Covering a Lampshade

So, I’ve done a lampshade covering tutorial before, but thought I’d throw it in here again, with my newest project underway. You’ve seen the yardsale lamps I found for the guestroom redo & I spied some fabric that I really wanted to use on these lamps, so that meant recovering my own. That also meant I sure didn’t want to pay much for lampshades that I was just going to recover. So, back to the junk store that I told you about last year..where I found 2 of these beauties for $1 each…just right for this budget. You can see they were in sad shape, but the price was right. The fabric on there was literally falling apart, so I went ahead and ripped it off.
And ended up with just the metal frame. Now, I’ve never covered a lamp with just the metal frame before, but I figured I’d wing it. Since my new fabric needed something to stick to, I pulled out some old white lining fabric I had laying around.
And pieced it together, hot gluing it at the top and bottom of the framing, overlapping it as I went around. I pulled it as tight as I could to get a taut framework for my new fabric.
I snipped off the extra fabric and turned it just under the top and bottom of the frame, pulling and gluing, pulling and gluing (man, does that hot glue hurt!).
It looked like this when I was finished. Nothing pretty about it, but it’s not going to stay like this.

Found this pretty zebra fabric at Hobby Lobby (30% off this week) and picked up 2 yards. Enough to recover the lampshades AND to cover that pretty little Big Lots bench too. I showed you how to make a pattern for your shade before, but here’s a refresher. This is just old wrapping paper that came out of a shopping bag that is pieced together. Lay your shade on it and pencil around the top & bottom (leaving about 1″ above and below) as you roll the shade across it, meeting at the back. This gives you a pattern to follow when you’re cutting out the fabric. I cut out 2 pieces for my shades. I wing things a lot and didn’t even pin this down, just held with one hand and cut with the other. I take shortcuts like that. Did I tell you I’m not a perfectionist. Well, I’m not. I missed a couple of pics, but next step is to spray the outside of the shade (on top of my white fabric) with spray adhesive. This stuff works great on a project like this. It keeps that fabric smooth and will help it lay down correctly. So above, I’ve already sprayed with adhesive spray and have started to smooth out the fabric. This part takes a little time, but you can pull the fabric back up and keep working with it until you smooth out the wrinkles. Work your way around until both pieces meet on the back of the shade.
covering a lampshade with fabric Then you’ll want to turn under one side and glue it down. I also take the iron and run over that seam to help it stay down. I used my glue gun to then pull and turn under the top and bottom edges just like the white fabric that I put on first. Pull and glue until you get it all tucked under the inside of the shade. You’ll have to trim it again with scissors. Doesn’t matter how neat the inside is anyway, that won’t be seen. I used a little fabric glue on the main seam but the glue gun would be fine too. I then added some simple ribbon from Hobby Lobby around the top and bottom of the shades with fabric glue and here it is….
covering a lampshade with fabric Two finished lamps for the guestroom redo. Total cost: $38 for both lamps. I’d say that’s pretty cost effective, wouldn’t you?
And they are custom lamps, one of a kind…even better! So don’t throw out those old lampshades. Look at them in a whole new light…get it?!

- Rhoda


  1. Way to go! I need to do that in my living room that I’m working on right now. Your inner liner was a smart idea!

  2. The Quintessential Magpie (Sheila) says:

    Rhoda, you are the queen! I love having this tutorial, and boy, did you do a good job, or what?! Now, will you please come back to Florida and help me with a pair of adorable little pink lamps I found for $4 each at a yardsale? Did I mention that, in addition to needing wonderful new shades, they need to be rewired??? πŸ˜‰

    Great job! Can’t wait to see them in the new room!



  3. The lamps look beautiful! You never fail to inspire me. Thanks for sharing your ideas.


  4. Mrs. Trixi says:

    Those are so unbelievably cute. Great job!!

  5. THAT is amazing! When I think of the old lamp shades I have thrown away, I think what a waste! I am saving your tutorial for future reference. Thanks so much.

  6. Great new look for the lamps…can’t wait to see this room finished!

  7. Diane@A Picture is Worth.... says:

    Hi Rhoda,
    You make it look so easy! Your project turned out great…I’m sure the lamps will look fabulous in the new bedroom!

  8. Great project – I love the zebra fabric.
    Thanks for showing us how the magic happened.

  9. Super job Rhoda, the lamps are beautiful! Can’t wait to see your next project!
    Carol :0)

  10. Sher's Creative Expressions says:

    Great job Rhoda. Bless your heart "pulling and gluing, pulling and gluing (man, does that hot glue hurt!)." Oh man does it. My friend told me to always keep a bowl of cold water with ice cubes in it next to me to "dunk" my hand/fingers for these ooppps times. I've certainly had my share.

