Lamp shade covering ideas

Make an old lamp shade look new again by covering it. There are many different ways to update or change a shade to match different decors. You may become overwhelmed with ideas if you wander up and down the aisles of a craft store. With a few simple supplies and a bit of time, covering a lamp shade can be an enjoyable project.


A lamp shade can be covered with fabric in several different ways. One way is to cut a piece of fabric that is several inches wider and longer. Place the fabric against the shade with the right side facing out. Wrap the fabric around to the back side of the shade and glue it carefully with a hot glue gun along the entire lamp shade.

Another way to cover a lamp shade with fabric is to start with a piece of fabric that is several inches longer and wider than the lamp shade. Sew the short edges together and place elastic along both long edges. The fabric can then simply be placed over the shade and the elastic will keep it attached along both the top and bottom. When doing this, be certain that the fabric does not come into contact with the light bulb.


Fabric fringe, ribbon and trim can make attractive additions to any lamp shade. Use a hot glue gun to attach lengths of fringe or trim to the top and bottom of the shade. Coordinate the trim to the colours or fabric on the lamp shade for a finished appearance. Additionally, these trims can be used to hide any fabric seams if you covered the shade with fabric.

Additional Items

There are many items that can be glued onto a lamp shade with hot glue. Silk flowers, buttons, beads, magnetic letters, ribbon bows or paper scrapbooking supplies are all suitable options for decorating lamp shades. The items can be glued at random intervals or carefully spaced, or a lamp shade could be filled entirely with glued items for an attractive effect.


Acrylic paint is an easy and inexpensive way to cover a lamp shade. For best results, thin the paint with equal amounts of water and paint and apply a base layer of paint with a paintbrush. Allow the paint to dry completely before proceeding. After the base layer dries, paint on a stencil design or add a layer of paint sponging to create an interesting effect.

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About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.