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DIY: Chandelier Shades & Covers

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How to make inexpensive chandelier shades and covers using decorative paper or fabric to change the look of your chandelier on a whim or seasonally.


How To Make Chandelier Shade Covers with Scrapbook Paper

Looking at the chandelier shade covers I made all lined up like this reminds me of the chandelier shade pages in the Ballard Designs catalog.

Ballard Designs is the best place to buy small sized shades as they have a very wide selection of patterns, style and colors. They are quite expensive though.

Chandelier Shade Covers Tutorial
My DIY Chandelier Shades

If you want to have pretty shades for your chandelier on a budget, then read on.

Thrift Store finds - Chandelier Shades

While thrift store shopping over the summer I found these 6 brand new cloth shades for .99 cents a piece. I didn’t like the color but I knew I could cover them with scrapbook paper.

You may not be able to come across the same deal I did, but here is are affordable sets of shades that cost about the same as one from Ballard Designs.

How to Make Inexpensive Chandelier Shade Covers

The right lighting can take a room from dull to brilliant. And the right shade can change the mood in an instant.

You can make these shade covers on a larger scale by using gift wrap or wallpaper in place of the scrapbook paper that I used to make my shade covers.

Materials needed to make Scrapaper Chandy Shade Covers

supplies needed:

  • Chandelier shades
  • Poster board
  • 12″ x 12″ piece of scrapbook paper – I used both regular with paper and card stock
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Tacky glue
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Clear tape
  • Optional:
    • Beaded Crystals
    • Jewelry making end pins or Beaded end straight pins

Optional: How to Make the Beaded Base for the Shades

When making a beaded shade: The poster board base acts as a buffer between the actual shade and the scrapbook paper covers.  If you don’t want to add beads you don’t really need this base.

  • The other reason you may want to make a base is that it stops the light from shining through the paper and changing the way the color of the paper looks when the light is on.
How to make a Chandelier Cover with Scrapbook

1.  Lay poster board on work surface and roll shade to make a pattern.  Use a pencil to draw the lines. I used a marker to demonstrate, but you don’t want any dark marks showing through the shade when the light is on.  Cut out and use this as your template to make  your shade covers.

DIY Decorating Ideas for Chandeliers

2.  Thread a pin through each crystal bead. I used 8 per shade and spaced them 2″ a part. I marked these increments on my template so I could easily mark the rest of the covers.

How to make a chandelier shade cover

3.  Use brand name tape or a high quality tape to tape each crystal/pin to the back side of the poster board base cover.  Inexpensive tape doesn’t hold very well.   Make sure each pin is secure by rubbing over the tape with your fingers.

How to cover chandelier shades

4.  For extra holding power.  Tape bottom half of pin down.  Bend top part of pin over taped down section and add another piece of tape. This will keep the pins from slipping out over time.  (Sorry I don’t have a photo of this. Will add one soon.)

How to make chandelier shades

5. Turn over. It should look like this.

How to make shades for a chandelier

6. Wrap around the shade and use Tacky Glue to secure the ends to form a shade cover.  This will be the base for scrapbook paper covers that can easily be changed out on a whim.

Hows to make chandelier shade covers out of Scrapbook paper

The poster board bases covering the shades. 

How to Make the Scrapbook Paper Shade Covers

The shade covers are made the same way you made the poster board base.

How to make a paper chandelier shade cover

1. Place the template right side up on the scrapbook paper.   Trace around the template and cut out.

How to make a shade for a chandelier

2.  Use Tacky Glue to glue down the edges around the shade.

DIY Decorating Ideas - Chandelier Shade Covers

3.  This glitter scrapbook paper is card stock. To make sure it dries flat use a Popsicle stick as a splint to hold the seam down along with clothespins until the glue dries.  Once dried, carefully remove splint and clothespins.

Scrapbook Paper Chandelier Shades

Place the cover over the poster board and bead base.  These are the ones I plan to use at Christmas.

