How to Cover a Victorian Lampshade

Updated March 23, 2017

Victorian lamp shades have a distinct style. Covered in soft fabrics and adorned with delicate trim and beaded fringe, Victorian lamps evoke a sense of nostalgic comfort. Purchased from a department store, these lamps can cost a fortune. With some basic crafting supplies, you can transform an existing shade into a beautiful Victorian lamp shade.

Remove the existing shade from the lamp. Place a craft knife at the top of the shade and gently slice from the top down to the bottom. Refrain from pressing too hard so you don't cut the shade itself. Peel away the fabric and discard. Continue slicing and peeling until all existing fabric is removed from the shade.

Cover a piece of the wire frame spoke with seal tape. Place a drop of hot glue onto the tape and fold it around the wire. Continue to fold the tape over the wire until it's completely covered. Repeat for the entire frame until all the wire is covered with tape.

Paint a layer of rust retardant onto the taped frame.

Wrap the dyed cotton tape around the frame wires to create the binding. Reinforce the cotton tape by hand sewing it onto the frame with a needle and thread.

Place a piece of the lining fabric over the top of the wire frame. Use sewing pins to secure the fabric to the cotton binding at the top and bottom of the frame. Place a marking pen flush against the top of the frame and trace the entire panel onto the fabric to create a pattern.

Remove the fabric from the frame and lay it flat on the work surface. Place the tape measure at the side edges of the pattern line and measure in ΒΌ inch to create seams. Mark it with a pen. Place the tape measure at the top edge of the pattern line and measure 1 inch down. Mark with the pen. Repeat from the bottom edge and measure 1 inch up. Mark with the pen.

Cut out the pattern with scissors and set it aside. Continue to repeat the above steps until you have as many pattern pieces as there are panels on the lamp shade.

Place one of the pattern pieces onto the decorative fabric and trace it. Cut it out and set it aside. Repeat for each pattern piece.

Hand sew the pattern pieces onto the cotton binding with a needle and thread, attaching one piece per panel. Use the smallest stitch possible. Hand sew the decorative panels on top of the lining panels. Add multiple decorative layers until you reach the desired effect.

Use sewing pins to secure the fabric trim to the bottom of the lamp shade. Remove one pin and apply a small dab of hot glue to the back of the trim. Press the trim firmly onto the shade and hold it in place for 30 seconds. Wipe away any excess glue that drips onto the shade. Repeat until all pins are removed.

Things You'll Need

  • Craft knife
  • Seal tape
  • Hot glue gun
  • Rust retardant
  • Small paintbrush
  • Cotton tape (dyed to match the new fabric)
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Lining fabric (silk, satin or velvet)
  • Sewing pins
  • Marking pen
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Decorative fabric (lace, chiffon or pleated)
  • Fabric trim (French braid, glass or acrylic beaded)
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Delialah Falcon has been writing professionally for eight years. With extensive experience in all aspects of both technical and creative writing, Falcon specializes in content writing, research, proofreading/editing and health/medical journalism. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English from Dowling College and a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in holistic nutrition from Clayton College of Natural Health.