Vintage lamps, easily found at flea markets, antique stores, and even in grandmothers' attics, can become new again. Attach fabric to old or inexpensive paper shades for a quick and easy project. Or use basic hand-sewing skills to gather a skirt of fabric to camouflage a plain shade.
Follow these steps to transform a lampshade of your own.
Step 1: Lay fabric right side down on a cutting surface. Place the shade, turned on its side, on the fabric, and mark with a paper clip where the shade touches the fabric. Roll the shade over the fabric until the paper clip has reached the fabric again. (This measures the circumference, which determines the width of the fabric.) Cut fabric with a 1/2-inch allowance. Measure the shade's length, and add 1 1/2 inches to determine the length of the fabric. (Note: This measurement process will work only with a drum-shaped shade.)
Step 2: Place fabric right side down on a large piece of paper in a well-ventilated area. Lightly mist the back side of the fabric with spray adhesive. Put the shade on the fabric, allowing a 3/4-inch overhang at the top and bottom. Roll the shade over the fabric to adhere it.
Step 3: Fold under the allowance where the ends of the fabric meet vertically, allowing the folded edge to overlap the raw edge slightly. Hot glue the folded edge in place to create the seam.
Step 4: Fold top and bottom edges of the fabric to the inside of the shade, and attach with a glue gun.
GATHERED SHADE SKIRT
Step 1: Measure the circumference of the bottom of the shade. Multiply that number by 1 1/2 to determine the fabric's width. Measure shade from top to bottom, and add 2 1/2 inches (for hemming) to determine the length of the fabric.
Step 2: Turn edges under 1/4 inch and then 1/2 inch, and hand stitch the hem on four sides. To gather the top edge, make a running stitch 1/2 inch from top. Begin by winding plenty of thread around a pin at the starting point to hold it. Make a line of stitches in small, neat, equal lengths. Finish by winding the thread around a second pin. Pull the threads, pushing the fabric toward the center from either end until the gathered length equals the circumference of the top of the shade, plus 1 inch. Knot the ends of the running stitch to hold the gathers in place. Sew the ends together with several stitches where the running stitch meets.
Step 3: Position skirt on the shade. Tie ribbon around the top; finish with a bow.