Custom Fabric Lampshade

3 Materials
2 Hours
As part of a mantel makeover in my living room, I updated a pair of drum shade sconces with leftover fabric from a reupholstery project. Let me know what you think!
The original sconces (which I swapped out last year) were brass builder specials from a big box store. And the new sconces here that looked black on line actually had an “antique bronze” finish that read brown in person. A quick spray of matte black paint remedied that - I did this earlier and did not take pictures :(.
I loved the drum shade on the new sconces; it was one of the main reasons I picked them. But, the bright white shade clashed with my ivory curtains and off-white trim and mantel. They stuck out like a sore thumb and needed to change. I had some extra fabric from two chairs I had reupholstered and decided I would cover the shades with it. I took a swatch from each of the two fabrics in question and used painter’s tape to temporarily attach it to the shades. Then I put the shades up and made my choice – I went with this tweed (from Calico) that I had purchased to recover the lumbar pillows on my slipper chairs.
I’ve covered lampshades in fabric before where I have tucked the fabric over the top and under the bottom of the shade to create the “finished edge”. But in this case, I opted not to do that because the lampshade frame sat right at the bottom of the shade and I would have had to make cuts in the fabric to work around it. So I cut the fabric to size – just to cover the face of the shade – and ironed a quarter inch hem on the top, bottom and one side to create a finished edge. 
Using Elmer’s Craft Bond spray adhesive, I secured the hems. After gluing, I had a long rectangle with one unfinished edge, ready to be attached to the shade.
Next, I attached the fabric to the shade. For the first shade, I sprayed both the back of the fabric as well as the shade and found that this was unnecessary and even made it harder to attach the fabric. The second time around, I only sprayed the fabric and found this much easier. 
Starting with the unfinished edge, I rolled the fabric onto the shade covering the unfinished edge with the finished one at the end. It was easy to attach when I went slowly to make sure my fabric lined up with the shade edges. The fabric adhered quickly and smoothly and I am now thinking of other projects where I can make use of the spray glue. Send me your suggestions!
I was happy with the way the first shade came out and moved on to number 2.
Here's the finished shade on my updated mantel - I love the way it looks!
Here's a shot of both shades on the sconces. Let me know what you think! And check out the entire Mantel Makeover on the blog!

Suggested materials:

  • Black Matte Spray Paint   (Ace Hardware)
  • Elmer's Craft Bond   (Joann Fabric)
  • Leftover fabric   (Calico)

Kristen Koehler
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 7 questions
  • Jax2459775 Jax2459775 on Aug 13, 2017
    Really liked what you did with your mantel. I like a piece of decor that you have. It is the silver flowers (?) would you please let me know where you purchased this. Thank you very much

  • Joyce Howell Joyce Howell on Aug 13, 2017
    Looks great have you done this on a pleated shade and do you do it the same way ?

  • Patrick Gallant Patrick Gallant on Aug 13, 2017
    What shade of white is the wall ? I've wanted to go white, but there are so many shades and I don't want one that looks too chalky and will set off bright colors.


Join the conversation

2 of 88 comments
  • Kristen Koehler Kristen Koehler on Sep 05, 2017
    Hi Joyce - so glad to hear that! Would love to see how it turns out on your shades! Thanks

  • Nita Leosh Nita Leosh on Mar 12, 2018

    What a great idea! I have been puzzling over what to do with 2 small sconce lampshades in an RV we recently purchased. I have been unable to find new shades but your genius has saved the day! I have recovered all the valances and now will do the shades in a very nice upholstery fabric that I found at our local ReStore. I bought a very large remnant roll for $1. Woohoo!