Cover a Dropdown Lampshade With Handmade Mulberry Paper

Dee Dickson
by Dee Dickson
2 Materials
3 Hours

I have three drop down lights over my kitchen island I love, except that the cloth shades have become a bit dingy, plus I wanted a new look. New shades are expensive but handmade papers come in gorgeous designs and colors, are incredibly strong while pliable and easy to work with, as well as being relatively inexpensive.

Here is the before photo…

Remove the lampshade from the stem by unscrewing the bulb and the additional screw on ring holding the lampshade up. Your lights may be a bit different, but essentially you just need to remove the lampshade from the stem.

Once down, I cleaned it as best I could inside and out using vinegar and water. Nothing too harsh.

This is a close up of my rice paper sheet on a granite counter top. It is see thru so you are seeing the granite underneath.

Make a template using a thicker paper to cut your paper. Measure around the lampshade adding 1/4 inch, them measure the width of the shade top to bottom adding 1/2 inch. This will give you 1/4 inch overlap around the shade as well as on each top and bottom edge. For example, my shade was 21 inches around and 6 1/2 inches wide. I cut a template 21 1/4 inches x 7 inches. Use the template to cut out a piece for the lampshade. Lay the lampshade on the lace paper cutout and using clear glue, draw a thin line across the seam. Be sure to leave 1/4 inch on top and bottom of the shade. Bring one edge of the lace paper and glue. Lay another thin glue line and bring the other edge to the seam overlapping the paper. The paper is thin and does not need a finished edge, it blends in seamlessly, just don’t apply too much glue.

Let the glue on the above step dry for about 15 minutes then lay the lampshade on its side and run a thin line of you glue along the edge.

Using your finger, gently attach the paper to the shade with your finger, rolling it up and around the edge. Again the paper is thin and does not need a finished edge. Let dry and do the other side.

This is one of the finished shade. They are beautiful in my kitchen.

Here is the after photo. I covered three lampshades using one 25x37 sheet of Thai lace paper. I needed to keep the paper neutral and light since my kitchen is dark and needs all the light it can get. The papers come in all sorts of gorgeous colors and designs. The best part is I can always change the decor with a different paper when I get tired of it or remodel the kitchen!!

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  • Carol de la Fuente Carol de la Fuente on Jul 30, 2023

    It is very beautiful!!! Nice job!!!

  • Anonymous Anonymous on Jul 31, 2023

    This is just a great lighting option, the idea is very simple, easy to execute and not costly in terms of money. I always love the idea of decorating with my own hands.