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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.


  • Step 1: Remove lampshade Remove the lampshade from the lamp.
  • 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.
  • TIP: If your shade is much wider at the bottom than the top, place the shade near the bottom of the paper's edge.
  • 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.
  • Step 4: Draw line Extend the two lines by an inch and draw a straight line between them.
  • Step 5: Cut out shape Cut out the shape you've drawn.
  • TIP: If you want to crease your fabric under for finished edges, cut about a half inch outside the lines.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Step 8: Spray adhesive Spray the inside of your new fabric with the adhesive.
  • TIP: You can try brushing on diluted fabric or craft glue instead of using spray adhesive.
  • Step 9: Place lampshade Carefully place the lampshade onto the now-sticky fabric, lining up the seam with a short edge.
  • 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.
  • Step 11: Trim fabric Trim away any bits of excess fabric that extend above or below the shade.
  • TIP: If you cut your fabric generously, use fabric glue to tuck the edges and seam under.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Step 14: Pin trim Pin the trim in place as you go so it dries in a straight, neat line.
  • Step 15: Return shade When the adhesive and glue have dried, return your shade to your lamp, and let your light shine.
  • FACT: In 1977, Debby Boone became the third generation of Boones to top the charts with "You Light Up My Life."

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

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