I have a lamp in my house that I just love. It is a great fit in the living room, has the perfect height, and provides plenty of light. The thing that I don’t love about my lamp is the shade; to be more specific, the inside of the shade. It is a white hard material prone to cracks. This lamp has lived all around the country from Washington DC to Montana to our home in Seattle. With all that moving it has a few battle scars to show it’s age. The cracks have always annoyed me, so I finally devised a plan to fix (well, hide) them.
After I developed the plan to cover the INSIDE of my lampshade I went to the fabric box and found a few pieces that could look good in my living room. Whenever I do a project with fabric I typically end up with extra and it goes into the fabric box. I eventually find a use for it and this project was one of those uses. Since I didn’t need a very large piece of fabric, I had quite a few options in the box. I brought them all into the living room and decided on a nice piece of patterned yellow fabric that coordinates with the other lampshades in my living room.
After covering the inside of the shade, I now have a lamp that looks custom, matches the rest of the house, and no longer shows the cracks that had come with age. Today, I will take you through the process so you too can turn your lampshade from tired to fabulous.
Project Length: 1 – 2 hours
Skill Level: Beginner/Intermediate
- Fabric – enough to cover the entire surface area of the inside of the lamp, plus a little more for folding under the edges.
- Hot glue gun
- Hot glue gun glue sticks
- Fabric scissors
- Ironing board
- Spray adhesive (optional)
- Sewing machine (optional)
Step One: Measure the inside of your lampshade. My lampshade was longer in diameter than the piece of fabric, so I needed to use two separate pieces of fabric. I planned to use two pieces of the same length so the seams (very visible when the lamp is turned on) are equally spaced on the lampshade.
Step Three: If you are using a sewing machine, attach the two pieces together with a side seam. If you don’t have a sewing machine, don’t worry. This step is optional. It will make it a little easier for you once you are attaching the fabric to the lampshade, but either way will work.
Step Four: Iron under the top and bottom (the two longest edges) of the fabric. You want these to be very similar in width. The thicker fabric (i.e. the folded over edge) on the lampshade will be darker than the single layer of fabric. If you keep the fold-widths similar your lampshade will look great.
Step Five: Start attaching. I just used hot glue, but if you wanted you could use spray adhesive here too and stick the fabric entirely to the lampshade. I will take you through the process I did, but know there are other options.
Beginning with the seam on the lampshade and the seam on your fabric (if you didn’t make a seam with the sewing machine follow step seven for a guide on how to properly fold over the edges) place a bead of hot glue down the seam on the lampshade. While the glue is still hot stick the seam of the fabric on the seam of the lampshade. I did this in three stages –hot glue, stick fabric, hot glue, stick fabric, hot glue, stick fabric – until the entire seam was attached.
Step Six: Once the seam is glued down start moving around the lamp. Place a bead of glue along the rim of the lampshade and adhere the fabric. After doing a couple lengths on the top of the shade switch to the bottom. You will want to rotate gluing between the top and bottom so the fabric stays straight on your shade. TIP: Don’t pull the fabric too tight, but instead keep it just where it is intended. If you pull it too tight, it will end up looking crooked or off-grain when you finish.
Step Seven: When you get close to the second seam on your fabric leave one to two inches to finish. After you bring the second side around you can glue the seam. Start by gluing the first piece of fabric the entire length of the seam. Then bring the second piece of fabric over the first and fold under the fabric along the length of the seam. Glue the entire length of the seam. TIP: Make sure you make this look nice, as you will be able to see the finished seam through the lampshade when the light is on.
Step Eight: Replace the shade on the lamp. Enjoy your refreshed addition in your room.
Do you have any lamps that need to be recovered?
Get to gluing! XO – Olivia