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Make Your Own Lampshades

By: H. Iacobacci-Miller



  • Lampshade – your choice of size/shape
  • Fabric – Min. 45" width of a light to medium weight – decorator fabrics work well. Yardage will vary, but average yardage per shade will be 1/2 to 3/4 yard.
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Fabric Glue (hot glue gun can also be used)
  • Pencil or fabric pencil
  • Sharp Scissors
  • Straight Edge/Ruler
  • Decorative trims - gimp trim for top and bottom edges. Optional: tassels, chainette, or beaded fringe for bottome edge. Note: measure around shade adding 1" for each section of trim used.


  1. Marking your fabric - lay your fabric right side up. Take care in placement of fabric design because your cut will be on a bias or arc.
  2. Place seam of shade, face down, near left edge of fabric. Make slash marks at top and bottom of seam on the fabric. Slowly roll the shade to the right and continue to mark dashes at both the top and bottom of shade using a maximum of 1/2" intervals. When you reach the shade seam stop and mark fabric again at both the top and bottom of the seam.

  3. Using your straight edge or ruler, draw a line connecting the top and bottom marks. Now measure 1/2" away from lines and create a second row of dashes - this is to allow for overlap.
  4. With sharp scissors, carefully cut along your outer markings.
  5. Following manufacturer's directions, apply your spray adhesive in a light, even coat over the surface of the shade.
  6. Using the lampshade seam as a starting point, match one straight edge of fabric to the seam.
  7. Smooth fabric evenly over the shade until you come back to the seam.
  8. Fold your overlap piece neatly and use your fabric glue to secure
  9. At this point you can either trim away the excess at the top and bottom or fold in and glud down.
  10. Adding trims - starting at the seam, glue the fringe to edges of shade. Overlap and glue the ends of the trim. Note: if using fringe, glue fringe to bottom edge first and then glue your decorative flat trim over the top to provide a finished look. You can use either straight pins or clothes pins to secure trim until glue has dried if needed.
  11. Finally - attach your new lampshade and Voila!