DIY Fabric Covered Lampshade

Fabric covered lamp 4

I have been looking for a new pair of lamps for my bedside tables ever since my little “lovelies” shattered one of my prior lamps to pieces.  The symmetry is way off with just one, so its lonely twin has been relegated to the garage for the time being.

All of the lamps I found were either out of my budget or cheap looking.  Soo . . . I decided to make a pair of custom lamps!  Why not??

When I saw two of these Threshold lamps on sale for $11.99 at Target, I knew I could transform them into something fab!


The lamp base was made of a light wood, so the first thing I did was apply some Rub N Buff in Gold Leaf to glam it up.

Next, I found these lampshades on clearance at my beloved Target for $3.99.  Since I knew I was going to cover them in fabric, I did not care about what they looked like.



I had some left over fabric for the upholstered X Bench project I wrote about here, so I decided to use it, as the two accessories go in the same room.

Here are the steps I used to cover the lampshade with fabric.

  1. First, I painted the lampshade with white paint.  You may or may not need to do this depending on your lampshade.  On mine, the existing pattern showed through so I had to paint it.
  2. Second, line up the seam on the lampshade with the edge of your fabric.  IMG_0489
  3. Third, make a pattern.  Roll the shade and follow along the edge, marking lightly with a pencil first at the top of the shade then at the bottom of the shade.  I recommend marking the opposite or “wrong” side of the fabric.  I did not and was not light enough with my pencil marks.  I was left using an eraser like my 4 year old!  Stop when you get to the seam.  You will want to add an additional half inch to roll over where the seams meet.
  4. Fourth, add an additional half inch to the top and bottom pencil marks.  This is the extra fabric you will wrap over the top and bottom of the shade.
  5. Fifth, cut out the pattern. IMG_0493
  6. Six, glue the fabric to the shade.  I used fabric glue for the majority of the surface, but used a hot glue gun at the seams and where the edges fold over.  I found the glue gun left a lumpy texture under the fabric.  Also, I almost burned my entire hand off and was cursing at anyone and everyone nearby.  I swear I have NEVER used a glue gun without injury!
  7. Seven, use clothes pins to secure the fabric as you work around and while it dries.

IMG_0494 Here is my final result.  It was such an easy project (except the scalding burns on my hands 🙂 ) and I love the custom look of my lamps that cost a fraction of what high-end lamps run for.

fabric covered lamp 2


Since the amount of fabric you will need will depend on the diameter and height of your lamp shade, you may want to use newspaper to cut out the pattern first before you buy fabric!

The options to customize a basic lamp are endless depending on your fabric choice.  Amazing lamps and lampshades are also easy to find at antique fairs, thrift stores and garage sales so keep your eyes out!


  1. This is an amazing project! I love it.


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