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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fabric Covered Lamp Shades

Having recently installed two hanging pendant style lamp shades over my kitchen table, I have decided that they look great but maybe just a little too plain. I know just the solution for that. I can cover the shades with fabric to customize them and add a bit more style to the space.

First -   Pick some fabric. I chose a graphic greek key style fabric in a gray and off white color. I think this will look great on the shades over my table. To determine how much fabric, depends on the size of your shade. I was able to use 1yard for both tapered drum shades...so approx 1/2 yard each.

Step 2. Gather your supplies and lay out your fabric on a flat surface.
fabric - 1 yard
fabric glue
fabric pen
painters tape

 Lay out your fabric and place shade on top to cut out piece for covering. Since I am using a fabric with an allover print I just centered my shade on the fabric and rolled it from side to side to determine legnth of peice that needed to be cut. NOTE: If you are using a tapered shade as I am (meaning smaller opening on one side) you must remember that your peice of fabric will not be straight, but more curved to follow the shape of the shade.

Next, measure approx 2 inches along top and bottom of shade as you roll it on the fabric...mark with fabric pen.

Cut fabric following you mark. Notice how your final peice is curved to follow the shape of the shade. This is important so you will not have any gapping when you wrap the fabric around the shade.

Wrap the fabric around the shade and glue it on using your fabric glue. I used a small brush to spread the glue so it would get even coverage. Then tape in place. Be sure to glue right at the existing seam on your shade.

Wrape entire length of fabric piece around your shade and secure with a peice of tape. You should have 2 inches of extra fabric along top and bottom of shade. Be sure to pull fabric snug so there are no gaps or wrinkles.

Starting at top of shade, tuck in extra fabric and draw a line along edge of shade with your fabric marker. Continue all around the edge of the shade. Then cut along your line, leaving about 1/2 inch of fabric to turn under for your seam.

Turn under your fabric leaving the turned edge just a fraction above the edge of the shade. Then glue turned edge onto the shade. Tape down as you go. Turn shade over and repeat on other side.

Once the top and bottom edges are turned under and glued it is time to make the finished seam on the second end of fabric. Make sure the second end of fabric extends at lease a couple of inches past the first end that has already been glued into place. Cut the extra fabric off, leaving about 1 inch. Apply a line of glue and turn under. Apply a second line of glue and press down seam then hold with tape.

After glue is set, remove all of your lovely blue tape and hang your brand new fabric covered shade!

Here is the after shot of my new fabric covered shades hanging over my kitchen table. You may have noticed the gray trim around the top of each shade. You can add that last as a finishing detail if desired.

I like the new look. How about you? Have you covered a lamp shade with fabric and or paint?


  1. Would you mind sharing where you found this lovely fabric?

  2. Hi K...I purchased this fabric at my local Home Fabrics store here in the Bay Area of Northern California - store #36. You can find them online at www.homefabricsonline.com


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