How to Make a Shabby Chic Lampshade

by Rhonda
4 Materials
2 Hours
This is so easy and inexpensive to do!
Launder your dropcloth so that it is soft and you are able to easily tie it.
I buy all of my drop cloth at Lowe's, 8 ounce variety. They come in many different sizes and even various tones/shades of cloth. For my lampshades (which are 11 inches diameter x 12 inches in length) I chose a 4 x 15 foot drop cloth.  That worked best for my shades because I needed 4 foot strips to make my ties.
Remove all of the cloth or current covering that is on your lampshade. 
Take it down to the wire frame. (This is not the lampshade that I used....just for illustration purposes.  Cool lampshade, though, huh?)
Put your lampshade back on your lamp as it will be easier to work on.
Measure your shade to decide on the length of drop cloth strips that you will need. You can measure the length (ie. 12 inches) multiply x 2 (24 inches) and then give yourself enough material to tie a knot and cut each end to your desired length.

For my project I went with 4 foot strips but had quite a bit to cut off at the end. 3 feet would probably have been plenty. (but I'd rather be too long than too short!) Now lay out your drop cloth and cut 2 inch strips by whatever length you have decided on. Again, mine were 2 inches x 4 feet.
Prepare to start tying! Wrap your first strip around the wire and pull the ends to the front of the shade.

and then.......TIE a knot!
I kind of varied the height of my knots all the way around the shade.  Be creative! Once you get the knot where you want it then you can decide on the length of the ends that you want. Just cut off the excess and you are on your way!

Repeat the process of tying until you go all around your entire shade and VOILA.... you have an amazing Shabby Lampshade!
I kind of overlapped the strips a little to make a fuller can do what you like here. For my shades it look about 26-30 strips of drop cloth.
And because I have not said it yet on this post.....I LURVE these little creations! Now get busy and be CrEaTiVe......and don't forget to send me pictures of your finished masterpiece!

I cannot wait to see what y'all come up with!

Blessings Abundant.....
Suggested materials:
  • Wire lampshade
  • Drop cloth (laundered)
  • Scissors
See all materials
Frequently asked questions
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3 of 4 questions
  • Page Bellamy Page Bellamy on May 14, 2018

    Could you use other material besides drop cloths?......or do you think it would fray too much? I always have trouble finding lampshades that match the color schemes of my rooms and think this would be a good way to solve that problem. Just don want strings constantly hanging loose 😊

  • Annie Annie on May 14, 2018

    Hi I just put this question in the wrong place, I was wondering what price you had on the lamps they are quite stunning thanks

  • Califmaggie Califmaggie on Dec 19, 2021

    I love the look. I live in the country and it is quite dusty. How do you wash the shade?

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2 of 14 comments
  • Gail Gail on Jun 09, 2019

    Yes. You have inspired me! I love love love this look and project. Can't wait to get to Lowe's. Thank you!

  • Rhonda Rhonda on May 16, 2022

    Thanks for sharing this, I absolutely luv it.