Changeable Chandelier Shade covers

How to glue seams on lamp shades

I used regular weight scrapbook paper for the animal print shades.   These are much easier to make than the glitter card stock as the paper is thinner and wraps around the shade easily.

Use clothespins to hold seam down while glue dries

I did not need to add a splint to hold it down. I just ran my finger over the seam to make sure it was flat.

A whole new decorative look for only a few dollars.

Chandelier Shade Covers Animal Print

How to make Scrapbook Paper Chandelier shades

Chandelier Shade covers made from Decorative paper

Pink Damask Scrapbook Paper Chandelier Shade Covers

Another new look that only costs as much as the scrapbook paper.  This paper would look perfect on a nursery chandelier.

Scrapbook Papers

The possibilities for colorful or patterned chandelier shade covers are endless.  You can deck out any chandelier shade for a birthday party, the holidays, or seasonally.

The best papers to use should have an overall pattern.  Stripes don’t work as well because of the curve of the shade.

 Lamp Shade Covers that can be easily changed

When the shades are not in use, they stack nicely for easy storage.

Related Post You Might Like: How-To Make a Chandelier Chain Cover

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69 Comments

  1. What is the clear cover that covers the shade under the material or deco before covering? Mine are so old they are all cracked woul like to make my own coverings but would like to purchase this covering before covering them.

    1. Hi Carol – I am not sure what clear cover you are asking about on the chandelier shade covers. Can you give me more details so I know for sure what part you are asking about? Thanks

  2. I would like to make a chandelier shade of clear or tinted plastic(guess that’s the correct product). I want them to
    be transparent. Any thoughts?

    1. Hi Sharon – I am not sure what you could use besides acetate sheets that you can buy at the office supply store. I will have to think on it a bit more.

  3. Was just looking for leopard lampshades for a chandelier I have for my granddaughter to be. I stumbled onto to this. THANK YOU ….GREAT IDEA…will start it this week! They will be doing her room in leopard/pink theme. It will look beautiful and I love a project!

  4. Just stumbed across this and am thrilled to make these. Question about the glue: is there a reason to choose tacky glue over hot glue or some other type? I’m not very crafty, and am envisioning a glue disaster ahead. How long does the tacky glue take to dry? This is an awesome idea … thanks for sharing!!

    1. HI Lisa- you can use any glue, but not hot glue. Hot glue does not dry flat – there would be ridges under the seams of the covers. Tacky glue works best because it a bit thicker and tackier than most basic glue. This helps keep the papers from slipping – the glue stays put and grabs very quickly – hence the name – tacky glue. You could use a glue stick, but I find this type of glue eventually breaks down and your covers will come apart in a few months. I hope this helps. Happy creating!

  5. Can you buy ose small shades anywhere for cheap? Like are they at the dollar store???

    1. Hi Lindsey – I have never seen them at the dollar store only at the thrift store and yard sales. You may be able to find them online at a good price, but I do not know of any sites, you may want to Google it and see what pops up. Lowes sells fabric ones for about $5 and around Christmas time they had paper ones – maybe check Walmart.com or Target.com and see if any pop up for an affordable price.

  6. Hi Diane, love this idea too! I was wondering do you have an idea for turning these into sconce covers? That’s the kind of lighting I have in the kids bedrooms and would like to be able to change them as their tastes and styles change. Thanks for sharing :))

  7. I have looked EVERYWHERE for 99 cent shades. Even e bay. Most, for a set of 6, run $30 – $40. And Christmas Tree shops don’t even have them unless you are in the right place, right time. Hellllllp!

    1. Hi Patricia – I found my set at my local thrift store. They were still in their packaging – never used. One of those great finds. To find them at the price I found mine, I think garage sales or thrift stores are your best bet. You will find them when you least expect it.

    1. Hi Meghan – They came out great – what a huge difference they make. I am going to pin your post to my Reader board on Pinterest. Thanks for sharing it with me.

    1. I found them at a thrift store. I see them when thrifting all the time – sometimes they are not so nice, but these were a great find -never used. Around Christmas Lowes had paper ones. I am not sure if they still have them, but they were very inexpensive.

