WATCH: How to Transform a Lampshade
Dress up any shade in a snap.
It’s no secret that lighting can make or break a room. From statement-making chandeliers to subtle reading lamps, lighting brings both form and function to a room. So shouldn’t your lampshade reflect a little personal style? You don’t have to shell out to get a lampshade with character—these easy updates call for supplies you may already have on hand, and add color and texture to otherwise dull shades. Get to crafting!
This idea is almost too simple. Start with a plain lampshade, painter’s tape, acrylic paint, and a paintbrush or sponge. Line up the tape—vertical stripes are easiest—and make sure the edges are sealed tight against the surface of the shade. Fill in with the paint (to mix it up, try alternating colors, or adding a little white every time to create an ombre effect). Let dry several hours before putting back on the lamp. Pro Tip: You can also use spray paint (and save even MORE time) if you’re sticking with all one color.
To add texture, try wrapping the shade in yarn. Start with a plain shade, yarn or twine, tacky glue, and a sponge brush. Line the bottom of the shade with tacky glue and wrap the yarn around the base to create your first horizontal row. Then use the brush to create wider swaths of glue as you continue to wrap the yarn around the shade moving upward. Tuck the cut end of the yarn into the row below, affixing with glue. (It may help to add a dab of glue to each cut end of the yarn to prevent fraying.)
This is the perfect way to use up small amounts of leftover fabric. (Or incorporate expensive textiles in small amounts!) First, make sure your fabric is thick enough that it will not look translucent with the bulb on. Then, measure out enough fabric to wrap the shade, leaving about half an inch or less to fold at the top and bottom of the shade. Cover the backside of the fabric with spray fabric adhesive, and begin smoothing it over the surface of the shade, pressing out any air bubbles. Then, move to the top of the shade, and fold the cut edge in on itself, to create a tidy “seam.” Glue as you go, and repeat on the bottom edge. Finally, tuck the edge of the main body (wrapped around the shade) in on itself about 1/4 inch and neatly glue it over the other cut edge to create another clean “seam.”