Make this crafty shade and transform an old chandelier from bland to grand!

June 11, 2015

Tired chandelier dragging down your dining room? Don't retire it, reinvent it! Follow our step-by-step instructions to create a chic (and slightly cheeky) drum shade that will command any space with up-to-the-minute style.

What You Need

  • Salvaged or purchased chandelier
  • Spray paint (optional)
  • Tape measure
  • Corrugated plastic
  • Thumb tack, string, and pencil
  • Crafts knife
  • Rotary cutter (optional)
  • Sheer fabric
  • Fabric-covered weighted tape
  • Needle and thread
  • Round washer top lampshade wire ring
  • Crafts wire
  • Wire cutters


  • If desired, paint the chandelier, including the chain; let dry.

Cut a Plastic Disc

  • Measure the diameter of the chandelier and add 3 inches for the final diameter of the plastic disk.
  • To cut the corrugated plastic, secure one end of string at its center with a tack. Tie a pencil to the string, keeping one-half the final diameter of the disk between the tack and the pencil.
  • Draw a circle on the plastic with the pencil, keeping the string taut.
  • Remove the tack and cut on the line with a crafts knife or rotary cutter.
  • Cut a 4-inch-diameter circle opening at the center of the plastic disk with a crafts knife.

Cut Fabric

  1. Measure the circumference of the plastic disk; add 1 inch for the width of the fabric.
  2. Decide on a finished height of the shade; add 2 1/2 inches for the length of the fabric. (Our shade begins about 4 inches above the chandelier's small shades and is even with the bottom of the chandelier.)
  3. Use these measurements to cut a large rectangle of sheer fabric.

Sew the Shade

  • With the right sides facing, sew together the short edges of the sheer fabric, forming a tube.
  • Turn the tube right side out. Zigzag-stitch or overcast the top edge of the tube.
  • To form a drawstring channel, press under 1/2 inch and sew 3/8 inch from the pressed edge, leaving a small opening. Thread a length of string through the channel.
  • Press under 1/2 inch twice at the bottom edge of the tube for a hem. Insert the weighted tape inside the pressed hem and sew the hem in place, encasing the tape.

Assemble the Shade

  • Place the plastic disk inside the fabric cover near the drawstring channel. Pull the string ends, drawing up the fabric to cover 1 inch around the perimeter of the disc.
  • Tie the string and trim the excess.
  • Use a needle and thread to sew the fabric cover in place with basting stitches about 1/2 inch from the edge of the disk, sewing through the fabric and the disk.

Install the Shade and Fixture

  • Insert the electrical wires at the top of the chandelier through the round washer top wire ring.
  • Use crafts wire to secure the washer top wire to the bottom of the chandelier's chain.
  • Working from the inside of the fabric shade, thread the chain through the opening at the center of the plastic disk until the disk rests on the washer top wire ring.
  • Hang the chandelier.


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