded Trim

      Create a glamorous lampshade by gluing or pinning ribbon lengths around the shade. For a little extra pizzazz, glue beaded trim around the bottom of the shade so it will glisten when the light is on.

    • Modern Chic Lampshade

      Dressing up a plain-Jane lampshade is simple with screen-printing tools and paint. Add a chandelier with bling or try one of many other designs from Plaid's Simply Screen website.

    • Flower-Border Lamp

      Transform any lampshade, photo frame, or mirror in seconds with stick-on dimensional flowers. Edge a shade with garden blossoms in summery colors. (You can pull them off if your room scheme changes.)

    • Vintage Lampshade

      Dress a lampshade in colorful ribbons and a pretty scalloped border salvaged from a vintage handkerchief. Just glue the pieces to the shade rim, overlapping the edges and cut ends.

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      Amy Butler Inspired Lampshade

      Adorn a lampshade with custom-made paper cutouts. Spray-paint the shade your desired color and set aside to dry. Cut a motif from fabric, and enlarge it on a copier. Make several copies on two colors of paper. Cut each into several pieces. Reassemble, mixing and matching colors for a two-tone design and eliminating some sections so the lampshade will be exposed. Tape the designs to the shade to determine the spacing. Let motifs run off some of the shade's edges. Adhere the motifs using spray adhesive. Trim the top and bottom rims with ribbon for a smooth finish.

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      Yo-Yo Lampshade

      Make colorful fabric yo-yos to embellish the edge of a lampshade. For the layered look, make yo-yos in two sizes and stitch the smaller ones atop the larger ones. Glue the layered yo-yos to the bottom of the shade and glue ribbon around the shade's edge.

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      Wallpaper Covered Shade

      Cover a shade with wallpaper for a soft glow whenever the lamp is on. Roll the lampshade along the wallpaper, tracing both edges. Add 1/2 inch to each wallpaper edge, cut out, and use spray adhesive to attach it to the shade. Snip the excess paper at even intervals to ease along the curves, fold to the inside of the shade at the top and bottom, and adhere.

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      Dancing Flowers Lampshade

      Attach flowers to the surface of a plain paper lampshade with color-coordinated brads. Poke the brads through the flower center, then through the paper shade, securing them on the inside.

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      Fabric Covered Lampshade

      This lamp update began with a coat of paint on the base. A strip of ribbon then was added to the base. A hemmed fabric rectangle was wrapped around the shade and secured with hook-and-loop tape sewn to the overlapping edges. So you can quickly change the look of your lamp, make several lampshade slipcovers out of various fabrics.

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      Beaded Trim Lampshade

      Strips of beaded trim were attached with fabric glue to give this lampshade new life. The trim can be removed for a redesign.

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      Stencil-Worthy Shade

      Stencils work for most any surface, including a lampshade. Adhere a stencil around the base of a lampshade. Using a dabbing technique, paint in the preferred color. We love the intricacy of this paisley pattern.

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      Multicolor Metallic Ribbon Stripes

      Add a metallic sheen to a shade with satin ribbon. Vary the widths and colors for bolder appeal. Secure the bands with double-stick tape. For an added surprise, rub a gold metallic paste to the inside of the shade with a soft cloth.

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      Fabric Addition

      For a tactile lampshade, add fabric. Cut the fabric to the size of a plain shade and attach with spray adhesive. Glue trim along the inside of the shade.

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      Diamond Textured Lampshade

      Give a plain lampshade new life with an allover textured diamond pattern.

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      Ribbon and Shank Button Lampshade

      Sheer ribbons and shank buttons are perfect additions to a dull lampshade. Hot-glue the ends of thin opaque ribbon lengths to the inside of a lampshade. Hot-glue one end of wide sheer ribbon to the top of the shade. Slide a button shank up to the middle of each length of ribbon; fan out the bottom of the ribbon before gluing it in place.

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      Sewing Embellishments

      Scour crafts and sewing rooms for embellishments and extra sewing patterns that can enhance a lampshade. Using spray adhesive, attach patterns to a shade in a random or orderly pattern. Trim excess paper. Adhere rickrack to the top and bottom edges of the shade.

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      Pretty Jeweled Lampshade

      Hang jewels along the bottom of a lamphade to catch the light of your lamp. Add crisscross ribbons reminiscent of a memo board.

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      Patched Lampshade

      This lampshade covered in patches is perfect for a boy's room or cabin. Collect a variety of patches, and attach them to the shade using spray adhesive. Punch holes approximately 1 inch apart at both the top and bottom of the shade and run leather cording through the holes and around the shade.

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      Scrapbook Supply Lampshade

      Use peel-and-stick flowers to jazz up the bottom of a white drum shade. Look for these items in the scrapbooking section of a crafts store.

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      Next Slideshow 13 Beautiful Bookcase Makeovers

      13 Beautiful Bookcase Makeovers

      Transform the boring bookcase or armoire that has been hiding in your basement for years into a fresh find perfect for any room of your house.
      Begin Slideshow »



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