How To Make A Custom Fabric Lampshade

by Apt2B
6 Materials
1 Hour
Kyle Schuneman, designer extraordinaire and DIY wunderkind, is about to throw some serious shade. And in this case that's a good thing! This week Kyle shows you how to transform a dull table lamp into the highlight of your home decor. All you need are a few simple tools, a little bit of elbow grease, and some fabulous fabric!

Watch the video to see Kyle in action!

Step 1: Remove the Original Fabric From The Shade

The fabric portion of a lamp shade is actually made up of two separate pieces - the fabric itself and a plastic liner. The first step in this DIY project is to use your X-Acto knife to separate the fabric shade from the confines of the shade's metal hoops. Take your X-Acto knife and lift up the fabric along the seam of the shade. Cut along the seam until it separates!

Now you'll flip the shade and cut along the metal hoops. Cut all the way around until you've completely separated the fabric and the lining from the hoops. Depending on your lamp shade you might notice that some of the original fabric is still attached to the metal hoops. That's OK! You'll be covering up the old fabric in the next steps.

Step 2: Separate The Fabric and The Plastic Lining

Next you'll want to gently but firmly pull the fabric off of the plastic lining. Now throw that old fabric away! Doesn't that feel good?

Step 3: Cut The Fabric

Lay your new fab fabric out on a smooth surface. Place the plastic lining on top of the fabric. Use your scissors to cut the appropriate length of the fabric. Make sure to give yourself about an inch of extra fabric to work with on the top and bottom of the lining. You'll be folding the fabric over the lining, which means you'll need some extra fabric to spare!

Step 4: Stick The Fabric To The Plastic Lining

Use your handy dandy can of spray on adhesive to transform the plastic lining into a big ol' piece of tape! Spray an even layer across the surface of the plastic lining. You won't need too much adhesive - this stuff is seriously sticky.

Slowly spread the fabric along the sticky surface of the plastic lining. It's best to work slowly so that you can avoid wrinkles, bubbles, and misalignment. If you work too fast you won't be able to make any necessary minor adjustments along the way. Spread the fabric until it completely covers the plastic lining.

Step 5: Hot Glue Your New Shade To The Metal Hoops

Remember how you originally cut the fabric shade off of the metal hoops in the first step? Now it's time to do the exact opposite! Fold the extra fabric over the metal hoops. Use your hot glue gun to stick the fabric to the interior of the metal hoops. Work slowly and try not to touch the hot glue with your fingers! I've done it before and it's not very fun. At all.

Let there be light! Your new lampshade is ready! Place it back on your lamp base and enjoy your new, one-of-a-kind lamp!
Resources for this project:
Your favorite lamp with fabric shade (Kyle is using our Apt2B Teresa Table Lamp)
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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 6 questions
  • Paula P Paula P on Jun 05, 2018

    What made it cost $200 to do?

  • Gai28821468 Gai28821468 on Jun 05, 2018

    What if the plastic is cracked. Where can you get new plastic?

  • Luis Del Toro Luis Del Toro on Nov 01, 2019

    Going to try to make a lamp shade from scratch using wire hangers and either nice curtains or colorful table cloth picked up at a Bed Bath and Beyond store that was closing for just pennies what should I look for the plastic liner? Is it just a thicker ply of plastic like a heavy duty shower liner?

    Thanks Luis

Join the conversation
3 of 19 comments
  • Sunny Sunny on Jun 12, 2018

    I've done this with a lampshade that was torn and my husband was throwing out. I made a baby crib set and covered the lamp in the same material. Looks great and everything matches.

  • Cindy Wade Cindy Wade on Jun 13, 2018

    I will do this but need to know what to use to recreate the plastic shade liner. Mine is cracked and brittle.