How to Re-Cover a Lampshade

Updating an old lampshade is a great way to brighten up a corner, freshen up a room, and lighten up your life.


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You Will Need

  • A lamp with a non-pleated lampshade
  • A large sheet of newspaper or craft paper
  • A pencil
  • A pair of sharp scissors
  • Some pins
  • The fabric of your choice
  • Spray adhesive
  • Fabric glue
  • And some ribbon or cording
  • A hot glue gun
  • And some craft glue


  1. Step 1

    Remove lampshade

    Remove the lampshade from the lamp.

  2. Step 2

    Place on side

    Place the lampshade on its side on the large sheet of paper, lining up its seam with the left edge of the paper.

  3. If your shade is much wider at the bottom than the top, place the shade near the bottom of the paper's edge.

  4. Step 3

    Trace edges

    Trace the bottom and top edge of the shade with your pencil, slowly rolling the shade as you go, until you get back to the seam.

  5. Step 4

    Draw line

    Extend the two lines by an inch and draw a straight line between them.

  6. Step 5

    Cut out shape

    Cut out the shape you've drawn.

  7. If you want to crease your fabric under for finished edges, cut about a half inch outside the lines.

  8. Step 6

    Cut out fabric

    Pin this paper pattern to your new fabric, then carefully cut out the new lampshade cover from the fabric, tracing around the paper.

  9. Step 7

    Test adhesive

    On a leftover scrap of fabric, test your spray adhesive to make sure it won't cause discoloration or show through on the other side.

  10. Step 8

    Spray adhesive

    Spray the inside of your new fabric with the adhesive.

  11. You can try brushing on diluted fabric or craft glue instead of using spray adhesive.

  12. Step 9

    Place lampshade

    Carefully place the lampshade onto the now-sticky fabric, lining up the seam with a short edge.

  13. Step 10

    Apply cover

    Slowly roll the shade over the fabric a little bit at a time, smoothing the fabric out toward the edges as you go, until your new cover is in place.

  14. Step 11

    Trim fabric

    Trim away any bits of excess fabric that extend above or below the shade.

  15. If you cut your fabric generously, use fabric glue to tuck the edges and seam under.

  16. Step 12

    Allow seam to overlap

    Allow the seam to overlap itself by at least a quarter inch in case the fabric shrinks a little as it dries.

  17. Step 13

    Trim edges

    Trim the bottom and top edge with a ribbon, cord, or fringe, using fabric glue or a hot glue gun to secure it a bit at a time.

  18. Step 14

    Pin trim

    Pin the trim in place as you go so it dries in a straight, neat line.

  19. Step 15

    Return shade

    When the adhesive and glue have dried, return your shade to your lamp, and let your light shine.

  20. In 1977, Debby Boone became the third generation of Boones to top the charts with "You Light Up My Life."