Friday, October 7, 2011

Recovering a Lamp Shade

When I was up north a month ago I found this pretty pink and blue fabric that I fell in love with at first sight. Which was odd since I’m not a big pink person but lately it is sneaking into my closet and my home. Perhaps I’m becoming more girly as I get older who knows.


(This pic is of items I recently brought home from up north: antique tray that Mom bought me, milk glass bowl filled with some tomatoes from my yard, fabric and cool dishcloth from another country I can’t remember right now – another gift from Mom)

I immediately decided that the fabric must go into my bedroom and thus prompt a bedroom makeover of sorts. My predominately blue bedroom didn’t have a lick of pink in it (except for a bowl that I use to hold bracelets on my vanity) so I decided that this square piece of fabric (it was a fat quarter or whatever the quilting squares are called) would become the piece that my room was centered around – the only problem was that they only had a small square of the fabric. In my mind I could use it to make a throw pillow cover, frame it or recover a lamp shade.  I immediately thought about the pillow but then I came across these pictures on Pinterest and decided that I didn’t want a single throw pillow but rather, I wanted two accent pillows and I wanted them to match. Since I didn’t have enough fabric I decided to scrap the pillow idea (plus I had something else in mind by this point on that front).


I found a pretty table lamp from Marshall’s on clearance for $20. I loved the shiny base and the white drum shade, which I knew would be perfect if I covered it with my fabric. (Please ignore that the plastic wrap was still on the shade in these pics – I didn’t uncover it until I started working on it.)

newshade_before_athomewithh Immediately I noticed a problem – my fabric was not long enough to wrap around the circumference of the entire shade.

newshade_notbigenough_athomewithhThe shade height was 9” and my fabric was 19.5” long so I realized that I could cut it in half, stitch the two pieces together and then cover the shade with some fabric to spare.  I would still have plenty to wrap over the edges of the shade  since ideally you want at least half an inch extra on the top and bottom of the shade. (The pic makes it look like the fabric isn’t long enough in height but it was more than long enough – I just had a hard time taking a picture with one hand!)

Since I was feeling lazy and this was the last craft project I did in one night (I did three!) I got lazy and decided to just use fusible webbing (Stitch Witchery) to 'stitch’ the two pieces of fabric together.  I folded over the raw edge and then used the iron-on fusible webbing to join the fabric together, ensuring I matched up the pattern.

newshade_joinfabric_athomewithh To get it started, I applied a thin stripe of hot glue from my glue gun to the shade and then pressed the fabric onto the glue, ensuring it was straight.  I tried this a couple of times since stopping to take pictures was nearly impossible since the hot glue sets quickly.

newshade_glue_athomewithh I’m sure this would be much easier if I had another set of hands but my method was to align the pattern along the top, pull it over the edge of the shade and press it to the bead of glue that I applied to the inside upper lip of the shade. You have to move quickly before the hot glue sets and be careful not to press your fingers into the glue since hot damn, that stuff burns!

newshade_wrapping with fabric_athomewithh I then repeated to the edge along the bottom of the shade. The bottom was a little trickier since you want to make sure you pull the fabric so there aren’t any wrinkles or sagging fabric and so it lays gently on the shade. It was also key to keep your pattern straight so it doesn’t look all wonky. Yes, I just pulled out the word ‘wonky.’ You’re welcome.

To finish I had to run a line of hot glue along the edge of one side of the fabric and press the other side on top. Since you end up with a seam (and technically I had two since I had to stitch the fabric together at the beginning), position the shade so that the seam side is at the back of the lamp.

Finally, I had a finished shade! Well, not totally finished since I want to get some ribbon to cover my ugly edges on the inside of the shade but since you don’t see the inside I likely won’t get around to it anytime soon since I have more pressing things to do…like clean my house.

newshade_athomewithhTotal cost of new lamp:

$20 – lamp from Marshalls

$1.50 – fabric square

$0 – hot glue and hot glue gun since I already own them (though I think they are fairly inexpensive if you buy them. I don’t remember since I’ve had mine FOREVER – seriously like 14 years)

$? – ribbon to wrap the inside (haven’t done this yet so I have no idea what it will cost me)

Total: $21.50 so far


Thanks for stopping by!