Make Your Own Lampshade And Upgrade Your Decor

A lampshade can be multi-purpose. It’s primarily used as a diffuser – to dim the harsh glare of light bulbs. However, the right lamp can help you make a fabulous fashion statement about your home decor. How? That’s simple – you can customise your lamp either by dyeing a lampshade or by creating your own one, through some plants in the room, and voila!

Colorful lampshades

In other words, it’s a good idea to have a step-by-step DIY lampshade guide up your sleeve. That’s where we come in. This comprehensive guide will walk you through 3 different ways to make one and some valuable pointers to make your custom lampshade experience go smoother. Ready?

How to make a drum shade with recycled materials

The first DIY lampshade guide involves making a drum lampshade. Drum shades are often utilised for side table lamps, pendant lights, etc., and they’re designed to have crisp and clean lines and may be personalised in a hundred different ways. 

However, to begin with, here’s the list of materials that you’ll need to get started on your DIY drum shade journey. 

  • Two lampshade rings (one plain ring, one ring with a fitter)
  • Binder clips
  • Lampshade glue (you can also try out using hot glue with a glue gun)
  • One roll of styrene
  • Moulding stick
  • Any slightly thick fabric you have lying around

Step 1

Before getting to work on your new lampshade, make sure the fabric you’ve selected to give your lamp base a makeover is crease and wrinkle-free. Once that’s done, grab the roll of styrene, peel its edge and lay it on the fabric so that it lines up with the edge. Keep on peeling and smoothing over the fabric until it’s firmly set in place without any crinkles, etc. 

Step 2

Once you’ve successfully rolled out styrene on the fabric, leave an overhang of approximately 2.5cm of each side of the material and cut the cloth (according to the dimensions of your old lampshade). Next, apply some glue on the short sides of the fabric and stick the material to create a cleaner edge. 

Desk lamps with lampshades

Step 3

Once the glue is dry, use the binder clips to roll the styrene covered fabric until it fits the lampshade ring and let it rest with binder clips to help the lampshade keep its new shape. 

Initially, the ring can rest on top of the styrene. After that, add glue along the edge of the two remaining sides of the fabric and press it down. However, you can use a moulding stick to tuck the material under the ring. This process is precisely the same for the top and bottom rings of the lampshade.

 Step 4

It’s time to glue the outside seam of the lampshade to ensure everything stays in place and functions as it should. Remember to glue to the seam little by little and not in one go. You’ll have to wait for the glow to get a little tacky to move on with the whole lampshade. Once the outer seam is well and truly stuck – your drum lampshade is ready for use wherever you please – be it the living room, bedroom, a pendant light, etc. 

How to make a panelled shade

Our next tutorial is for all the fans of panelled lampshades. Here’s what you’ll need for this DIY project.

  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Fabric
  • Seam tape
  • Wire frame
  • Glue
  • Needle and thread
  • Lining fabric (optional)
  • Muslin
  • Trim (optional)Woman holding scissors cutting fabrics and sewing

Step 1

Even though we love vintage stuff, the fabric from your old lampshade needs to go to make room for the new one. Don’t worry; removing the old fabric is easier than you think. Just ensure you keep a light hand so that the lampshade frame retains its form and space. 

Believe it or not, panelled shades are incredibly diverse; however, they’re designed with frames, not rings. The best part is you can use this lampshade tutorial for just about any shape, such as hexagonal, triangular, and square lampshades

To get started, wrap the spokes (vertical wires of the lampshade frame) with seam tape. Add some glue to the beginning of your seam tape and the very end. Repeat this process for each spoke that you cover. 

Step 2

It’s time to mark out the size of each panel to form a pattern for your lampshade. Also, remember to leave a gap of around .65cm for seam allowance

If your frame looks to be completely uniform – marking out one panel with the help of a marking pen will suffice. If not, it’s better to measure each panel individually. If you’re having trouble with the fabric moving around too much – utilise some pins to hold it in place. 

Once you’ve marked out each panel, it’s time to cut them out. But don’t forget to cut along the seam allowance gap. If you intend to use a lining cloth – use the muslin panels to cut similar panels from the lining. 

Step 3

​​​​Next, stitch all the muslin seams together with the .65cm allowance. Make sure that you sew the panels in the proper order if there is any variation. Repeat this process for the lining if you want to use one.

 Now for the fun part. Line up the seams of the panels according to the corresponding spokes. Turn the material right side out and gently stretch it to fit the frame. You can always overcast stitch any droopy or extra fabric that’s causing issues with your handy needle and thread. 


woman makes a lamp shade with handmade tassels

Step 4

Once the muslin panels are all well-fitted, pull the rest of the fabric taut and secure the loose material at the top and the bottom to the frame. If you think there’s too much fabric, trim the excess off and then secure it. 

Congratulations, you’re almost done with your new panelled lampshade cover. For finishing decorations, you can add a personal touch by freehand painting with a paintbrush, adding tassels, beads, etc. You can also purchase ready-made templates/stencils and spray paint a design on each panel. 

How to make a leftover fabric shade

Okay, for the third instalment of our lampshade making tutorial – we’re going to tell you how to DIY a chandelier. We’re joking; the last and final guide is all about creating your very own lampshade from leftover fabric. 

Be it a bedside, buffet, or floor lamp – as long as there’s a fabric lampshade involved, these steps will be of help to you. Here’s what you need to do. 

Step 1

Begin with taking measurements of your lampshade frame. No matter its size or shape – you need to get down simple dimensions such as length and width. Make sure you measure properly to ensure the strips of fabric you cut out for your lampshade end up fitting too.

Modern lampshade light

Step 2

This is where you can play with the look of your lampshade. You can use different fabrics to create a unique look for your light (be it a ceiling light or a hanging lamp) or play around with multiple colour schemes. However, no matter the material or colour, remember to leave around 2.5cm around the cloth for seam allowance so that the fabric can wrap around the wireframe.

You can also choose to trim the edge of the material with ribbon for a cleaner, more professional look. Although, this step is entirely optional

Step 3

Next, attach the fabric to the bottom and the top of the lampshade. You can use a hot glue gun, needle or thread, or even a staple gun to accomplish this. 

Once the fabric is trimmed and attached to the frame, you can add embellishments to enhance the look and give a high-quality finish. 

Some tips from experts

  • Before we sign off, here are those practical tips we promised to ensure your lampshade DIY journey creates the perfect look for your space.
  • Before selecting a fabric, consider the overall look, colour scheme, and feel of the room where the lamp is placed. This will ensure your light doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb. 
  • If you can manage it, make sure to arrange your lamps in pairs to give coherence to your interior. 
  • Pick out fabrics and colours that’ll match the lamp base. Doing so will ensure that your lampshade appears to be a part of the fixture.   

Lampshade on the roof

Lampshades can invigorate your living room’s home decor and give it a new feel. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to breathe some fresh air into your interiors – create your lampshades to play around with the colour and feel of your space! What’s more, a DIY lampshade project is suitable for beginners and won’t take up too much time to complete.

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