How to Repair Paper Lampshades

Written by daniella lauren
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How to Repair Paper Lampshades
Don't buy a replacement; fix your broken paper lampshade yourself. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Lampshades add a functional and decorative element to every room, but a broken lampshade serves neither of those purposes. Damaged lampshades look unsightly and may allow blinding light to hit your eyes. If your lampshade becomes damaged or ripped, don't go out and purchase an expensive replacement. Fix it yourself with a few common household supplies.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Double-sided foam tape
  • Masking tape
  • Packing tape
  • Colourful craft paper
  • Découpage glue

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  1. 1

    Cut strips of the double-sided foam tape and secure the tape around the inner edge of the shade where the wire ring will attach. Remove the outside wrapper from the double-sided tape.

  2. 2

    Place the lampshade ringside down on your workspace and position the wire ring inside. Hold the ring inside the shade and use your other hand to press the outside of the shade into the wire ring.

  3. 3

    Cut a strip of masking tape several inches long and snip notches onto one side of the tape. Tuck the notched side of the tape in between the wire ring and the shade. Snip notches into the opposite side of the tape and press the tape down firmly against the inside of the lampshade. Repeat until the wire ring is completely covered in masking tape.

  1. 1

    Cover the ripped area of the paper shade with packing or masking tape. Make sure that the shade is still in the original shape.

  2. 2

    Cut strips of the craft paper into large pieces and trim it to where you will place it on the shade.

  3. 3

    Apply découpage glue to the backside of the craft paper and the outside of the lampshade. Repeat until the lampshade is covered in the new pieces of craft paper.

  4. 4

    Cover the entire shade with a layer of découpage glue. Make sure to cover the edges of the lamp well so that there is no fraying.

Tips and warnings

  • If you don't have double-sided tape, you can use hot glue to keep the wire in place. But take care when working with hot glue and the hot glue gun. Keep a small bowl of ice water around so you can dip your fingers into it if you get burnt.
  • Use a variety of craft papers in coordinating and accenting colours. Cut the papers in random shapes and overlap them if you want a more texturised look. Use similarly shaped and sized pieces for more of a patchwork quilt look.
  • Use a lower wattage bulb in the decoupaged lampshade in case the repaired shade isn't as heat proof as before.

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