How to Make Fabric Lamp Shades

Updated February 21, 2017

There are literally hundreds of lamp shade designs, colours, and patterns to choose from when you're redecorating. For a designer look, you can make a lamp shade out of fabric that matches or coordinates with your decor Fabric lamp shades provide a softer light and are ideal in the bedroom.

Wrap the wire frame with seam binding. Wrap seam binding tightly around the top and bottom of the wire lamp shade form. Begin wrapping the seam binding at the same point on both top and bottom wires; this will be the "back" of the shade. Secure the seam binding with a dot of glue at the beginning and end of each wire "strut."

Measure the circumference of the middle of the lamp shade frame and add 2 inches. Using these measurements, cut a piece of fabric large enough to cover the lampshade frame.

Gather the top and bottom edge of the fabric with a row of hand or machine stitches.

Fold the fabric so the right sides are together, and stitch the ends together to form a tube that can be slipped over the lamp shade. Turn right side out.

Slip the fabric tube over the lamp shade frame. Line up the seam with the starting/ending points of the seam binding you applied in Step 1.

Sew the fabric cover to the lamp shade frame. Gently pull the basting stitches so they fit around the shade at the top and bottom. Begin at the top of the lamp shade. Position the fabric so it overhangs the top strut. Fold the fabric over the edge of the strut. Sew the fabric to the seam binding with which you wrapped the wire frame so that the stitches are not visible from the right side. When sewing the bottom edge, pull the fabric taut.


For a more finished look, glue ribbon or cotton tape to the top and bottom edges of the finished shade.


Flimsy, lightweight acrylic fabrics should not be used for this project.

Things You'll Need

  • Lamp shade frame
  • Seam binding
  • Fabric
  • Needle and thread
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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.