No-Sew Lampshade Make-Over

602163697_oIMG_0648I gave all of the  lampshades above a new look using the technique described below.  It is a fast, easy and very inexpensive method to update a second-hand lampshade.

You will need:

  • A  paper lampshade
  • scissors
  • spray adhesive (I use 3-M.)
  • a brown paper grocery store bag
  • fabric
  • clip-on clothespins of any sort
  • an iron

For the pattern, cut off the bottom of the grocery store paper bag so that it will lie flat. If you are recovering a large shade, tape a couple of bags together to get a larger piece of paper.


Set the shade on its side using the seam on the shade as a starting point.  As you roll the shade across the Kraft paper, an inch at a time, mark the top and the bottom with the pencil creating an exact pattern of the shade. Make the pattern 3/4″ longer at the end. You will want to fold over the fabric at the end to create a neat closing.

IMG_0558Cut out the pattern, fold over the closure seam and fit the pattern over the shade (use clip-on clothespins) to test the size.


IMG_0562Next, lay the pattern on top of the fabric you have chosen. If the paper covering the existing lampshade is patterned or colored, you may want to choose a mid-weight fabric so that the pattern or color will not show through the new covering.


My fabric for this shade has stripes, so note the location of the pattern on the design. The placement of the pattern insures that the back of the shade will look professional. Now, try the new fabric on the shade.


Spray a small amount of adhesive to the inside of the fold to create a finished edge. Then, spray the wrong side of the fabric with adhesive. Use any type of spray adhesive which creates a strong hold when dry, but allows for  re-positioning of the fabric if you don’t get the placement just right the first time. When you have it positioned correctly hold with clothespins until the adhesive is fixed. Trim off any excess fabric along the top and bottom.


Now, it is time to make the top and bottom banding to give the shade a finished look. Using the top of the  pattern, cut a one inch wide piece of the fabric you have chosen for the banding. Fold this narrow piece of fabric in half the long way and iron it.  Then, fold each side in to create a band with finished edges. Iron again, fold the end over again like you did with the fabric and give that end a dash of adhesive just to hold the end neatly. Spray the inside of the band with the adhesive.

IMG_0593Place the band around the top edge of the shade, beginning at the seam, just like you did with the fabric.  Go slowly, so that your work will be neat. Pick up the band and reposition if necessary. The turned over end will cover the beginning. Hold with clothespins as you work if it is a large shade.

IMG_0587Repeat the same steps to make a band for the bottom edge of the shade.

Sometimes I make a band and sometimes I use gimp as seen on the first shades I showed you. Using gimp makes the entire project easier yet! I used a soft linen with a striped design for my example.  A tightly woven fabric with a non-repeating design makes the best shades. For example, on the two mid-century modern shades, I used Sunbrella fabric which worked beautifully.

There you have it. Recovering a shade for any simple paper lampshade is a fast project!


9 thoughts on “No-Sew Lampshade Make-Over

  1. I couldn’t find your email address. Just wanted you to know that you’ve been featured today on my weekly Welcome Wagon Friday post, where I introduce new bloggers to my readers. Welcome to the neighborhood!
    Brenda@Cozy Little House


    • Hi Cindy,
      Thank you for the compliment and for pinning my tutorial to Pinterest. I have covered a lot of shades this way over the years. But I cannot believe that I chose a soft linen with stripes for the tutorial. Yikes!


    • Thank you! It was nice to find your blog through Home for Now. I was just looking at the slipper chair you found and had reupholstered. That chair is Marie-Antoinette-gorgeous. It paid to wait until you found the perfect fabric. It is just beautiful. I know it is expensive to have that tufting done, but it is a lifelong keeper.


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