What do you do with a lampshade that no longer looks fresh and appealing? You give it a makeover. I recovered two obnoxiously, ugly lampshades using strips of fabric. The fabrics were thrifted linens that I had purchased for crafting, making this a really inexpensive transformation project. The finished result is more than I could have hoped for, and it only took a few hours to complete. No more turning the shades to try and hide the unsightly imperfections.
Things You Will Need:
White flat sheet and/or tablecloth
Rotary cutter and cutting mat
Hot glue gun
Iron your flat sheet or tablecloth to remove wrinkles. Doing this prior to cutting will eliminate raggedy cuts that might appear if the fabric is not smooth.
Using a rotary cutter and cutting mat, cut your sheet of fabric into 2-inch-wide strips. I used a tablecloth and a flat twin sheet for my project, mixing the strips as I went along. I did two lampshades and had strips left over. The exact amount of strips needed will vary depending on the size and shape of your lampshade, and how many lampshades you are covering.
Sew each strip together at the ends using a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Make sure all of your seams are on the same side of your continuous strip.
Iron each seam open. You now have one long strip. Roll the strip to give you more control and to prevent the strip from tangling as you wrap the shade.
Apply a 2-inch line of hot glue to the inside, bottom lip of your lampshade. Place the end of your fabric strip in the glue with the rolled strip hanging below the rim. Note: The seams of the strips will be facing outward at this point.
Bring the strip up the outside of the shade, over the top lip, and down the inside of the shade. Continue to wrap the strip around the shade, overlapping 1/2 inch along the side edges. As you come to each new seam, make sure they are open and flat, as bunched up or folded over seams will become visible when your lamp is turned on.
If you come to the end of your fabric strip and still have more shade to wrap, cut more strips and add them to the end. When doing this, I found it easiest to unwrap a few rounds so that I had room to work at the sewing machine and ironing board. I also pinned the last wrapped row to keep it from moving or loosening up while I added more strips.
Cut the strip of the last round 1/2 inch above the top rim of the lampshade. Apply a 2-inch line of hot glue on the top, inside rim and place the cut end of the strip in the glue.
Measure down 4 inches from the top rim of the shade. At this measurement, and using a measuring tape, measure around the circumference of the lampshade and add 12 inches. Cut a length of twine using this measurement. Wrap the twine around the shade and tie the ends in a knot. Allow the ends to hang naturally or trim them if desired.