1 Lamp, 3 Different Ways
For the most recent DIY we were tasked with taking one simple lamp, and doing it up three different ways. We used Target’s because it is a super classic, simple shape, and a for all three of these lamp DIY’s. The rest of the supplies can be found below for each lamp. Let’s get into it:
While I like all three ideas this one is probably my favorite finished product and the one that I would have in my house. We used some fabric (that you can get at ) and covered the shade. There is something about ‘decorative lampshades’ that typically scare me. I think often the patterns of the readymade ones are too GRAPHIC!! CONTEMPORARY!!! IN YOUR FACE!!!! But I still really like the idea of upgrading a lamp by doing something simple and pretty to the shade. So just make sure you choose a good, modern pattern OR get vintage and do something totally unique. Even a solid fabric in a pretty linen texture would be a nice upgrade without grabbing too much attention.
Fun -ish fact about me: as you probably know I did a lot of growing up (and I can’t wait to torture my own children with such activities). Not the animal/farm 4-H but the home 4-H (cooking and crafts) and I recovered A LOT of lampshades. Like crazy victorian shades with fringe that still hold a pretty intense place in my heart. I did it the really intense way using fringe and bias tape and different fabric for each of the panels. So, this is the easier way to go about it that I sure wish I had done when I was 11.
Fabric Covered Shade
Scissors/Rotary Cutter: You will need these to cut out the fabric, we found that the rotary cutter was able to get a much cleaner cut.
Spray Adhesive: We just used all purpose spray adhesive
Fabric: Depending on the size of lampshade you use, one yard should be plenty of fabric
1. Start by laying your fabric out with the pattern side facing the table. Then Lay your lampshade down on the fabric and slowly trace the outline of the lampshade as you move it along the fabric. Leave 1″ extra around the lampshade
2. Remove the excess fabric and spray a layer of adhesive on the backside of the fabric. Starting at the seam of the lampshade slowly roll the lampshade across the fabric and press firmly to adhere the fabric to the shade. Once you loop back around, fold 1/4″ of fabric under itself and glue down for the finished seam. Once Your fabric is glued to the shade, trim the excess using the rotary cutter.
Now this one I personally think is better in theory. Its not that I don’t like it, but there is something about that pattern that just might have played better on a simpler lamp shape – like a cylinder or rectangle. BUT ready for the easiest/best/smartest and most useful DIY ever? You can paint a fabric lampshades any color you want. We do this a lot with vintage lamps/shades where the shade is the perfect size/scale but its yellowed and instead of buying a new $50 shade we just water down some house paint and paint it out. We did that here, in the weekend makeover and it turned out beautifully.
Painted Shade and Lamp
Paintbrush: you will need both a small paintbrush for the details, and a large paintbrush for the lampshade
Paint: we used water based house paint (Benjamin Moore’s Lafayette Green)
Cup/Water: we water downed our paint to 2/3 water to 1/3 paint for the lampshade
1. Using a small paintbrush begin at the base of the lamp and make small organic circles. Ours were all a little bit different in shape and size, this is where you get to be creative and just enjoy what you end up with. Keep a wet rag handy in case you make a mistake or need to wipe up any paint
2. To paint the shade we used 1 part paint to 3 parts water. You can mix this in a small plastic cup and then using a 1-2″ paintbrush generously apply the water downed paint to the shade. Just make sure that you work in long strokes vertically and keep a wet edge as you move along so that you don’t get any streaking.
This one takes a bit of patience and there are some options already out there, sold pre-wrapped so I would go a little more nuts with the rope (think marine rope or colored rope) to make sure that you aren’t making something that is already on the market.
Rope Wrapped Base
Hot Glue Gun
Sisal Rope: We sourced ours from Fabric, but you can also find it online through .
1. Starting on the backside of the lamp, begin at the base and working in 4-5″ sections begin gluing your rope around the lamp base. As you work your way up, be sure to keep the rows of rope tight against each other and step back every so often to make sure that you are still wrapping it straight.
2. When you reach the top of the lamp finish it off by cutting the extra off and gluing down the rope.
Just because we love to show you slight differences between the way it is printed and our in studio versions above is what it looked like in the printed magazine. They changed the background color to blue, saturated the colors, lightened the whites and brightened the golds.
Which one is your favorite?
*Photography by , styled by Scott Horne, DIY projects produced by for EHD (art directed by me).