How to Restore a Lamp Shade

comments (8) January 20th, 2010     

Pin It

Deana Deana, editor
Love it! 80 users recommend
Remove the fabric from the frame.
Apply decorative trim to your new shade.
Photo: Sloan Howard

Sew the cover, and apply it to the frame
Adding a lining and pretty trim to your lamp shade creates a professional look

1. Stitch all the vertical seams together. With right sides together, sew the fabric panels together with a 1⁄4-inch seam allowance. Repeat for the lining.

Stitch all the vertical seams together.

2. Align the steams, and hand-stitch. Turn your fabric right-side out, and stretch it over the lamp-shade frame, lining up the seams with the spokes. Make any necessary adjustments for fit. Then, use a hand-sewing needle and matching thread to whipstitch the seam allowance to the tape-wrapped spokes.

Align the seams, and hand-stitch.

3. Fit the top and bottom. Turn the fabric over the top and bottom of the frame to the inside, pull it taut, and apply a few drops of glue with a hot glue gun to secure it only to the frame. Trim the excess fabric.

Fit the top and bottom.

4. Insert the lining. With wrong sides together, pin the lining inside the lamp-shade form, aligning the seams with the wire-frame spokes. Then, blindstitch the lining to the wrapped fabric spokes. Fold the top and bottom of the lining fabric to the inside, and hand-sew invisible stitches to form a clean, neat finished edge.

Insert the lining.

5. Apply decorative trim. Add decorator trimmings to the bottom and/or top edges of the lamp shade. Tassel, beaded, and fringe trims are beautiful lamp-shade embellishments.

Apply decorative trim.

To Glue or Sew:
If you don't care about having perfectly finished seams and edges, you can simply glue your fabric to the frame with a hot glue gun and then glue the lining in place on the inside. Use the decorative trim to cover the top and bottom edges of the frame. If your fabric is heavy enough, you may want to forgo the lining altogether. Hold your fabric up to a bright light and see how much light passes through it.

excerpted from CraftStylish Restyle, p. 41.

Did you make this?
After you make this project, show off your work to other members!
Post your project in the gallery

posted in: scissors, sewing machine, lamp, muslin, lamp shade, recover, hand-sewing needles, hot glue gun, seam tape

Comments (8)

Premier_Lamp_shades writes: Please take a look at our latest lampshade restoration projects by clicking the link below. If the link does not work please type in to google then click on to our news blog. Here you will see all our lampshade recovering and restoration projects.
Best regards Ian Holbrook
Premier Lampshades LTD
01204 414366
01204 412062.
Posted: 6:11 am on November 3rd
Premier_Lamp_shades writes: Please take a look at our latest lampshade restorations by Premier Lampshades LTD. Please click the link below.
Posted: 6:03 am on November 3rd
LPlummer writes: I am trying something new with a lampshade. The shade in question was a Goodwill purchase, and had a stain that I thought I could wash out. Wrong! The shirred fabric immediately separated from the rigid plastic base that forms the shade. So I took the fabric completely off, as well as the corded fabric from the top and bottom of the shade. I am going to try something that my mother used to do with jars and bottles, which is small strips of masking tape covering the entire plastic form, and then lightly dabbing on brown shoe polish. This gave the jars the look of worn old leather. I think (hope) that it will look nice with the light coming thru the shade. I'm hoping for a nice subdued, muted light. Has anyone else ever tried this method? Sound like a good idea?

Posted: 1:35 pm on October 26th
lightbringer writes: I make lampshades for a business. The only way I know to do a shade that has top and bottom rings is to make an arc and use styrene (firm plastic backing) to adhere the fabric to.

This is an interesting way to cover a lampshade by sewing each individual panel and then sewing to frame. I have sewn each panel to shade by hand and then covered the ribs with the same fabric or gimp. Or by sewing two panels on the machine and stretching it over the shade. This is the first time I've seen it done this way and can't wait to try it.

Thank you for posting this.

Posted: 9:25 pm on January 22nd
irishwings writes: Very easy steps to understand.I have several shades at home I want o cover-customize to my decor.Good layed out directions.Thanx.
Posted: 7:19 pm on January 21st
Bettsi writes: Thank you for making this so easy to understand! I see a new lampshade in my future!
Posted: 7:31 pm on January 20th
TigerB writes: What do you do if your lamp has no "panels"? I have a lamp with a shade I would love to recover, but the outside is smooth -- there's a ring at the top and a ring at the bottom the shade attaches to. I've tried to drape it, but it's a trapezoidal cylinder, and nothing seems to work. Suggestions?
Posted: 5:43 pm on January 20th
mommyoftwo247 writes: I just changed my bedroom decor, and this is a perfect solution to my lamps! Thanks for the great idea and tutorial! :)
Posted: 4:27 pm on January 20th
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.