    I'm working on my master bedroom redo too. It's taking a lot longer than I wanted since I hurt my back and ended up in the hospital. . . my hubby has been helping me (but that's driving me ~ this AAA personality, control type nuts.) He painted our bedroom (Khaki color) for me last weekend because I can't right now (of course, I do a better job ~ssshhhh~) He didn't paint the outlet covers, doesn't paint the wall up by the white ceiling as "perfect" as I do. . . but I won't say a word to him. He wasn't really happy about doing it for me in the first place ~ but since the room was torn apart he really had no choice since I couldn't πŸ™

    Anyways, I finished my sleigh bed, before getting hurt. It's in the room now and I'm loving it. I'll post pictures soon as I make additional progress. Driving me crazy. . . I want to hang up my new pictures and accessories and get started on drapes and here I lay ~ going to physical therapy now 3 x a week AAUUGGGHHH!!!

    Blessings & Hugs,


  11. Suzann @ Lavender and Roses says:

    Love it Love it Love it! I have just purchased a couple of very inexpensive lamps that I’m going to spray paint and now I know that I can recover the shades to make them amazing. Thanks!!!

  12. Morning girl….I love these ‘workshops’ you do for us!!!! You give us such inspiration to try things we never would have the courage to try! I love it! I have old lamp shades in the shed! lol Thanks for all the info girl…keep it up…have a great week!

  13. Something I’ve never done – and I will keep this in mind. How cool is that! Thanks for the great tutorial!

  14. Melissa Wertz says:

    Very chic!!! I love those lamps.

  15. the pleasures of homemaking says:

    That turned out really cute! I still have the tutorial I printed out from you the last time and one of these days I’m going to do it! You make it look so easy!


  16. Southerner says:

    …in a new light-LOL. I really like the fabric- what an animal you are, Rhoda! RRRR! This is where you weed out the people with A.D.D. I will have to try this one day. Or, I’ll drop off shades at your house.

  17. Looks really good! Love the zebra print. You have definitley been blessed with thte creativity gene!
    Have a great week,

  18. Wow, they look great! Amazing. Not that I wouldn’t expect it from you!

  19. Darlene - Our Creative Life says:

    I always wondered how to change fabric on a lampshade, thanks Roda for the tutorial! Lampshades look awesome!

  20. salmagundi says:

    Thanks for the tutorial! I have an old lampshade that really needs this treatment. I’m going to try it!!! Sally

  21. the undomesticated wife says:

    It looks awesome!

  22. I love the fabric you used on your lamp shade. I, too, like to cover lamp shades and I just did one yesterday. I should post a picture. I used some left over fabric from my shower curtain. I like to buy old lamps and refurbish and rewire them. Hubby calls me a lamp freak!

    Debbie in Florida

  23. Great tutorial!! I almost threw out two the other day!! Guess I know what I will be doing with them now!

  24. Ok. I have ALWAYS wondered how to do this. You’re awesome… this looks fantastic.

  25. Rhoda, I’ve been lurking on your blog for months (too chicken to comment because you’re so classy) and can I say I LOVE your tutorials?

    You do stuff I would never have thought of doing myself, and I never realized how easy it is to recover a lampshade until you showed us.

    Thank you so much for sharing your genius.

  26. Carolina Mama says:

    Wow, Those are gorgeous! I love seeing the stages b/c I might not comprehend it if I started out with just the first step. πŸ˜‰

  27. fabulous as always

  28. You make it look so easy! Thanks for sharing..Our lamp shades in our living room are starting to see some wear in them, and this would be great!

  29. I’ve never recovered a shade by doing the liner on the outside of the wire before. I’ve always done it on the inside to cover the wires. Have to give that a try.

  30. Inspired Kara says:

    I love the Zebra! It is so bold, but with the cream and black details it remains dainty. I love it.

  31. Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio says:

    I love recovering lampshades. Yours turned out wonderful. I love the zebra print and the pretty embellishment on the lamp itself.

  32. You are such a clever girl! I’ve been wanting to try my hand at lampshade recovering so I’m glad you gave the tutorial again. None of my lamps match my new bedroom stuff but I hate to buy new lamps…I’ll wait to find something “perfect” (i.e. free or cheap or secondhand if possible) and recover the shades if need be.

    Can you e-mail me where you found the lining for your bamboo shades in your bathroom? I think that’s the way I’m going for my bedroom windows but they let in too much light and not enough privacy. Were they hard to attach to the shade? Right now the old drapes are up and they just don’t work in there so I’m anxious to replace them with bamboo blinds…

    I’m having my yardsale this Sat. and I hope I make some $$. Got lots of stuff! Don’t you need anything?!?!?!?


