Cool in the Shade

Have you found a great lamp base with an ugly shade at a thrift store?  I did, for ten bucks.  The base is great, but the shade has seen better days.

One support was broken, leaving the shade lopsided.  The bright teal, stained pleated fabric shade wasn’t doing it for me either.

So, I took the shade, er, matters into my own hands.  We had a small scrap of canvas left over from sewing a drop cloth curtain for our laundry room.  It was perfect.  Neutral and free!  I set to work on transforming the lampshade.  While my iron was heating up, I ripped all the teal fabric off.

I measured the circumference and height of my shade and cut a piece of canvas slighty larger, keeping one finished edge of the dropcloth.  Using iron on tape, I hemmed the edges to fit.

I clipped the extra fabric from the corners to cut bulk.

Now I was ready to start on the shade.  To cover the shade, first I taped my unfinished edge in place.

Wrap the fabric around the shade, smoothing out along the way.  Tape the finished end in place and in a few other places, just to prevent movement.  Hot glue the unfinished edge to the shade. 

Run a thin bead of hot glue between the edge of the lampshade and the fabric.  Press down to secure.

When you reach the finished edge, hot glue in place.  I was almost finished with my shade.  I still had to fix the broken support.  I dug a bamboo skewer out of the drawer and cut it to fit in the shade.  Then, I added a dollop of hot glue to the shade to secure the skewer.  Worked like a charm!

I popped the shade on the base and it looked like a million bucks.  And we finally have a lamp for the basement bedroom.

Of course, there are tons of options to update a lampshade, like dye, ribbon or coffee filters, to name a few.  Have you updated an old shade?  Maybe you’ve transformed a thrift store lamp or two?  We’d love to see your ideas, so share a link, too.

P.S.  I turn a quarter of a century old today, maybe I’ll have some b-day goodies to share with you…

19 thoughts on “Cool in the Shade

  1. Happy Birthday! Hope you have a wonder day celebrating! Love the lamp redo…simple and elegant. Are you sure you want to leave the lamp in the basement? It’s just too cute.

  2. Happy birthday Amanda! We are the same age!
    Hope you have a fabulous day & I love the new lamp! Great transformation as always 🙂

  3. Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag!!!!!
    Thanks for all the inspiration, looking forward to all you do in the next year of your life.
    I have a lamp project going on as well, unfortunately not ready to linkt o jet…

    1. Thanks for the birthday wishes and kind words about the lamp!

      Ashley, if you roll your shade on to your fabric and trace the lines (leaving a 1/2 extra fabric), this should work perfectly for a cone shaped shade. You’ll probably have to cut small pieces out of the 1/2 allowance so you don’t have bulk, but it’s worth a shot, right? Good luck!


  4. I have a lamp that I despirately want to update the shade of and I so love this tutorial. I’m worried about the hot glue on the shade getting warm though. Have you left it on a while? Was the glue OK or does it get soft? Thanks!

    1. Hi Robin,

      The hot glue hasn’t been a problem, but we also use CFL bulbs, so they don’t get as hot as an incandescent. And, I only applied hot glue at the overlapping seams and along the top and bottom of the shade, so it’s not entirely covered. I think you should be totally fine with a CFL and a little hot glue at the edges. If this works, we’d love for you to share your before and after on our Facebook page.

      Happy lamp revamping!

  5. Happy birthday! It’s my birthday today too! Hope you had a great one. I happened upon your blog (don’t quite remember how…Young House Love? Hmmm…) Anyway, your design and ideas are great!

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