DIY Lampshade Frame

Updated April 17, 2017

Lamps are capable of deciding the tone of a room, but many of us can't quite find the right lampshades to showcase the room appropriately. The ideal solution is to make your own lampshade, frame and all, to get what you want. An easy option is to make an 8x10 lantern-style table lamp with wooden picture frames.


4 8x10 wooden shadow box picture frames at least 1.5x1.5 inches thick (unfinished wood is best and you can paint/stain it yourself) 32 3/4-inch screws Clear-drying Gorilla wood glue 4 8x10 inch sheets of clear plexi-glass (only necessary if you are using the inside of the frames to hold fabric or photographs when finished) 8 1 ½ x 5/8 inch corner brackets 120 grit sandpaper 12 brace clamps (small enough to clamp onto two edges of the frames) 4 1 5/8 inch wooden bean pot cups (legs)


Begin by removing the backing and glass from the picture frames and setting them to the side. Lightly sand all four frames. Set two frames (C and D) to the side to work on later. Take the two remaining frames (A and B) and squirt wood glue along the longest edge on the right side of frame A, then place against the left and longest side of frame B. Place one brace clamp on the top and bottom of the frame and allow the glue to dry. Be sure to immediately wipe off any excess glue on the outside of the frame edges. Repeat this procedure on frames C and D.

When finished clamping the second set of frames, join the two frames with glue on the longest open edges, wiping the excess glue off the outside of the frames. Clamp the frames together so that all 8 clamps are being used (2 on each corner). Place the corner brackets on the top and bottom corners of the finished frame, securing them with the screws, being careful not to go through the wood on the outside of the frames. Glue the bottom of each bean-pot cup to the bottom corners of the finished product for legs and clamp in place. The Gorilla brand wood glue only requires the clamps be in place for about 30 minutes. Allow the finished product to cure for at least 24 hours before using or decorating.


This lantern framed lampshade can be used one of two ways. You can utilise the frames as frames and place photographs or sections of fabric inside the open frame with the provided glass on the outside and plexi-glass on the inside by the bulb, which would then require a low wattage bulb be used. The second option is to upholster the frame with your chosen fabric and attach it to the wood with a staple gun on the inside of the frame. Since this lantern-style frame is a table lamp, it will cover any light source smaller than 10 inches, like an 8-inch electrical candolier style stick light or a 9-inch traditional lamp base.

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About the Author

Randi Cardoza has been writing since 2008. Her specialties include health and fitness, DIY projects, home improvement, gardening and crafts. She received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism with a minor in marketing from Western Illinois University.