  33. nikkicrumpet says:

    Thanks for the tutorial. It looks great in zebra!

  34. blessed mama says:

    The lampshades are totally adorable. I am obsessed with zebra print!

  35. Jules from "The Roost" says:

    Girl, You are TOO Good! That is beautiful. No longer will I discard a lamp because of the shade! Thanks so much!

  36. countrygirl3031 says:

    Hi Rhoda ~ I love it! It turned out awesome. I printed your tutorial, so that I know what I’m doing next time!

    Thanks for the help!


  37. Handmade Housewife... says:

    I’m so thrilled you did this!! I just ripped off some bias trim from my lampshades and it left an unsightly ridge that would totally be noticeable when recovered. Now I’m just going to do what you did and recover the entire wire form first. Way to go!


  38. fridayfleamarket says:

    This is really great! I have such a hard time covering lamp shades. Must have something to do with geometry =) Maybe I can figure it out now that you’ve given me visuals – lol! I found a really cute old one that I’m going to post about in the next day or two. Blessings… Polly

  39. Hi Ms. Rhoda.. I can't imagine what these lamps would cost in a shop now…bunches & bunches I'm sure. You really need to consider doing a book! I'd buy it! πŸ˜‰ Bo

  40. Rhoda,

    This looks great. I love the print on the shades. I actually been wanting a purse with that print, it’s so cute.

  41. Cottage Rose says:

    What a beautiful redo on the shades. I love the fabric, so chic. You made it look easy, which I am sure it is not. I would hot glue myself to the shade. ha ha But I just love them great job!!.


  42. Laura Ingalls Gunn says:

    This was a brilliant post. I am honored to place you in my “kindred spirits” section.

  43. Tres adorable! I love that fabric! And this post is very timely. I just broke a cheap plastic shade on a curb-shopped lamp. Thanks ever so for the hints

  44. Thank you so much for giving directions on how to do this Rhoda! I really want to try it, but I’ve been a bit chicken, so now I think I can πŸ˜‰


  45. Nice Job Rhoda. Not afraid of any old naked lampshade are you??? You did a fabulous job and I love the print. Thanks for sharing again how to take something that someone might deem useless and making it beautiful.

  46. How awesome! I just never would have thought of this. And I’m so glad you gave instructions so I could try it. Now I just need to run across some lampshades at the thrift store. πŸ™‚

  47. Rhoda! These lamps look fantastic! I’ve thrown so many yucky lampshades away never realizing I could recover them. You’re the best!!
    be a sweetie,
    Shelia πŸ˜‰

  48. That is wildly creative! I am so inspired by your know how. I have a lampshade I stripped down to the frame also, but I had my grandma make me a slipcover shade out of an old linen monogrammed pillowcase… turned out cute!


  49. Stacey @ The Blessed Nest says:

    I love the lamp re-do! Looks so fabulous for so little money! Way to go!! πŸ™‚


  50. Karen @ Arise and Shine says:

    You did it! Those lamps turned out so good, thanks for teaching us how to cover lampshade.

  51. Dora Renee' Wilkerson says:

    I love it! This is the first time I have been to your site but I’ll be back for sure.

    Great site!

    Dora Renee’ Wilkerson

  52. Beautiful lamps!! I think the fabric for the shade is perfect. I can’t wait to see the Big Lots bench when you are done.

  53. Good job, Rho! πŸ™‚

  54. Laura @ the shorehouse. says:

    Well, look at you!! Crafty goodness.

    I think you need to pick up a cool temp glue gun at your next Hobby Lobby outing. πŸ™‚ I still think I think I’ve still not quite regained full sensation in my finger tips from years of glue gun abuse!

  55. Wow, that is beautiful! I really love the fabric — it is so you!

  56. Magpie Interior Design says:

    Woowee. Looks amazing. I would never be able to do that!


  57. So THAT’S how it’s done!!! Awesome. I so enjoyed watching you do that—so you want to do two for me, too? πŸ™‚

    Good news about your and meeting blogger buddies!!! We don’t eat out much–because the cost just kills me and because both of us try really hard to watch our sodium intake–it’s really hard to do that when you eat out! BUT I do love to once in awhile. We eat very healthy (most of the time), so I am used to cooking a lot. I will say, it is not cheap cooking healthy–especially if you are watching carbs and fat and sodium.

    Basically, it was so much more fun to cook when I could make lots of creamy, pasta-filled casseroles!!! But, oh how I enjoy one once in awhile!!


