DIY – New Lampshade Covers

I’ve been working on several DIY projects this summer. They have been for my sister who moved three blocks from me late last year. We both now live in the historic district of a small city, and we love it!

The first DIY project was for shirt pillows (I blogged about it here).

My sister’s plan was to place the shirt pillows on a porch swing in her newly renovated porch. She converted a screened-in porch in the back of her new, old home into a true 3-season room. It’s not quite complete (because I have one more DIY project to complete, and she’s still working on accessorizing it), but it’s going to be gorgeous!

My sister is really good at mixing old and new along with items that have sentimental value and those that include a little bit of whimsy, too. I’m enjoying working on these projects with her. And, yes, we are talking about getting some projects done at my house, too.

Shirt Pillows on porch swing

The shirt pillows look great on her porch swing, don’t they? Every time we look at them we think about my oldest daughter’s Hawaiian themed wedding.

I can’t wait to show you the porch once it’s complete!

The next project I worked on involved updating lampshades for old lamps.

My sister loves old lamps. She has a collection of old and new lamps some with lampshades and some without.

She has learned how to re-wire lamps because most of them either don’t work or just don’t seem safe to use.

While she’s re-wiring lamps, I was tasked with recovering some old, yellowed lampshades for a pair of hobnail milk glass lamps that belonged to her in-laws.

There’s plenty of sites out there where you can learn how to do this. Here is what I did and learned about recovering old lampshades.

DIY Lampshade Cover 1

First of all, you have to make a pattern. We had some leftover packing paper, but you could use a paper bag or newspaper.

For this step, you will need the lampshade, the paper, a pencil, and scissors. I simply rolled the lampshade and ran the pencil along the paper to create the pattern adding an additional ½” around each side for the overlap seam. Then you can cut out your paper pattern.

DIY Lampshade Cover 2

After cutting out the pattern, you will need to cut out the fabric. You will need pins and scissors along with your fabric for this step.

Pin the pattern to your fabric and cut it out. The important thing about this step is that you will have to be careful about any pattern or bias in the fabric. You will have to make sure that you match the cut-out pattern if making lampshades for a pair (or more) of lamps.

DIY Lampshade Cover 3

Here is the cut out fabric ready to go. You can see one is done and still has the raw edge on the top and bottom.

DIY Lampshade Cover 4

I ironed the fabric so that there would be no wrinkles once they were adhered to the lampshades.

DIY Lampshade Cover 5

To adhere the fabric to the lampshades, you will need spray-on adhesive and fabric glue. I used the spray on adhesive outside because of the fumes.

DIY Lampshade Cover 6

It is important, at this point to determine the exact center of the fabric and the center of the lampshade which is the front opposite the seam. Line these two centers up for each lampshade to ensure that any pattern or bias on the fabric will match for multiple sets of lampshades.

DIY Lampshade Cover 7

Spray the side of the fabric that will be attached to the lamp. In other words, the outside of the fabric will be on the opposite side and you will be spraying on the inside of the fabric. This was a towel so it’s hard to tell which side was front and back on these pictures.

After spraying, turn the edge down on one side so you won’t have a raw edge left at the end.

DIY Lampshade Cover 8

Then you simply roll the lampshade onto the fabric going first one way from the center and then going back the other way from the center. Take the sealed edge and place it over the raw edge side. Press the fabric carefully and firmly onto the lampshade and allow to set for the amount of time specified on the adhesive.

DIY Lampshade Cover 9

The lampshades are now covered and the top and bottom edges need to be glued into place.

DIY Lampshade Cover 11

For this step, I used fabric glue to ensure that the fabric is solidly and tightly attached to the lampshade.

DIY Lampshade Cover 10

The bottom edges are glued. Allow it to set for the time specified.

DIY Lampshade Cover 11

Glue the top edges making sure that the fabric is taut. Allow them to set for the time specified.

This entire project took about an hour after subtracting time I spent analyzing the process to make sure I understood how it was going to look.

DIY Lampshade Cover 12

Here is a picture of the front and back of the lampshades. You can see how the pattern curves due to the conical shape of the lampshade. This is why it’s important to be careful when cutting and gluing the fabric onto the shade so that the pattern matches in the back and especially if doing multiple shades.

DIY Lampshade Cover Complete

Here is one of the two antique hobnail milk glass lamps that used to sit on a dresser in my sister’s in-law’s home with the newly covered lampshade. They are now sitting on an antique dresser in her guest room. They are a nice blend of old and new and much better looking than the old, yellowed lampshades. I love the choice of fabric which adds a soft and feminine texture against the white glass.

I love that my sister and I are being creative and learning new things together. I love that we are re-purposing things we already have and saving money updating and improving things for modern use. And I love how we are working together to create our new homes filled with things that are not only useful but are meaningful, too.

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