DIY: How To Make a Lampshade Cover

A white lamp and lampshade thats been refitted with blue paisley print

I hesitate to spend money on lamps because it seems like I get so tired of them so quickly. Over the years I’ve gotten into the habit of re-covering my existing lampshades rather than buying new ones entirely. It’s a nice way to match my seasonal decor perfectly (fabric choices seem to be way more abundant than pre-existing lampshades anyway). Plus, it’s super easy; there’s no sewing involved. All you need are a few simple household items. After you make your own lampshade cover, you may end up covering every shade in your home.


  • Old lampshade (or a new, plain one)
  • a Large sheet of paper (Kraft paper or old wrapping paper works)
  • Pearl head pins
  • Fabric glue
  • Clothespins
  • Scissors
  • Pencil/pen


 a plain white lampshade laying on the floor

Step 1: First, you’ll need to make a pattern for your lampshade cover.  Lay a large piece of kraft paper or wrapping paper on the floor or on top of your dining room table, and place the lampshade seam side down onto the paper.  Starting at the seam, slowly roll the lampshade over the paper, tracing both the top and bottom of the shade with a pen or pencil onto the paper as you roll the shade.  Continue to roll and trace the shade until you reach the seam again.

 pinning the paisley print fabric on to the lamp shade

Step 2: Remove the shade from the paper and cut out the pattern you have just traced.  Pin the pattern to your fabric; make sure any wrinkles in your fabric have been ironed out first.

 trimming the excess fabric off the lampshade

Step 3: Adding about an inch to the edges of the pattern, cut the pattern out carefully from the fabric.

 glueing the fabric on to the old lampshade

Step 4: Lay your fabric wrong side up on a table.  Using fabric glue, draw a line of glue down the seam of your lampshade; place the lampshade down onto the fabric and smooth the fabric over the seam.  Then, draw a line of glue around the outside top and bottom of the lampshade and slowly roll your shade over the fabric, making sure to smooth down the fabric as you go to ensure that it sticks to the glue on the shade without wrinkling.

   Revamp Lamp5

Step 4:.  Once the shade is covered with the fabric, glue the seam down and smooth shut.
  clothes pins holding together the fabric and lampshide while the glue dries

Step 5: Draw a bead of glue around the inside top of the lampshade and turn the extra fabric down into the inside of the top of the shade to adhere to the glue.  Use wooden clothespins to hold the fabric down while it dries.  Repeat this for the bottom inside of the shade.  Let the glue dry with the clothespins intact.  
 Completed revamped lamp shade on a white lamp and desk 

Step 6: Remove the clothespins and put the lampshade on your lamp. 

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