I got the idea from One Yard Wonders, a really impressive collection of creativity, brilliance, and skills. Apparently, the previous resident at our dacha (Russian for small farm-home outside city limits) contributed an apron with a built-in hot pads tutorial/patten to the book. It came to our doorstep a few months ago addressed to her, piqued my interest, and ultimately ended up in my amazon cart.
The project was extremely straight-forward and produced a packed decor punch. I again experienced the euphoric realization that small amounts of fabric, color, or texture can redefine an environment.
This brought me to happy.
So if you have a lamp shade that is blah, blah, blah--focus on it, re-claim it and re-cover it! (And please send us a before and after picture!)
- plain lamp shade (removed from lamp)
- glue stick
- white glue (like Elmer's)
- old nasty towel you don't mind smearing with said glue
- pinking shears (Ikea sells them for around $7)
- fabric (enough to cover the shade)
- paper to make a pattern* (brown paper bag, newspaper, butcher paper, scrap fabric, wax or parchment paper, etc.)
- Q-tip applicator**
**optional: I prefer my fingers, but be warned, they will get quite messy (thus the need for a nasty old towel)--but nothing that a little water and soap cannot correct
- Select the lamp you want to re-discover!
- Select the fabric with which you'll work
- If the lamp shade is covered with fabric that does not lie flat, remove it
- Identify the shape of the lamp shade
- Use that middle school geometry to create a pattern, OR lay lamp shade on paper/fabric, and trace the shade, while you roll it 360 degrees and then add another 1/2 inch so the ends will overlap
- Add a 1/4 inch allowance to both sides of the traced shape (this will wrap around the shade and end up on the inside when you attach the fabric)
- Cut out the final shape
- Confirm that the shape covers the lamp shade with a small overlap, and there is enough allowance to wrap around the edges
- Lay your pattern on your fabric and cut along lines with pinking shears
- Grab your glue stick and start applying glue on the existing shade
- Lay fabric on the fresh glue, and, starting from the center and working out to both edges, apply pressure with your fingers to fuse the fabric and the glue. Do not worry about wrapping around the edges just yet, this is the last step
- Work your way around attaching fabric to glue smeared lamp shade until you reach where you began
- To finish or create a seam on the shade, fold the fabric over the smallest amount you can manage to create a straight line from edge to edge. Use white glue and your finger (or a Q-tip) to fuse the folded fabric together. Let it dry a minute or so
- Then use the glue stick again to fuse the remaining fabric to the uncovered lamp shade
- Use the white glue again, with Q-tip or finger, to fuse the folded end to the fabric-covered lamp shade to create a finished seam
- Once you are happy with the look (fabric lying flat against lamp shade with a pretty uniform leftover strip of fabric on each edge), use the white glue and a different finger (or new Q-tip) to wrap the leftover fabric over the edge and secure it to the inside of the lamp shade
- I used clothes pins to hold my seams together on the edges while they dried, but be careful, the glue will seep through the fabric and may secure the clothes pins to the project. To avoid this, I removed the clothes pins periodically (like every 30 seconds until the glue had dried enough to remove completely--about 2-3 minutes).
- I used the same fabric to create a dimensional change on one of the shades. I wanted a disruptive but not competing detail. I think that was accomplished.
- Using ribbon or contrasting fabric on the inside of the shade to finish the look could be amazing.
- Using ribbon or contrasting fabric on the outside of the shade could also be amazing.
- Beading, applique, or embroidering on the fabric prior to gluing could take the final look to another level.
Finished on my kitchen table. Disruptive but not competing detail on the left.
The disruptive one (if I get sick of it, I can turn the shade because I hid the seam beneath the detail panel)
and the conforming one
But the project is not complete. I need to (spray) paint the lamp frames white. Don't worry the wall behind them will be a rich charcoal gray soon enough...and I promise they will pop :) But why wait to share a great success until it is complete?