Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Lampshade Makeover

We moved into our home almost a year and a half ago. We didn't have bedroom furniture when we got married, so we used some boxes stacked next to the bed as a makeshift nightstand for months, with a lamp that I had from my single days. Since then, we've gotten beautiful new bedroom furniture and we've unpacked the bedding we love from our wedding registry, I sewed curtains for our windows, and we've added a few accessories.

We enjoy reading in bed at night, but my wonderful hubby hasn't had a lamp on his side of the bed for over a year! We found inexpensive lamps in a style we liked from Walmart and I found the perfect damask fabric to coordinate with our bedding for the lampshades. And then, all of the supplies sat in our closet for months, the project on my to-do list, but I just couldn't find the time to tackle it. Truman has asked me sweetly on many occasions if I could please cover the lampshades so that he could use his lamp without lighting our room up like a spotlight. A few weeks ago, I finally took an evening and set-to work to cover our lampshades. He deserved it!

I thought I would share a tutorial of the project because it really is easy and you can add so much character to an inexpensive lampshade for a custom look!

I started off with these crazy lampshades that I got on clearance at Hobby Lobby for under $3.00 a piece! The pink and black polka dots and rhinestone clasp just didn't coordinate well with our light blue and chocolate brown decor. But, the size and shape worked great with our lamp and they were a steal at that price. (I apologize for the lousy quality of the pictures! I was working on this project at night and we just don't have great indoor lighting for photographs.)

Most store bought lampshades use hot glue to hold them together. First, I pulled off the embellishments from the bow to the "boning" pieces on the edges.

Next, I very carefully removed the inner hot pink and black polka dot lining. I had to be extra careful not to pull the outer jean fabric off of the frame as I removed the polka dot lining. I needed the outer fabric shape to stretch my fabric over.

I ironed my fabric smooth and layed it out. I cut a straight line up the pink polka dot lining so that it would lay flat and I used it as a pattern to cut my fabric for the exterior of the lampshade.

Because the inside lining is a tiny bit smaller than the outside of the lampshade, and I needed some extra fabric on the edges to tuck around the top and bottom of the lampshade, I cut around the pattern piece leaving a good 2-2.5 inches on all sides.

I used the first piece that I cut from my damask fabric as a pattern to cut a second piece, since I was covering two lampshades.
You'll need spray adhesive (I used Elmers multipurpose) and a hot glue gun for the next steps. I like the Elmers spray adhesive because it is repositionable for several minutes after it is tacky and ready to adhere, but dries to a more permanent hold.

Wrap the fabric on the lampshade and get a good idea of how you need to line it up to cover it with ample overlap fabric on the top and bottom to wrap over the edges. You are then going to remove the fabric and spray the lampshade evenly, covering it well, with the spray adhesive. Follow the directions on your spray adhesive, but you generally need to allow it a minute or two to become fully tacky before adding your fabric. I would highly recommend doing the adhesive spray step outside!!! It's hard not to have overspray and the sticky finish can be a pain to remove from things you don't want it on!

After the lampshade is tacky, wrap your fabric back on it as you figured out in your trial. (This is where the Elmers is helpful because if you don't get it in the right spot on your first try, you have a few minutes to reposition it!) Fold the unfinished edge under and use a thin line of hot glue to hold it in place.

Start with the top, wrapping the extra fabric over the edge and hot gluing it to the inside of the lampshade. You will need to cut slits into the fabric every 2-3 inches around the top, being careful not to cut all the way to the edge of the lampshade, so your cuts are not visible from the outside. This will help the fabric fold over and lay smoothly without wrinkles or bunching along the edge. You'll need to make a slit where each of the metal frame pieces are to wrap around them. (Click on the photo to enlarge for a more detailed view.) I folded the raw edge under as I folded each of the fabric flaps and attached them with hot glue.

Repeat this same process along the bottom edge. You really don't have to worry about each of the flaps lining up perfectly since it is on the inside and you won't be able to see it!

After you finish gluing down the bottom flaps, your finished! Attach the shade to your lamp and you have a whole new custom look! Here is one of my finished lampshades in our bedroom:

Such an improvement! It really adds a more finished look to our nightstands and we are both enjoying our reading lamps at night! The total cost for this lampshade project was under $15 for two lampshades. And, I love that I was able to choose my own fabric over picking from pre-made lampshade styles for less than I could have purchased 2 new lampshades in a store.


Jen r. said...

I love it! It looks so cute! Jen

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

It looks adorable and I love the fabric you chose! No more spotlight in the bedroom!

Leah G said...

That is so neat! I need to do that!

Kim said...

Thanks for the instructions, especially with the cost of lampshades! Plus, yours were so much more adorable compared to the store bought ones!

jenjen said...

What a great tutorial! I love your finished lamp!!! I have some lampshades on my chandelier that I want to update. Thanks for the inspiration!


Shannon said...

Those turned out so cute! I love that fabric!

Anonymous said...

I've always been so scared to re-do my lampshades. You make it look so easy I might just give it a shot!