DIY Fabric Lampshade Makeover

Transform an old or plain lampshade into a statement piece with this tutorial. We'll show you how to cover a lampshade frame with fabric strips in six simple steps. 

Fabric-Covered Lampshade

Update a plain lampshade into a custom accessory for any room. By simply using fabric and glue, you can quickly transform a lackluster lampshade into a pretty home accent—all in less than one hour.

The trick is to take some time picking out your fabric. You don't need to visit any specialty lampshade fabric suppliers, but you do need to think about the overall effect of a given fabric. A chevron style, for example, creates a fun, preppy accent piece, while a bright floral print exudes a casual elegance. Consider the look you're hoping to achieve as well as the style of your existing space when making the choice for your DIY lampshade.

  • Working Time 45 Minutes
  • Start to Finish 1 Hour
  • Difficulty         Select Projects Easy
  • Involves Cutting, Gluing, Measuring

What you need


  • Tape measure or ruler
  • Fabric marking pen
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Ironing board


  • Plain lampshade
  • Fabric remnant
  • Fabric Glue
  • Spray adhesive for fabric

How to do it

Step 1 Measure and Mark

Measure the circumference and height of the lampshade. Add 1 inch to the circumference and 3 inches to the length. Mark these dimensions on the fabric using a fabric marking pen.

Step 2 Cut Fabric

Cut fabric with scissors according to the measurements. Iron fabric to remove any wrinkles.

Step 3 Adhere Fabric

Lay fabric flat on a work surface, wrong side down. Fold over 1 inch on one of the short sides and adhere using fabric glue. This will be your finished seam on the lampshade.

Step 4 Spray Fabric

Spray the wrong side of the fabric with spray adhesive according to package directions. Work quickly so the adhesive doesn't dry. 

Step 5 Adhere to Shade

Place lampshade on fabric, starting at the unfinished short edge and centering the height. Wrap fabric around, smoothing out wrinkles as you go. End with the finished edge from Step 3.

Step 6 Fold Over

Fold remaining fabric over the inside top of the lampshade and adhere using fabric glue. Repeat for the bottom of the lampshade. Attach shade to desired lamp base, and enjoy your new custom lampshade!

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1 Comment

  1. what about a shade that flares?

    1. was thinking the same thing...