How to cover a lampshade wire frame

Written by heather montgomery | 13/05/2017
How to cover a lampshade wire frame
Covering a lampshade frame is a simple process. (romantic light image by robert mobley from

If you have an old wire lampshade frame that need a facelift, recovering it is an easy solution. Choose a thick fabric like cotton duck to eliminate the need for a lining. If you have thin fabric, or want to line the shade, use muslin cut to the same pattern, and then sewn to the fabric before attaching it to the shade. You can also use this method with a covered frame; just remove the fabric from the shade to expose the wire frame.

Apply a dab of hot glue to the top of a lampshade spoke. Attach seam tape to the hot glue, and then wrap the seam tape down and around the spoke. Secure the tape with a dab of hot glue at the bottom of the spoke. Repeat the process for each spoke of the lampshade.

Place a piece of muslin over one section of the lampshade. Pull the muslin so it fits tightly around the section, and then trace the metal components of the section with a fabric pencil. This will help make a template for the fabric. If your lampshade does not have equal sections, make a template for each of the lampshade sections.

Cut the muslin template 6 mm (1/4 inch) wider on each side and 2.5 cm (1 inch) longer on the top and bottom to give you a seam allowance. Use this template to cut out enough fabric sections to cover your lampshade.

Sew each fabric section together on the vertical seams, with the right side of the fabric facing each other, using a 6 mm (1/4 inch) seam allowance. This will make a tube in the dimensions of the lampshade. If you chose to use lining, sew the fabric section and the lining section together before sewing the vertical seams to make the lampshade.

Fit the fabric tube over the lampshade and align the seams with the lampshade spokes. Thread a sewing needle with coordinating thread, and then sew the shade onto the spokes by wrapping the 6 mm (1/4 inch) seam allowance around the spoke, then using a whipstitch around the spoke to secure the shade.

Run a bead of hot glue along the bottom of the inside of the shade and stretch the fabric over the bottom ring to secure it to the glue bead. Repeat the process for the top ring of the lampshade.

Use a hot glue gun to attach any decorative trim to the top and bottom of the shade.


Use proper precaution when using a hot glue gun to avoid injury.

Tips and warnings

  • Use proper precaution when using a hot glue gun to avoid injury.

Things you need

  • Hot glue gun
  • Seam tape
  • Scissors
  • Muslin
  • Pins
  • Fabric pencil
  • Fabric
  • Sewing machine
  • Coordinating thread
  • Needle
  • Decorative trim

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