  58. Years back you could find lamp shade frames in craft and fabric stores and now your lucky if you do. So the idea of reusing old lamb shades makes the best since. I have searched for months to find the right color and styles for my lamps.

    Thanks for showing us your recycled shade.


  59. tales from an O.C. cottage says:


    M ^..^

  60. I would not have thought to do that myself. I’m impressed. You actually made it look like even I could have done this.

    Wonderful job.

  61. You are so talented and I am so envious of your talent (wink)! I love visiting and seeing what projects you are working on and what is coming next.

  62. Our Complete Family says:

    Rhoda, they turned out great! I love that fun fabric you found! ~ Les

  63. Terrific tutorial! I need to do that to some of mine…there is a lamp in my middle son’s room that could benefit. It has seashells in the bottom, so a beachy fabric would be great.

    Keep a small bowl with ice water in it when using the glue gun…quick relief! And have some lavender salve or essential oil around too…it’s WONDERFUL

  64. Sweet Designs says:

    Great job Rhoda, now you have two unique lamps that no one else has, so it really makes it special for that reason alone, but the fact the you did it yourself, that even better. So crafty, you are!

  65. Love them- so adorable!

  66. You did a professional job with those shades. I love the fabric because I’m partial to animal prints. It coordinates so well with the base. Isn’t it amazing what you can do with a thrift store find? Great job, great price.

  67. Melissa Lewis - Off The Wall says:

    Oh, I so came over at just the right time. I have several lamp’s that need just a little oomph! Great post.

    I’m catching up on all my favorite blogs:) Glad to be back!

    Melissa – Off The Wall

  68. justabeachkat says:

    Wow…how darling they turned out! You go girl!


  69. Simply Dandy says:

    Omg!! I love those. They would be perfect in our master bedroom.


  70. Great job on the lampshades. I’ve been putting off a project like this for so long, I’m not telling. Maybe this will get me going. Hopefully!

  71. Melissa Wertz says:

    I think I have responded to this lamp redo before. But I will again! Good job!

  72. Rhoda, I have always wanted to try to cover a lampshade. You did a beautiful job. That is truly trash to treasure. Thanks for the instructions.


  73. Diane@A Picture is Worth.... says:

    Hi Rhoda,
    Thanks for linking to Trash to Treasure! It is now a treasure for sure. You have so much on your blog…I frequently revisit some of your posts. Love your index at the bottom.

  74. That turned out BEAUTIFULLY…and would look perfect in my daughters room!!

  75. Those look amazing. That is just talent!

  76. Well, I am just beside myself, this is soooo pretty. and you make it look easy which i know dern well won’t be but gonna try it anyway!! ;O)
    Did you use a stamp of some kind on the lamp? So pretty…
    you always just amaze me!!
    love, bj

  77. O frabjous day!

    I found you through a link on Eddie’s blog, and I am so pleased.

    I look forward to reading and seeing what you do.

  78. I stumbled upon your site and just love it! :0) This tutorial is great! I have some old lamps that I spray painted bright red but the shades are oh so ugly. I’ve never redone shades before and I was dreading it but now I’m totally inspired as your instructions made it seem like something I could tackle!

  79. Wonderful tutorial. But I had to tell you, I saw a cute little lampshade the other day in some catalog…they used a zebra fabric that had some spandex in it, then bit of elastic top and bottom, just a little taller than the lampshade would be. Talk about an easy fix. I am thinking about trying that for a temporary fix until I decide what I’ll do for design scheme in this room. I’d love a beachy theme like your guest room if I can figure out how.

  80. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for the informative information…I was searching the internet for step by step instructions as I am looking to do the same project. Your information was great and the pictures helped too. Wish me luck and I appreciate your time to share!
    Dawn W. Manhattan Beach, Ca

  81. virginia says:

    you and i are alot alike. i never measure anything. and it comes out right somehow. I like your ideas. Thanks V

  82. Deb Smith says:

    I absolutely love your blog and web site, you have done such and awesome job, and you inspire me alot, i have a whole basement of used furnature that i have bought here and there, when I read your blog you give me such great ideas , and just wanted to say thank you!
    Happy creating and blogging
    Deb Smith

  83. Thanks so much for sharing this project! I have had an old standing lamp in my living room for years. You can’t buy products like the one I have. For years, I’ve covered it with a large fashionable scarf. The lining is dry-rotted. Your tutorial is the first I’ve seen where you replace the lining. Now, I can do this!


  1. […] your lampshades with fabric, so I won’t go into those details. Β  (Southern Hospitality has a kickass tutorial here, Centsational Girl has one,Β  and YHL has one as well.) But I do have a few tips of my own to […]

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