Lampshade Makeover

I bought this lamp at Village Thrift in North Philadelphia for $1.50 in the mid-eighties. It used to be near my bed, spent time on the kitchen table, and now sits on my desk in the studio. I love that it’s ornate, takes up little space, and throws off just enough light with it’s 40 watt bulb. The problem was that the shade was looking a little worse for wear, something had to be done!

I started with a piece of brown kraft paper, I placed the shade seam side down and marked with a pencil where the top and bottom seams began. Then I rolled the shade on the paper in inch increments, marking as I rolled. When I got back to the seam side, I marked it off. I connected the marks – I now had a working pattern. I cut out the pattern and taped it to the piece of fabric I selected. I traced around the pattern with a Mark-B-Gone pen, removed the brown paper and added 1/4″ on all sides. I cut it out, folded down 1/4″ of the end of the fabric from the top and bottom and applied some white glue at the seam of the shade. I gave it about an hour to dry.

Using a 1″ foam brush, I applied more glue to the shade in small sections, tucking 1/8″ of the excess fabric on the top and bottom under. Then using a small paintbrush, I applied a thin line of glue to the inside perimeter of the shade, and folded the fabric over. I used small strips of masking tape to hold it in place while it dried. When I got to the end, I tucked the end piece under and glued it down, again I taped the end down until the glue set. Ta-da! My lamp has a new look, and it’s another terrific way to use up the smaller scraps from your fabric stash!

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