Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tips on coving your shade

If your shade has bumpy things on it like this beaded butterfly don't worry you can cut those off with a thread picker (no idea what the real word is) Oh and that little skirt on it was just hot glued in so I ripped that out too but left the original fabric. Then I found some fabric with a really busy pattern so that when I wrapped the shade you wouldn't be able to see that the pattern didn't perfectly line up (there is a bit of a cone shape in this shade, not like the even drum shades) I ended up using a thick nonwrinkle fabric (an outdoor fabric). I would recommend this because it makes the stretching part really easy.

My first shade covering was 2 years ago and I got a tutorial from Rhoda at Southernhospitalityblog. I can't find it now :( so I will give you some tips although I think ehow.com has quite a few tutorials. I used a thin cotton sheet my first time and that is something I wouldn't recommend on your first try, its just harder to stretch and get all the bubbles out.

All you need for this project is

an old shade,

a hot glue gun,

Spray on Adhesive

Your favorite material.

This is the adhesive I use:

You can get it at michaels.

First I traced the shade onto my material. I rolled the shade and traced the bottom with an inch to spare, then I rolled it back making sure to roll on the line I just drew and then traced the top. I rolled it back and forth three times just to make sure I traced correctly (measure thrice cut once). Then I cut out the material. I checked again to make sure it would cover and be able to fold over the the bottom and top of the shade with glue.

Next you spray the shade all over with the adhesive in a well ventilated area (not in your house because the fumes are over powering and everything will get sticky) Then you bring the shade to a table or wherever you like to work with your glue gun (from experience you have about 30 minutes until the glue starts to dry). I wrapped the material around the shade (it will stick on) and made sure I had an inch of extra material at the top and an inch at the bottom. I actually got out my scissors and cut it all evenly at this point because its REALLY ugly if you don't.

see its ugly! This is a nightstand shade too so every morning I wake up and look at this!

I can see the uneveness on my other shades and it still drives me nuts. If it is really uneven buy a thick ribbon and glue it in.

Then I hot glued the bottom first by folding the material over the bottom of the shade and gluing about 4 inches at a time. Its best if if looks like this:

so that you know where to put the glue (right above the little bar if possible)Then I did the same with the top pulling it tight as I went (I like it to look pulled tight, if you like it loose don't worry about it).

This is the top, and I got lazy and didn't trim the material all even before hot gluing like I did with the bottom and look its got that ugly uneven look, luckily its at the top and well hidden

I hot glued the the final line at the back of the shade where the cut material meets very last. I just folded it over so that it looked like a nice straight line.

Hmm not so nice and straight, whoops

Then it was DONE completely covered and I put it in the lamp and it looked like this:

I think this is a terrific project because the things that take the longest are finding the right shade and then finding the material you want (which can be fun if you like material stores and shopping thrift stores) I love this because you can switch out your lamp shade covers like you switch out throw pillows! Just rip off the material and start again. It takes the cost way down too.


Lamp $2.99

Shade .99

material (I used a scrap around the house but originally it was $8 a yard) $2

spray adhesive (the same from 2 years ago) $4 with michaels 40% off coupon

So $9.98 if you don't have the material and spray already. Not bad for something that is exact to your taste.


  1. Awesome! I'm doing this in a few days with two lamps, so it's good to brush up on how it'd done. :)

  2. Someone should give you a tv show and pay you lots of money for this.