Super Easy DIY: Fabric Covered Lampshade

Several months ago I purchased a lamp at a thrift store for a whopping $6.99. I liked the shape of the base and the nice big drum shade:

Before-sorry about the dark photo.

I finally got around to covering the shade yesterday, and it was so so easy. You guys should try it. I bought some nice heavyweight decorator's fabric on clearance for $6 a yard at my local fabric store to cover it with:

Here are the directions I used (Don't let the long list fool you, it really is easy):
  1. Lay a large sheet of newspaper, butcher paper, or brown wrapping paper on a large table or the floor.
  2. Place the lamp shade (it needs to be a relatively smooth shade, not pleated) on its side with the seam on one edge of the paper, leaving enough room to roll the shade over the paper.
  3. Starting at the seam on the lamp shade, trace the shape of the top and bottom edges of the shade onto the paper, being careful not to get pen or pencil marks on the lamp shade.
  4. Carefully roll the shade along the paper, marking the top and bottom edges on the paper until you get to the seam again.
  5. Remove the shade from the paper.
  6. Adding 1" at the top and bottom and at the seam line, cut the pattern of the shade from the paper.
  7. Place the fabric, face down, on a clean, flat surface. Place the paper pattern on the desired fabric. Pin the pattern in place on the fabric.
  8. Cut out the fabric, using your pattern as your guide.
  9. Test fit the fabric on the shade and trim as necessary.
  10. Cover your work surface with plastic or other protective covering. Spray the wrong side of the fabric with spray adhesive or apply diluted craft glue or fabric glue to the wrong side of the fabric with a soft brush, being careful not to get glue on the right side of the fabric.
  11. Beginning at the seam area of the shade, lay the shade on one edge of fabric and carefully roll it onto the fabric a few inches.
  12. Carefully pick up the shade and continue smoothing the fabric on the shade, lightly stretching and smoothing the fabric until the whole shade is covered.
  13. In order to allow the fabric to curl over the top and bottom of the shade to the inside of the shade, carefully clip the edges of the fabric every half inch.
  14. Smooth down all areas of fabric, clip in place with wooden clothes pins if necessary, and allow the adhesive to dry.
  15. Optional: Decorate the top and bottom edges with a band of braid, ribbon, lace, beads, or fringe.


  1. Before applying the glue to your fabric, test it on a small piece of fabric. Be sure the glue does not soak through the fabric and discolor it or leave spots. If it does, try another adhesive.
  2. Use wooden clothes pins to clip the fabric in place at the top and bottom edges as the adhesive dries. ( I didn't find this to be necessary)

I would say I only used about a half yard of fabric. So the total cost for this lamp was only $10 (Lamp $7, fabric $3)!

Instructions via here

And for you visual learners out there like me, this video helped too.

Happy lamp shade covering! If you do this I would love to see the before and after pics!


  1. Looks great! What cute fabric too... my fabric store never has cute stuff like that. Every now and then if I scrounge long enough I'll find maybe one.

    The lamp turned out great!

  2. You did such a good job! And so thrift-ily too! Thank you for the detailed instructions. I'm definitely bookmarking this for when I can snatch up a great deal like you found. It turned out so cute!

  3. great work. and you really made it look like it was easy and maybve i could do it....not sure though. fabric and glue...not a great mix for me. i love your shade.

  4. Very very nice! Great fabric!

  5. oh my gosh, i have to, have to do this. seriously, thank you!!! i might just have a weekend project date.

  6. ok, i just ordered some amy butler fabric so i'm on my way to a new lampshade!

  7. Thanks everyone! I am glad you like it.

    Aimee-Trust me, if I can do it, you can do it. Spray adhesive is very easy to work with.

    D&O chic- Awesome! I am so glad you are going to try it. Can't wait to see the results!

  8. Cute! I've been itching to get crafty lately, but first I'd have to find a lamp! LOL. I think this would be cute too if you painted the base white or light green (you'd probably need special spray paint for metals though...)

  9. Your lamp looks amazing! I'm dying to try it, I just need to find a drum big enough for a lamp my mom gave me (+ fix the lamp) Thanks so much for this!


  10. What a great improvement! I love that fun fabric! Thanks for sharing.