Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fabric covered lampshade


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.



  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog and I'm so glad you did! I love your blog and all your little projects that add so much to a home. I also love that you're still in the house in which your youngest learned to crawl. I just figured out this morning that I've moved 7 times in the last 15 years; yuck! My three boys are all away at college in New York so with your blog I get a small peek into the weather they're also experiencing. I'm just a new empty nester since June and it's starting to get to me. How do you do it? I promise to join your blog as soon as I'm done posting this comment.

  2. Hi Cindy! You've moved 7 times in 15 years???? Oh my goodness, that's a lot. Hopefully you can stay put now for awhile.

    I'm not quite an empty nester yet, since my other baby is still only fifteen and is taking up way more of the available space than I ever imagined a boy could do. You've had three, so you know what I mean...his STUFF is EVERYWHERE! :D I'm guessing the state of your refrigerator and pantry cupboards has changed considerably now that all three have gone away to school. Power through it, my dear. I'm told we are now supposed to "reclaim our lives" at least if we can figure out what that means, but I haven't had to do it yet. Make sure they friend you on Facebook, and maybe get Skype. :)

    Thank you so much for visiting, and for joining.

  3. I love the lampshade! I think it's far better than the ones you find in the store - so I think it's well worth the spray glue everywhere :)

  4. HAHAHAHAHAHHAHA!!! I can picture it now!