  8. I just came across your blog after doing a search for chandelier shade covers. I love your blog! Can’t wait to try some of your projects!

  9. Hi Diane, you are one clever lady. I adore the idea you came up with and the end result is absolutely fantabulous. Congratulations. Thanks also for sharing your idea with us. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  10. Hi, I ran across your blog when I googled DIY chandelier shades. My dining room chandelier needs a severe makeover. How easy is it to paint the chandelier? Mine is brass & about 10 years old. What kind of paint did you use? I’m so glad I found you. Thanks!

    1. I found the paints you used. This is definitely going to be a project on my to do list! Thanks!

    1. Hi Lisa-

      To me stepping in the scrapbook aisle is like how a kid feels going into a candy store. Everything looks so wonderful – the colors and patterns — irresistible, plus so affordable. I have never made a scrapbook with the papers, but enjoy finding ways to use them in creative ways around my house.

  11. That is such a great idea! It’s so nice to be able to get more mileage out of our items. Perfectly timed post for me ;) I just did a mini makeover on my chandy and these will be so wonderful for shade replacements. Thanks for the fab idea =)

    1. Hi Kelly-

      Scrapbook paper to me is like jewelry – you can never have enough. When I am at the craft store and in the scrapbook paper aisle I find it all impossible to resist.

    1. Hi Jennifer-

      The green glitter paper was the first paper I found and is what inspired me to make the shades in the first place. It was hard standing in front of the wall of scrapbook paper and narrowing down my choice, so I bought a few :)

  12. From looking at your tutorial and the comments I’m guessing that you use the shade covers over the original shades and swap them. Is that correct? Would this work for a large shade that covers a floor lamp? I need a solution for my rotten shade. lol Like everyone was saying, I love looking at your blog too. :)

    1. Hi Katherine-
      Yes I made poster board base covers for each of the shades. For two reasons – they hold the beads and they filter out some of the light coming through the shades. The scrapbook paper covers go over the poster board bases. You don’t have to add the crystal beads to any of the scrapbook paper covers because when placed over the poster board base the beads will look like they are a part of the scrapbook covers.

      You could easily make this for a larger shade that has straight lines. You could not use scrapbook paper, but wallpaper or gift wrap would work.

  13. Ohmigosh. You’re timing is amazing. Just this weekend I decided that I a going to paint our ugly brass chandelier and was dreading trying to find new lampshades. I have the perfect scrapbook paper that will look great in the dining room. Thanks for the tutorial.

    1. Hi Sara –
      Thanks. If you ever need to buy inexpensive chandy shades I was at Lowes yesterday and saw that they just got in a huge new shipment of them. White, Ecru, Black, Red, and Brown. I guess they sell well around the holidays. .

  14. this is such a great idea which isn’t surprising coming from you!! So glad there are those that have such creative minds like this so those of us who don’t can copy cat you! THanks for sharing!

    bee blessed
    mary

  15. Love this idea! Have been staring at my naked, boring beige chandy covers and wondering how to spruce them up..thanks for the ideas!!

  16. Awesome! I recover mine over and over again too! Love the tip about the beads. :)

  17. These look great! I love how you can change them out to match your decor, holiday or mood! I also like the tip with the wood stick and clothes pins! Great job!

  18. I lovin’ that leopard print one. This blog is so awesome. It’s like a dose of “happy”!

  19. I just looked to see where you were linking this AMAZING tutorial to. I often link to MadSkills on Mondays. It is just for tutorials and I think yours is really well done, easy to follow. When I saw the part with the popsicle sticks, I gasp!!! Seriously great idea! Yeah! thanks for the inspiration.

  20. YOU, my dear, are AWESOME. This is an adorable way for a
    quick-change for chandies….Just love this idea..going to pin…
    xo bj

  21. Oh my goodness, you have such wonderful ideas! I always look forward to browsing your blog :-) I love this idea and I like the step by step picture tutorial