Creative Ways to Reinvent a Lampshade

Give ordinary lampshades a lift with easy add-ons that take less than an hour.

Everything In This Slideshow

  • Wrap It with Ribbon

    Ribbon wrapped around a plain paper shade creates the look of pleated silk. To keep this project affordable, we hit the clearance bin and found four 8-yard ribbon spools for $2.45 each. Use fabric tape to secure a ribbon end (and subsequent ends) to the inside of the shade. Wind ribbon around the shade, overlapping more at the top than at the bottom if using a tapered shade.

  • Cover with Fabric

    Give a boring shade a makeover by covering it with pretty fabric. Cut a piece of fabric to fit around the shade, remembering to leave a little extra for the back seam. Spray the shade generously with heavy-duty spray glue and lay the fabric on the shade. Fold the back seam and secure with fabric glue. Complete the shade by gluing a coordinating trim or bias tape to the top and bottom edges.

  • Simple Shade Slipcover

    Try this no-fuss slipcover. Cut elastic to fit snugly around the top of a shade, and cut fabric to fit around the shade, allowing extra for hems. Hem bottom. Fold fabric top over; press. Place elastic on turned edge. Stretch and hold the elastic as you sew a zigzag stitch down the center. Sew fabric ends together.

  • Cover with Paper

    Give a drum shade a paper makeover. Trace the top and bottom of the shade by rolling it on wrapping paper, allowing extra to fold ends. Cut. Use cut paper as a pattern for a second piece if needed. Place paper on shade, aligning patterns. Fold ends, securing seams with double-sided tape. Glue ribbon on top and bottom.

  • Stick On to Spice Up

    This fabulous 10-minute embellishment is as easy as peel and stick. You can use just about any self-adhesive sticker, but we recommend these repositionable vinyl-coated die-cut ones from ($12 for two sheets) to decorate the outside or inside of a shade.

  • A hint of color and pattern is an eye-catching touch on the inside of a shade, especially for hanging lamps. Make a pattern by tracing the shape of your lampshade onto paper, allowing enough to overlap ends. Cut fabric using the pattern, coat the wrong side with spray adhesive, and carefully adhere the fabric to the inside of the shade. If you have difficulty controlling the fabric as you work, first back it with paper to stiffen it, then use adhesive to attach the paper side to the shade. Glue bias tape along the top and bottom edges to give the lining a finished look.

  • Lovely Doodle Designs

    To create this fun shade, start at the seam with a black opaque paint marker, draw evenly spaced vertical lines for different numbers and sizes of circles. Every fifth row draw a series of single circles; connect the circles with loose, squiggly lines. Then apply the lighter color paint first, let dry. Next, paint the darker circles.

  • Complete the Look with Fabric

    Dress up a shade with the help of fabric. Simply measure the height and diameter of the shade. Then cut your fabric accordingly, leaving about 2 inches on either side to fold and wrap inside the shade. Use spray adhesive to attach the fabric to the shade. To finish the look, add a border of ribbon around the edges.

  • Add Embellishments

    Add some class to a shade with premade embellishments, such as these flower rosettes. Simply hot-glue them to the shade.

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    A No-Sew Pleated Cover

    For a classic look, make this pleated shade cover with a patterned fabric and covered buttons.

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    Trim with Ribbon

    Perfect for any room in your house, this embellishment takes a plain shade from drab to fab.

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