How to recover a lamp shade


Last October I found these brand new lamps from Target over at my favorite Goodwill.

I’ve been using them as-is, but the reason Target donated them to the GW in the first place is because their shades are all dented and dinged up.


Plus, let’s just be honest here. This teal is not cutting it in my family room.

I’ve been using the lamp on the {ugly} desk in my family room, and the teal is making my favorite art look bad (as is the desk and chair, but I digress).

However, I have no intention in purchasing a new shade for a lamp I bought at GW in the first place, so I just decided to make one myself.

I removed the shade from the lamp.


Then I took some thin white poster board and cut it the width and length of the shade. I used poster board because I already had it on hand.


Once the new poster board was cut to size, I took apart the original shade. All that was left of it were two rings; one for the top of the shade, and one for the bottom.

I glued the rings onto the edges of the poster board.


It was so easy (and free!) and made a perfect new shade base for me to attach fabric to.


Now it’s time for the fabric. I chose to use burlap mainly because I already had it on hand (aka free). Plus I like that it’s such a neutral color.

I cut the fabric the same way I cut the poster board. However, this time I left about a half an inch extra fabric on either side (one inch total). I also cut the fabric about an inch longer than the shade base.


Burlap is a great hearty fabric that can be used for all sorts of crafts. Be forewarned though, this stuff is MESSY. When you cut it you will end up with massive amounts of fibers all over the place.


Attaching the fabric was so easy my 7 year old pretty much did it for me. Just add a line of hot glue along the edge and stick it to the shade.


Then wrap it around and add a line of glue to the other end. Finally, add glue around the top and bottom edges and tuck the extra into the inside of the shade for a finished seam.

I would have given you a few more photos to show the entire process, but this is where my battery died and I cursed at the camera.

And there ya go. I brand new shade for your lamp.


Before and After:

burlap_lamp_shade_hoh_01  burlap_lamp_shade_hoh_11

For now I’ve been using the lamp next to my reading chair, but it will be going back to the desk once I get a proper tall lamp to go behind the chair.


It’s amazing how a lack of funds will bring out the creativity in a person. I wanted a new shade, and before I knew it I had a pile of fabric and a plan. All for free!

Happy crafting, my friends!

Related Posts with Thumbnails


  1. You are so smart, I would have never thought of that!

  2. Nice job! I always thought there must be a way to make a new shade with the parts of a lampshade. Thanks for showing how easy it is!


  3. Way to go! I am a firm believer that thrift inspires creativity. I guess that’s the new take on necessity is the mother of invention.

    The best part about this process is that you can easily add ribbon around the edge when you want a new look. Or heck, just do it all again with new fabric. You wouldn’t even need a whole yard!

  4. It’s so funny that you mentioned your favorite goodwill, I was just wondering which goodwill you prefer in Austin. I live right outside of Austin and have been wanting to go to one of the many Austin thrift stores but want to make sure I visit one that is known to be good.