Replacing Fabric on a Lampshade

Sometimes the lampshade that comes with a lamp doesn’t cut it.

The new lamp in our dining room was exactly what I was looking for (well, “exactly” what I was looking for was a lamp that cost way more than I could imagine spending, but this was a close 2nd); however, the shade wasn’t the right color for the room. I was about to buy a new lampshade when I realized that there was scrap fabric from our headboard upholstery project with just the right blend of white and beige. And guess what? I had just enough fabric to cover the lampshade.

The before photo isn’t the best, but you can see that the shade is a taupe color, and in this space I really wanted something a little bit brighter.

  1. Place the lampshade on your fabric to trace or cut. In my case I just cut because this was a drum shade. Had the shade been tapered I would have traced first. If your shade is tapered definitely trace it out because it will take more fabric due to being curved.
  2. Leave at least 1/2″ to 3/4″ of excess fabric on both the top and bottom of your lampshade.
  3. Cut the fabric where you have traced your shade.
  1. I did a “test fit” on the lampshade and secured with a clip on the back to make sure it was the look I wanted before I glued everything!
  2. I used 3M 77 Spray Adhesive, and sprayed the entire strip of fabric (not the shade itself). Follow the directions of your spray adhesive – the 3M needs to set up 1-2 minutes before joining the surfaces together.
  3. Starting at the original lampshade seam, I rolled the lampshade onto the strip of fabric keeping the excess on both top and bottom.
  4. If you get out of “line” and need to correct, you can gently peel back the fabric and try again.
  5. On the end of the strip of fabric I folded over the edge.
  6. This creates a clean seam for the back of your lampshade.
  1. Once your fabric is adhered to the lampshade, start folding over the top and bottom edges.
  2. I pressed firmly all around the top and bottom edge to make sure it was secure.
  3. Cut a small slit along the “spider” bars of the shade.
  4. Press firmly around those bars to wrap the fabric over edge.
  5. With the fabric completely wrapped around the top and bottom of the lampshade, I took my fingernail and tried to tuck any excess fabric under the rolled edge to clean it up. Anything visible here will be seen through the shade when the light is on.
  6. Clean up all of the edges and loose strings.
  1. At the seam, I used hot glue to fully secure the fabric to the lampshade.
  2. I didn’t have quite enough fabric here so it didn’t wrap completely around the edge, but you can’t see it…and the hot glue will keep it in place.

I want to add a larger vase on the left side of the buffet to complete the look, but I’m really happy with the new lamp in the dining room.


Posted in diy

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