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.
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.
If you want to have pretty shades for your chandelier on a budget, then read on.
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.
- Chandelier shades
- Poster board
- 12″ x 12″ piece of scrapbook paper – I used both regular with paper and card stock
- Tacky glue
- Popsicle sticks
- Clear tape
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
5. Turn over. It should look like this.
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.
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.
1. Place the template right side up on the scrapbook paper. Trace around the template and cut out.
2. Use Tacky Glue to glue down the edges around the shade.
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.
Place the cover over the poster board and bead base. These are the ones I plan to use at Christmas.
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.
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.
Another new look that only costs as much as the scrapbook paper. This paper would look perfect on a nursery chandelier.
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.
When the shades are not in use, they stack nicely for easy storage.
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