Well, I did it, I covered a lampshade with fabric. Whew! This project got pretty hairy for a minute there, and I wasn’t sure at one point whether I was gluing fabric to a lampshade or to myself. Let us just say spray adhesive is not my friend.
I followed this great tutorial, which very sensibly recommends starting with a small lampshade and working your way up to the big ones. Heck, I like to jump right into things, which is why I sew myself to stuff now and again, and this is the lampshade I had, so that’s where I started.
Everything was fine through the pattern drafting and fabric cutting, but when the glue came out, it all went a little bit sideways. Things were glued to the wrong things, things were glued to themselves, things were glued to my pants. It was quite a scene. Fortunately, my husband was standing right there to laugh at me and help at the same time, and he managed to divert a tricky situation into a pretty reasonably cool-looking lampshade.
How it looks this good is something I can’t quite figure out, given the giant wad of glued-together fabric this thing was at one point. Tip #1: Keep a patient assistant nearby at all times. This is a thrifted shade (what else?) and thrifted fabric (are you surprised?) The spray adhesive was something not necessarily recommended for fabric, but it was recommended for everything else in the world, including cork and rubber, so I went for it. I made a simple bias binding for the top and bottom edges and after ransacking my craft bins for several curse-filled minutes looking for fabric glue, I ended up just using Elmer’s white glue to attach them. If you decide to cover a lampshade with fabric, do not do this. Keep looking around until you find your craft glue. It was a huge mess, but I am nothing if not determined, so forty sweaty minutes later, this lampshade rose from the ashes and debris of panicked crafting and became this:
Pretty nice, yeah? It had better be, is all I can say, since there’s spray adhesive all over the kitchen and glue all over me, which is what will happen if you are impatient. (Why does there always have to be a lesson in it for me?) If you decide to try this, start with a small lampshade, and work your way up.