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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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  1. 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.