How to Change the Color and Decorate a Lampshade with Fabric.
I bought the perfect white ceramic lamp for my desk about a year ago. I loved this lamp. It was a real find at Walmart. Nothing had to be changed or altered to fit my style. I loved it for about 3 months until a cat named Trax jumped up on my desk and knocked it over. It crashed on the floor into pieces. It was truly a sad day. My poor, perfect-for-my-desk, lamp – a goner! This is how I came to decorate a lampshade to replace it.
I have been searching for a replacement ever since. I am picky about my lamps – they can’t be too big or too little – they have to be just right – so I searched and searched until a few weeks ago….
…when I spotted this one at Ross for $13. It was very similar to the one that broke, but more streamlined. The only thing I didn’t like about it was the black shade. Time to decorate a lampshade.
I figured I could just buy a new shade for it. I soon realized since it was such a bargain price lamp, the wire shade was permanently attached to the lamp and changing out shades would not be so simple. I figured I would cut it off with wire cutters and replace it with a small white barrel shade using a bulb shade clip like this.
I looked at Target, Walmart, HomeGoods, and Lowes, but could not find a shade small enough. Glad I didn’t cut the original off first.
Which takes me to the project of this post. With a little bit of paint, fabric, and glue, I was able to cover the existing black shade to make it more in tune with my style.
This isn’t the first time I have covered something unsightly with fabric in my house. I did one project years ago with my Foyer Chandelier Chain and I made this adorable sunglass case with only fabric scraps.
One lingering problem that I still can’t get right, is the wire shade frame is slightly crooked. I keep bending it to straighten, but it is still crooked. I will keep bending and tweaking until it stays straight!
- Fabric – enough to go around shade once with a 1/2-inch overlap x 2-inches taller in shade height
- Spray glue
- Ribbon- circumference of shade
- Tacky glue
- Pinking shears
- Optional: craft paint and paint brush
1. This step is optional. Since the shade was black and there are white sections on the fabric, I didn’t want the black tones coming through the white. I used white craft paint to paint the shade white to prevent this from happening. Let the paint dry before adding fabric. I thought about just painting the shade in a glossy color, but the floral design on the shade is raised. I didn’t like the way it looked.
2. Cut fabric to the size needed. See supply list for measurements.
If your fabric is fraying – use pinking shears to cut. *See how I keep my scissors sharp here. You could also dab all the fabric edges with white glue and let them dry. When you cut – no fray.
3. Spray an even coat of spray glue on back of fabric and on shade. Let the glue get tacky. Align fabric and roll the shade on the fabric to attach. Using a geometric pattern can make it a bit tricky to make sure the pattern is straight. Smooth with your fingers. Apply Tacky glue under seam edges of fabric to flatten and adhere.
4. Turn the excess fabric on the top and bottom to the inside of shade. Use a paint brush to apply Tacky glue under the fabric, then press the fabric with your fingers to smooth. I also needed to make a slit with scissors on the fabric right under the wire frame arms so the fabric would lay flat inside the shade.
5. As the top edge may be exposed to passersby, brush Tacky glue on one side of cut ribbon.
6. Align ribbon over raw edge of fabric inside the shade. Press with fingers to smooth. Cut excess to line up with seam on the fabric cover.
All done. I still have more of the fabric I used. You may see it pop up again in a future decorating project