Monday, January 25, 2010

Fabric covered Lampshade Makeover

I have a new obsession, it's called the drum shade. So I have this super fabulous lamp. My parents bought it for my birthday. I thought it would look great on the distressed buffet that Brooks painted for me for my birthday. The problem is, the modern style of the lamp didn't jive with the distressed look of the buffet. As a matter of fact, I couldn't get comfortable with making the buffet fit into the rest of the room either. So, I stretched my boundaries a little bit and sought some professional help. I saw a post by hugely talented photo stylist, Annette Joseph. She was offering help to readers of her blog. She requested that you send in a photo of the troubled area and she would offer her suggestions. I totally took her up on her free PROFESSIONAL advice. Here is a link to the blog post and her advice.

So, she said I needed a new lamp or lampshade. I couldn't agree more, but since I really loved the one I had I went out in search of a new shade. I looked in multiple stores, and everywhere I could think of on line. I couldn't find anything remotely close to what she suggested. So, I got the idea that I would cover the one I had. I found a couple of on line articles about the subject. I kind of merged their advice and came up with my own take on how to cover a lampshade. So here goes.

Step one. Enlist the help of someone way more artsy and crafty than yourself. I screw up every project I set out to complete and Brooks always has to rescue me. I got smart on this one and enlisted his help at the start.

Step two. Choose a light weight fabric that will let the light shine through. I chose a light weight loosely woven burlap type material.

Step three. Oddly enough our lampshade had a top on it. Cut a piece of fabric to fit the top. Glue it with fabric glue.

Step four. Cut the fabric all in one continuous piece to fit around the shade. Use fabric glue and glue around the top and bottom rim. Roll and press fabric around the shade. Do not use hot glue for this because you will be able to see the beads when the light shines through.

Step five. Let the glue dry and then trim the top and bottom with grosgrain ribbon. Let dry.

Step six. Since our shade had the weird top I felt like it needed more trim. I found some upholstery strip tacks in the garage left over from a previous project. I used hot glue on these since I didn't think fabric glue would hold. Here I am using a sophisticated piece of equipment to put a little pressure on the tacks to make sure they adhere to the lampshade.

That's it. Project complete. Next, Annette had recommended that I set up a tray of glasses and stuff to make it look like a bar. So, I had a few bottles of Pellegrino that I put on a tray with a few wine glasses. I was pretty excited about how it turned out. Thanks so much Annette for the great advice. I am thinking about having Brooks stencil something on the front of the lampshade like this:

What do you guys think? Too much? Overkill? I'd love to have some input.


  1. Not too much! It'd be adorable! I love that painted buffet. I sold one just like it (unpainted) at a garage sale last year. Wish I had kept it!

  2. Thanks Jennifer. I think I will definitely have him stencil it. It's funny, we displayed this at the home show and people either said, "I have one just like it. We should paint it", or "I can not believe you painted that". I'm with you. Everything needs a little paint! Thanks!


  3. I love what you did to the buffet, looks great, and it is really hard to cover a lampshade, I have done it many times, so bravo on that. I like the stencil idea, I think it might offer interest and tie it into the style of the buffet as well. Thanks for including me on your blog, enjoy your buffet and throw a party. Ciao!!
    oh and I hope your are a fan on Facebook you can see what super exciting project I am working on the next few weeks:) ajphotostylist on FB

  4. thanks for sharing your solution Dana. Where did you purchase the burlap?

  5. Annette, thanks so much for all your great advice! Marilyn, I got the fabric at Hobby Lobby for $2.99 a yd. What a steal!

  6. Amazing what a little fabric can do to a bland lamp. LOVE IT! Thanks for sharing. By the way, one of similar articles, in which this info is given from the other point of view, I have found at one search engine. When you deal with different opinions, you start understanding everything better.