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How to Recover a Lampshade

Knowing how to recover a lampshade is an invaluable skill to have as a DIY decorator. Instantly transform a dingy old shade into something custom and only spend a couple dollars. Beats buying an expensive new lamp any day.

Also, once you know you can revamp your lamps you'll also look at used, vintage and thrifted ones in a whole new way. In fact, combined with painting your lamp base, you can do a total makeover on your lighting within a very tight budget.

This method for lamp recovering is the quick and dirty way. It will last, look great and there is no sewing involved!

Materials Needed to Recover a Lampshade:

  1. lampshade
  2. fabric for covering
  3. glue gun & glue sticks
  4. scissors

Your lampshade can be dingy, dirty or just plain ugly, but it still has to be sturdy and not falling apart since all you are doing is adding a layer of fabric. When you choose fabric for covering keep in mind that very dark fabric will not let much light through. For best results, cover a light shade with a slightly darker fabric. When in doubt, hold up your fabric to the lamp to get an idea of how it may look before starting to glue. And by all means, make sure the fabric you choose is appropriate and does not ever touch or hang close to your lightbulb which would present a fire hazard.*

how to recover a lampshade recover a lampshade

I used a vintage (but very dirty) hanging drum shade that I wanted to cover for this example. The cotton house print fabric I used was my own fabric design that I had printed through Spoonflower. You start by hot gluing down one edge of your fabric, then wrap it around the shade.

recover lampshade recover a lampshade

Wrap tightly and fold the seam under where it overlaps and glue down. Finally, fold under the top and bottom edges (trim them so they are just one half inch or so) and glue all the way around.

recovered lamp recover a lamp

A fun, custom and creative lamp for my art studio!

By the way, I also covered this lamp below the same way for our bedroom. Another vintage drum shade that was badly stained. You can see how this one was also transformed with paint for a full makeover.

recover a lampshade recover a lampshade

Have fun learning to recover a lamp! Your light fixtures will thank you!

PS - This post links up with the DIY Project Parade at the DIY Show Off where you can see tons more DIY projects!

After all, it's your might as well love it!

*Disclaimer: All projects on this site are general how-to ideas and by no means do we cover instructions for every possible variation. Please proceed at your own risk. You are responsible for your own safety and outcome while decorating and doing projects inspired by this content.



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