Saturday, January 17, 2009

DIY: Custom Lamp Shades

Here's an easy DIY project to add a custom look to any old lamp shade.

  • lamp shade
  • fabric adhesive spray
  • scissors
  • large piece of scrap paper
  • pen or pencil

Step #1: Start by laying out your scrap paper on a table or large work surface. Find the seam of your lamp shade and place it at one end of the paper. Next, practice rolling the shade from one end of the paper to the other so that you know how much material you'll need to make your pattern. When you have a good idea of what your working with, use a pen or pencil to trace the edge of the shade as you roll it across the paper.

Step #2: Now you can start to see the shape of the lamp shade on your scrap paper. Draw a second line about an extra inch to an inch and a half along all sides of the pattern to allow enough fabric to wrap the edges when you apply it to the shade. Place your pattern on top of your fabric, print side down. Using fabric scissors, cut along the outermost line you just made. What you'll be left with is a piece of fabric that is larger than the shade.

Step #3: Practice rolling the paper pattern around your lamp shade to ensure that you've given yourself enough fabric to work with before you adhere anything to the shade. Once you're confident that the pattern you just cut will cover the entire shade, move onto the next step.

Step #4: Read the instructions on your spray adhesive before you begin to spray. (I used Krylon Spray Adhesive that I found at Michael's in the spray paint aisle). Spray the lamp shade evenly and then place it on your cut out fabric, be sure the print side is facing down! Next, roll the shade slowly onto the sticky fabric. Let the adhesive dry for a few minutes and then begin folding the excess fabric into the shade at the top and bottom.

Here's a trick: Cut a few slits every inch or two around the top and bottom of the excess fabric so that it lays flat when you fold it into the shade. Use your spray adhesive to make the excess fabric stick inside.

Step #5: Once the fabric has sufficiently dried, place the newly dressed shade on top of your lamp and enjoy! You can go one step further and add ribbon or a decorative trim to the top/bottom of your shade if you so desire. I had some extra black grosgrain ribbon laying around, so I added that to my shade to give it a more finished look.

This project was not only easy, but also pretty inexpensive. I used leftover fabric and ribbon from my custom window treatments, a $5 lamp shade from Target, a $15 lamp base, and spent around $5 on the spray adhesive. So my custom lamp shade cost a grand total of $25 and took a short time to complete. Go ahead, give it a try and send me a picture of your custom shade!

1 comment:

Whitney said...

The lamp looks so great Erica!! I really love the pattern, I want it haha! Good job:)