Wednesday, January 29, 2014

DIY Lampshade Makeover

Well hello from Antarctica! If you're here from somewhere warm, let me tell you - stay right where you are. This is what it is like here: 

DIY Lampshade makeover, DIY lampshade, lampshade makeover

That's not even a tiny bit of an exaggeration. BUT, I'm not really in Antarctica - I'm saying hello from another "Bucket of Suck" weather-wise:  hello from Central New York. It's 7 degrees Fahrenheit (oh, and that's warm compared to -21 the other day). Plus we have at least a foot of snow, and to top it off - wind. But, guess what I saw today. A couple of blog posts about Spring! Spring! They gave me hope.

Not enough hope to write about tulips, but hope. Hope that I might make it to Spring. And so, secure in that thought, I did do something that made me a teeny bit happy. I gave an old lampshade a makeover.

DIY lampshade, lampshade makeover, DIY lampshade makeover

I was inspired by all of the talk shows I've been watching (hey, there's nothing else to do in this cold).  My favorite feature of the talk shows is always the makeovers. They find these awesome people in need of a makeover. Most of the time the person gets a bit of a hair cut, maybe a better fitting outfit, and some mascara. The actual change is usually minimal, but the end look is so different. I love that. 

But makeovers aren't just for people. They're for our homes too. Have you ever just moved an area rug from one part of a room to another, and it felt like a huge change? I love that too. 

I think of these makeovers as frosting. (And I love frosting too!) What I mean is this: think of a poor plain old cupcake... Now picture it with chocolate frosting. See? Little makeover. Big impact. 

(Great. Now I want chocolate.) 

So, here's my original lampshade. I'm not even sure if this qualifies as the cupcake. I have 3 (yes, three!) of these lampshades. They're triplets - all exactly the same, dusty and faded, piled in a tower in my office. It's time I either throw them out, take them to the thrift store, or make them over. I decided to try a makeover on one of them. (Frankly, I don't like throwing things out, and it's too cold for me to go to the thrift store, so Why Not?

First, I just cut off the existing fabric, and was left with the wire form. 

Next, I tore some fabric into strips. I am strangely into fabric strips this year. So, I tore pillow cases and an old shirt, which was two sizes too small.

Big A looked nervous about this project, but he relaxed a little when he saw that I wasn't rifling through his side of the closet for clothes to tear...

Next, I simply tied the fabric on the top and bottom of the frame. I cut some burlap strips (I love burlap too) and used the glue gun to glue the burlap to the inside of the wire form, so that there were no large gaps. And, well, that's it. Easy.

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I put the shade on an old lamp base, and found it a home in my bedroom. It looks so pretty with a low watt bulb, and creates cool shadows on the wall.

One lampshade down, two to go. If you have any lampshade makeover ideas - do share! The forecast is for much more of the same, so I have time for many more makeovers.


Unknown said...

Hi Julia, I know what you mean, when you talk about cold and snow .... I live in Quebec and this winter was particularly cold! Back to topic, I love the way you transformed the lamp, never thought about the possibility of removing the fabric and use the lamp wire skeleton. A beautiful project, it has become a cozy lamp now, thanks for sharing with us your project and give us inspiration!
Marisa from

Unknown said...

Thanks Marisa! I'm so glad you stopped by. Keep warm! Julia

Unknown said...

It's definitely getting into the cold, gray bucket of suck time of year and I keep trying to remind myself that it'll still be like 3 more months before it gets any better. Ugh.

Cool lamp shade though!

Kristen Daukas said...

I love this idea and am so glad you shared with us at LOBS! I have a lamp in my bedroom where the edging is peeling off and I need to replace it but the shades are SO expensive and fabric is not!

Deborah@Green Willow Pond said...

Fabulous idea Julia! You could match any lamp to your current decor! Thank you for leaving a sweet and funny comment about my Farmhouse Spice Cabinet. I'm sure you will find something that will work! Thank you for sharing your lampshade at What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a great weekend!


Unknown said...

This is lovely! The possibilities are unlimited with fabrics to match any room! You are very creative. :-)
Kim @ Curtain Queen Creates

Diane | An Extraordinary Day said...

I've always want to do something similar with a lampshade...I had more of a Mary Engelbeit idea going....but I love burlap. :)

Thanks for sharing your fun lamp makeover at Project Inspire{d}

Hope your week is warm and wonderful!