14 September 2012

Tutorial: Recovering A Lampshade + Painting Animal Spots

Okay, here's how I made this fabulous lamp shade I posted about yesterday!

It started out looking like this:

The first thing I had to do was make a pattern to use when I cut my fabric.
I taped a couple opened sheets of newspaper together so that I'd have plenty of space, and lined up the seam on the back of the shade to one of the shorter ends of the paper.

Since my lamp shade is wider at the bottom than the top, I placed the bottom end of the shade near the bottom edge of the paper. (That way when I started rolling it across the paper to trace it and it started to curve up there would be room and it wouldn't go off the paper before I got back around to the seam.) 

So then I sloooowly started rolling the shade along the paper, tracing the top edge as I went. Because of the shape of my shade the line wasn't straight, it ended up being a big curve. 

Once I got all the way over to the seam, I started at the bottom of the shade and did the same thing- slowly rolling it all the way back across the paper, tracing the bottom edge of the shade and stopping when I got to the seam. 

Then I just used my pencil to connect the two lines. Because the bottom of my shade is wider than the top, the bottom line was a little longer. 

Here is the pattern cut out... 

...and then wrapped around the lamp to make sure it (pretty much) covered the whole thing all the way around. 

Next, I pinned the paper pattern to my fabric, which was actually just an old sheet that I've used for some other projects. 

I cut out the template from the fabric, making sure to cut outside of it a couple inches  
so there would be enough fabric to wrap over the edges of the shade. 

I'd looked at a few tutorials for how to do this before attempting it myself, but all the ones I found had you use a spray adhesive to attach the fabric to the shade. I didn't want to do that because I didn't want to ruin the original fabric on the shade. Just in case I one day decided that I was totally missing my blue damask shade, I wanted to have the option to easily rip off the new cover and go back to the old one. So I did things a little differently...

I started with the edge of the fabric lined up at the seam

and carefully rolled the shade and wrapped the fabric all the way around. (It took a few times to get it lined up right.)

See how much overhang there is with the fabric at the edges? Seriously, be generous when you're cutting around your template! I actually had to go back and cut out another one because the first one didn't have enough extra at the edges to wrap over. 

After I had the fabric wrapped around and all smoothed out, I folded over the edge of the fabric where the seam was and used hot glue to hold the fold so that I had a neat-looking edge. 
Then I hot glued it again to the fabric so that the new seam was attached. This way my fabric would stay on the shade while I worked at either end without me having to attach it to the actual shade. 

I went around and cut away some of the excess fabric at either opening of the shade-

then I wrapped it over the top and bottom of the shade and used hot glue to attach it just below the inside rim.

I'd originally planned on being super neat with this step and folding the fabric under as I glued it so that I'd have a nice straight line. But once I got started I realized that I was needing to focus more on making sure I was pulling my fabric tight enough before I glued it so that the outside of the shade would be smooth, so I stopped caring about keeping it neat at this point.

When I got to those metal things attached to the top of the shade, I cut a slit in the fabric so that it could wrap around either side of the metal. 

*I actually had to do all of these steps except for the making of my pattern twice- the fabric wasn't thick enough to completely hide the old pattern of the shade underneath. So I had to cover it in two layers of fabric. 

Here is the shade all wrapped and glued, but it was left with this raggedy edge inside. 

So I cut a long strip of fabric from the edge of the sheet:
{I chose part of the hemmed edge so that one side of it would already look nice.}

Then I folded over the cut side and used hot glue to hold the fold, that way I had a long "ribbon" to cover all the ugly stuff with. 

I used the hot glue again to attach it all the way around the inside top and bottom edges of the shade. 

And here it is recovered, and that was the end of day one!

On day two I added the spots....

I just used a small kid's paint brush that I borrowed from my son:

and this black fabric paint that I got from Joann Fabrics:

I squirted some of the paint out onto a paper plate and then kind of stippled the spots onto the shade. 

It's pretty blurry, but this shows how I shaped my spots-
some just in roundish blobs, but others in a kind of c-shape to look more cheetah or leopard like. 

After it was done I was so thrilled!!

And then I turned the lamp on and....


You could totally see the old pattern shining through.
I'd been so hell-bent on not destroying the original shade that I hadn't even thought about what was going to happen when the light was on.

Luckily it was an easy fix.

I just lined the inside with black scrapbook paper. 
I'd like to just spray paint the inside of the shade at some point but this is working for now.

And there it is- my new/old shade! Love it!!

Make sure if you haven't entered the group giveaway that I'm a part of this week that you go enter now!! It ends tomorrow night and you don't want to miss this!! There are 9 prize packs, so 9 winners, and multiple chances to enter! Do it here!

Weekend Bloggy Reading
Liz Marie Blog

TDC Before and After


  1. Brooke- girlfriend, love your new shade. Your cheetah spots look perfect. Fabulous job!

  2. Brooke, You truly are the BEST MIY out there! I am amazed at your lamp shade redo. You showed your work to a T. Every step so carefully explained! I might even be able to do this some day, and I have no crafty skills to speak of!

    1. Ahhh you are the sweetest Patty!!! Thank you a TON!!! :D

  3. So Prettyyy Brooke.. :) I defintely want to try out this Cheetah print.. :)

  4. I'm with Patty, Brooke--not crafty but God Bless You, you showed every step--even the boo-boo's--so it give me faith that maybe even I could attempt a beautiful lampshade. Your cheetah spots are awesome! Great job and thanks so much for sharing your redo!

    1. Thank you Linda!! And yes, you can absolutely attempt this- Seriously if I can do it than anyone can! :)

  5. looks gorgeous! Great tutorial, too. I'm attempting to recover a few lampshades for a client and this gives me hope!

  6. This is so cute. Great tutorial! I might have to try this soon! I found your cute blog over at the give away. I am excited to follow along and read more. Come follow along too! http://sjdmiller.blogspot.com

  7. You have mad skills, Brooke! So you really painted them!!! Great tutorial, you did a fabulous job!


    1. Thank you so much Jessie!! :D

  8. You are genius my friend!! And that looks like fabulous fabric- I never would have guessed you painted that. I want one!! :)

  9. Wow, great tutorial and your lampshade turned out great! I have this linked to my animal prints DIY roundup post as well today, for inspiration!

    1. Oh yay, thanks so much Heather!! :D

  10. Great idea & I loved the wah wah when you turned it on that was cute. I'm definitely saving this article. Thank you.