How to Customize a Lampshade Cover

Written by stacey sexton
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How to Customize a Lampshade Cover
Rescue boring lampshades from obscurity by customising them. (Simple Lamp with cloth lampshade in bedroom image by nextrecord from

If you're frustrated with the boring look of your lampshade, fear not. You can turn it into a conversation piece with a little effort. Viper trash style has gone from the periphery into the mainstream and provided the fashion world with plenty of fodder in the process. If you'd like to customise a lampshade cover in a way that skips the usual flowers and sedate trims, go for the glitz and embellish with sequins, glitter and lace.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Fabric dye
  • Cloth-cutting scissors
  • Lace
  • Hot glue or needle and thread
  • Ribbon (optional)
  • Trim (optional)
  • Sequins (optional)
  • Rhinestones (optional)
  • Glitter glue (optional)

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  1. 1

    Dye your lampshade cover. Fabric dyes come in a nearly endless variety of colours and can usually be combined to produce the perfect hue. Black, red and hot pink are eye-catching choices, but choose whatever colour you love. If you need to first remove some of the original colour of the print (perhaps for a darker lampshade), simply bleach it and then dye it the colour of your choice.

  2. 2

    Remove slits of fabric about 1 inch in width running from top to bottom around the cover. Make as many or as few of these slits as you'd like with sharp fabric scissors, and then cut holes on either side of the slits as small as possible while still allowing a piece of lace to pass through.

  3. 3

    Thread the lace through the small holes on either side of the slit the way you would lace a shoelace from top to bottom. This will produce a crisscross effect, as on a corset. Pull the lace as tight or leave it as loose as you desire, and then tie it into a bow at the bottom.

  4. 4

    Hot glue trim, ribbon or more lace around the top and bottom rims. Because hot glue dries quickly, apply it in sections about 5 inches long, and then hold the trim, ribbon or lace in place for 10 seconds while it dries. Working in these short sections prevents the glue from drying before you've got the material to attach. Sew the trim on if you prefer.

  5. 5

    Detail the shade with rhinestones, sequins, fabric paint or glitter glue.

Tips and warnings

  • A hot glue gun gets hot enough to burn your skin, so exercise caution when operating it.

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