How to Update Lampshades

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If your lamps are lacking pizzazz, add some excitement by updating the lampshades. There's no need for boring lampshades when all it takes is a few basic craft supplies and an hour or two to highlight your creativity. Paint, fabric, trim and embellishments are just some of the ways you can convert a tired lampshade into a one-of-a-kind design.


Paint is the easiest way to update your lampshade. For a no-effort update, spray paint the shade a bright, glossy color that complements your decor. Take it further with a design of your own creation, or use a stencil if you aren't confident about your freehand abilities. For something a little more special, use tiny balls of poster putty to attach paper lace doilies around the shade. Overlap some of the doilies, and let others spread out. When the doilies are arranged to your liking, spray paint the shade with your favorite color. Let the paint dry, then remove the doilies. Your shade now has a lacy, feminine design.


Cover a boring or stained lampshade with lightweight fabric for instant charm. Measure around the shade, then transfer the dimensions to your fabric. Tuck and fit the fabric to the shade for a smooth fit. Use fabric glue to fasten the fabric in place. Another option is gathering the fabric into small pleats around the shade, gluing each fold as you work. Pick a colorful calico for a country home, or a whimsical print for a child's room. There are nearly endless fabric prints to choose from, so you'll be able to match any style.


Add trim for an easy, fun update. Paint the lampshade first, if you'd like, for extra color. Then use fabric glue to attach a row of pompoms to the lampshade's bottom edge, or rickrack around the lower lip. Thrill a girly girl with a lampshade painted pink, then wrapped with white lace. Go for a shabby chic look with satin cord adorned with tiny satin roses. Cheer up a boy's room by painting the lampshade light blue, then gluing wide ribbon trim decorated with trucks and cars to the top and bottom edges of the lampshade.


With strong craft glue or a hot glue gun, you can take a lampshade from boring to wow in just an hour or two. This is a fun craft to do with a supervised child. Cover the entire lampshade with embellishments, outline the top and bottom edge, or just place a few embellishments here and there around the shade. Fun options include faux flowers, foam cutouts, tiny seashells, buttons, beads, coins, feathers, yarn worry dolls or craft butterflies.



About the Author

Living in California, Michelle Ullman is a professional writer with particular expertise in home, garden and pet/nature topics. Her work is published on many websites. She loves crafts and has a deep interest in design and DIY projects.

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