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DIY {Lamp makeover}

June 16, 2011

Wow, it’s been a long time coming….this lamp was bought way back when we first arrived in Sydney and was crying out for a bit of upcycling!

I thought about spraying it a jazzy colour but the shade and trim was in such a sad state i thought it would be best to recover the shade {i also thought about just stripping the shade ad spraying the frame but it looked a bit odd without it’s cover, see below!}.

I’ve taken some snaps in a kind of step by step, as it’s quite tricky and thought it may be useful for anyone thinking of recovering an old shade!

1. Strip your shade of all the old fabric, trimmings and glue. Give it a good clean.

2. Using paper, create a template of one of the ‘sections’ of your shade, take care with this stage as this will form the basis for your new lampshade cover. I roped in an extra pair of hands and a clip to hold the paper in place while i traced the shape. I lengthened and squared off the ends of my template as well, just because my frame was scalloped at the top and bottom therefore i knew i could wrap and glue the fabric to the edges at the end.

3. Now you have your template, place on the wrong side of your fabric and draw around it {i used tailors chalk for this} to create as many ‘sections’ as your shade needs {mine had 12 altogether}. Make sure you leave a 1″ seam allowance around each section as you will be stitching along your drawn template line, this will ensure the fabric fits tightly around the shade and gives you a fabric seam to glue around the frame at the end. Carefully cut out each section, with that extra 1″ seam allowance.

4. Line up two of your fabric sections, right sides together and pin in place.

5. Stitch the two pieces together along the left had side, carefully following your template line.

6. Open out the seam and gently press.

7. Flip your pressed sections over. Take another fabric section and carefully line up your drawn template line with the seam you have just sewn {make sure your fabrics are right sides together} and pin in place. Now sew along the template line to the left of your first seam.

8. Continue this process of lining up your seams on the right and then sewing along the left hand side of your template, following the line until you have stitched all your sections together. Finally sew your last section to your first, completing your basic lampshade ‘skirt’.

9. Fit your ‘skirt’ over your shade frame and make sure it fits fairly snugly. If it still a tiny bit loose then not to worry too much as you’ll be gluing the seams to the frame so this will pull the fabric taught over the shade. If it’s really loose then you may have to re-stich your seams {this is what i had to do!!!} to make your sections a smidgin’ smaller.

11. Next you need to carefully glue each seam to your frame, wrapping the fabric around the frame to hold it in place. I used a clear craft glue suitable for paper, fabric etc. and it worked really well.

12. Finally you need to glue your fabric to the top and bottom edge of your frame. As mine was scalloped i snipped the fabric to make it easier to shape and fold around the frame.

13. Now your shade is covered you can add any trimmings or ribbons you like, i chose a pom pom trim to fit along the bottom edge but you could use ric rac, fringing, beading – anything really!

Voila! One completed lamp, i painted the base a lovely dark teal colour to give it a bit more of a modern edge as the fabric was so chintzy. With one of our parker chairs, it makes a nice little reading corner.

ps. these instructions are by me and i think they have worked pretty well, but i have no idea if this is the correct way to re-cover a shade!


7 Comments leave one →
  1. June 17, 2011 8:18 am

    What a massive improvement!! Looks fantasic 🙂

    • louiserastall permalink*
      June 17, 2011 9:11 am

      Thanks, it took a while! It’s certainly channelling ‘granny chic’!

  2. June 17, 2011 6:03 pm

    Louise -it is gorgeous. You are so clever!! xx

    • louiserastall permalink*
      June 17, 2011 10:12 pm

      Thanks Abi, poor Tim swears he’s living in a granny flat! I missed your birthday so sorry love – i hope it was a goody xxxx

  3. Beryl permalink
    June 18, 2011 3:59 am

    Well done, you did a great job. You finally went for the white pom poms then?;) It looks great with the painted stand too.
    What’s next ???!!

    • louiserastall permalink*
      June 27, 2011 4:36 pm

      Thanks Beryl, yes i thought the white pom poms were less fussy than some of the other colours i tried! Not sure what’s next, a bit more experimenting with the screen printing perhaps?!

  4. July 3, 2011 8:50 pm

    looks great! amazing shape to start with – would love to find one like that.

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