How to Cover a Lampshade With Fabric

Updated February 21, 2017

You can transform a plain, boring lampshade into a designer original by covering it with fabric. It's quick and easy and if you use fabric you already have, it's inexpensive too.

Unroll 1 to 2 yards of craft paper or wrapping paper with the unprinted side up. Lay the lampshade on the paper so the seam of the lampshade cover is even with the edge of the paper.

Make a pattern. Lay a pencil or pen next to the top opening of lampshade. Roll the lampshade along the paper while tracing its path with the pencil until you reach the seam. Repeat with the pencil on the lower edge of the lampshade.

Add approximately 1-inch to the seam line. Cut out the pattern.

Pin your pattern to the wrong side of the decorative fabric. Cut out your lampshade fabric cover and remove the pins.

Cover your work surface with old newspapers or other protective covering. Lay the lampshade fabric wrong side up on the covered work surface.

Spray the wrong side of the lampshade fabric cover with spray adhesive.

Glue fabric to lampshade. Beginning at the seam, lay the lampshade on the fabric cover, lining up the edges of the fabric with the edges of the lampshade. Carefully roll the lampshade over the glue-encrusted fabric, pressing down on the inside of the lampshade as you go. When you reach the other end, carefully turn under the raw edge of fabric, apply a bead of adhesive to the turned under strip (the squeeze bottle works best) and secure.

Measure circumference of both top and bottom edge of lampshade. Add 3 to 6 inches to each of those measurements and cut a piece of trim for both bottom and top edge of lampshade.

Apply trim to top and bottom edge of lampshade. Using regular fabric glue from a squeeze bottle or a hot glue gun, apply a strip of adhesive to the inside of the trim. Start at the seam of the lampshade. Position trim so that the edge of the trim matches up with the edge of the lampshade and the trim covers up the raw edge of the fabric cover. When you reach the other end, turn under the raw edge of the trim and secure to the lampshade.

Allow the glue to dry thoroughly before using the lampshade.


For best results, use a light-coloured lampshade if you want to use a light-coloured fabric. A dark-coloured lampshade will overwhelm a light-coloured fabric.


Use non-flammable glue or adhesive for this project.

Things You'll Need

  • Smooth, non-pleated lampshade
  • Craft paper or another type of rolled paper, such as unwanted wrapping paper
  • Pencil or pen
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • 1 yard of fabric
  • Old newspapers or other protective covering for work surface
  • Spray adhesive that works on fabric
  • Regular fabric adhesive (in a squeeze bottle) or hot glue gun
  • Decorative trim, ribbon, beads, or braid
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About the Author

Sharon Sweeny has a college degree in general studies and worked as an administrative and legal assistant for 20 years before becoming a professional writer in 2008. She specializes in writing about home improvement, self-sufficient lifestyles and gardening.