How to Decoupage a Lampshade

Updated April 17, 2017

If there is a room--or two--in your home that you feel needs updating, but your budget simply will not allow for new furnishings, start small. Look at less expensive yet still significant objects in the room, such as lamps. Lighting is a vital aspect of home decorating and can enhance or detract from the style as well as the atmosphere. Rather than fork out cash on new lamps, however, consider ways to update what you already own. Découpage can bring new life to an old light fixture.

Clean any dust or dirt off the lampshade. Roll a lint roller over it or place a clean, dry rubber glove on one hand and rub it across the shade. This will remove debris such as pet hair and dust. It is important to clean the shade to ensure that the découpage will properly adhere to it.

Tear the tissue paper into strips and pieces. There is no "right" size or shape. In fact, your decoupaged lampshade will look more unique and attractive if you use a variety of shapes and sizes. It will be easier and less messy to apply the tissue paper if the pieces are at least a couple of inches long and wide.

Apply a liberal amount of découpage medium to a small section of the lampshade using a one-inch paintbrush. Paste a piece of tissue paper onto the découpage glue.

Dip the brush into the découpage medium again and gently spread it over the piece of tissue paper you applied. Smooth out any wrinkles as you do so, and pay special attention to the edges of the paper to make sure the edges are flattened and not curled or sticking up.

Repeat, painting découpage medium onto one small area at a time and applying pieces of tissue until the lamp is covered. Overlapping tissue paper on the shade will create an appealing textured appearance and ensure that no blank spots are showing.

Allow the lampshade to dry completely. Spread a final coat of découpage medium onto the lampshade and allow this to dry as well. If desired, you may spray the entire shade with clear acrylic spray for glossiness and added protection.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric lampshade
  • Lint roller or rubber glove
  • Découpage medium, such as "Mod Podge," or make your own with equal parts white glue and water
  • Several sheets of tissue paper in the colour or colours of your choice
  • 1-inch foam or natural bristle paint brush
  • Optional: clear acrylic spray
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About the Author

Tricia Goss' credits include Fitness Plus, Good News Tucson and Layover Magazine. She is certified in Microsoft application and served as the newsletter editor for She has also contributed to The Dollar Stretcher, Life Tips and Childcare Magazine.