Gave My Lamp Shade a New Life

Sandra L Warren
by Sandra L Warren
5 Materials
2 Hours
I had this lamp with a damaged shade so for about $5-$8 I created a new shade and it took about two hours.
Wounded shade
A lamp that was given to me had a damaged shade and instead of discarding the whole thing I decided I would attempt to give it new life. I made the design up as I went along so I altered my design mid process.
Remove the damaged shade material
I removed the material from the shade frame.
I gathered the materials I planned to use: Brown craft/shipping paper ($1 at dollar stores/$3 ish at Walmart for wider version), Any brand of black craft paint, hot glue gun/glue, a straight pin (or needle). I also used black yarn (not shown here) that I had on hand but can be purchased at Walmart for a few bucks, and last but not least a high gloss clear coat spray ( I used Krylon for $3 and change from Walmart.
I could not remove the shade frame but if you are able to with your shade that would make it much easier. Wrap the paper all the way around leaving plenty of overlap and cut from the tube. Less is needed if your shade is completely vertical. Mine is tapered with 6 flat panels so I had to have plenty of extra overlap.
Fold your cut paper in half and crease, this crease will be the starting point for hot gluing to the vertical wires. Place a drop of glue at the top and bottom of one of the vertical wires making sure to leave paper overhanging at both the top and bottom of the shade. Repeat this at each of the vertical wires pulling the paper as tight as possible before placing onto the glue spots.
Glue the end of the flap over where you began gluing. Trim the excess flap and the top and bottom off leaving about half an inch overhang on the top and bottom.
Snip a "V" at each of the vertical wire locations so when the paper is folded around the bottom of the shade frame and glued, it will not have a bulge and it will lay flat. Use the hot glue and glue the flaps up around the bottom if the frame.
Repeat the last process for the top of the shade and this is what you end up with.
Hold image with clothes pins
Find an image you like. I sketched this one but you can google silhouette images and print out an image (or several different images you like), Use clothes pins to hold the images in place as shown.
Trace image by poking pin holes.
Use the pin and poke holes through the image and craft paper shade all the way around, tracing your image with pin holes. *NOTE* tape the pin/needle to a pencil to save your fingers.
Pin hole tracing completed. I decided to use one image and mirror it on each of the adjoining panels. (hopefully you can see the pinhole detail in this picture)
I use the black craft paint mixed with a little water and used the pinholes as an outline and painted the images on each of the panels.
I used the black yarn and hot glue and trimmed each of the frame wire locations and tied at each joint at the bottom and left enough excess to create tassels brushed them out and trimmed the tassels to the same length. I completed the project by spraying the clear coat over the whole shade which to my surprise gave it a leather look that stayed even after drying.
Wounded shade revived!
Resources for this project:
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Frequently asked questions
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  • Lisa Fauerbach Lisa Fauerbach on Jun 03, 2020

    I LOVE this!!!!😍😍😍😍

  • Jo Ann Jennings Schmits Jo Ann Jennings Schmits on Jun 03, 2020

    Beautiful project.

    We have a lamp that uses 3-way bulbs. These are not LEDs

    I have seen incandescent bulbs scorch the inside of older lampshades that then had to be tossed.

    Do you know if there a danger of kraft paper scorching or burning when the lampshade is close to a warm/hot light bulb?

  • RC Leach RC Leach on Jun 15, 2020

    Very nice! A project that looked kind of every-day at first, kept getting better and better! I think I might try this!! Well done! R.C. Leach

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