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Covering a Lampshade

September 6, 2011
by thenestinggame

A couple months ago, I picked up a pair of these lamps at Homegoods.

I loved the artichoke shape of the base. They reminded me of these lamps, which I loooove. From a Jonathan Adler design.

And while the bright green shade is preppy and fun, it was simply too bold for the living room. I could have shopped for new shades, but the size and shape was perfect, so I thought I’d go another route and recover them. I found a good tutorial here, and improvised as I went.

First, I cut my fabric, leaving a few inches on either side.

Since the shade is narrower on the top than the bottom, it will not roll evenly from left to right, so I wanted enough fabric to make up for that. Also, following Janell’s tutorial, I placed the front of the shade at the center, as the linen grain will slope as it moves around to the back.

Then I started wrapping the lampshade. And I totally screwed up cutting the first piece, overcompensating for the angle of the shade, so I started over. Just keepin’ it real, yo.

Take 2. I trimmed off the excess fabric (basically what is to the right of my hand) and folded it over, securing it with painter’s tape. The fact that it’s the exact same color is just a happy coordination accident. I really didn’t need to fold it over to create a “hem”, since it’s the underside, but I did anyway.

Then I trimmed and folded over the opposite side.

Ideally, I would have had an iron on standby to really give the hem a good crease, but I had ironed and starched the fabric before starting this whole endeavor, so it held my hand creases pretty well.

Next, I trimmed the bottom edge all around. It was a little longer than I wanted the finished product to be, but I wanted there to be enough fabric so that I could grab onto it to pull it taut underneath the shade. This is where I differed from Janell’s tutorial, as she tucked the fabric under itself on the front of the shade, but I didn’t want any of the green showing on the top and bottom. After the glue dried, I trimmed the fabric down even further with cuticle scissors, of all things.

I ran a few inches of fabric glue along the edge and pulled the linen tight over the top.

Working a little bit at a time, I secured it as I went with more painter’s tape.

I glued the back seam.

And taped it down.

Then I waited. Went to a cookout. Had a few glasses of sangria. Chatted with friends. Corralled a few toddlers.

Now for the top!

Same deal. Trim. Glue. Pull. Tape.

I added more glue to the seam and re-taped that down as well.

And in the morning it was like Christmas, unwrapping my gift.

Pretty! Subtle. But could still use a little somethin’ somethin.

Enter 1″ white twill trim.

I decided to only glue it along the bottom. I applied the glue in a zig zag fashion, then had a minor freakout when I could see it through the white trim, but luckily the glue dried clear.

It goes so much better with the room now.

And, another happy accident, the green of the shade shines through when the lamp is on, reflecting the colors of an actual artichoke.

The linen ran about $12.50/yd at Hancock Fabrics, and provided you don’t royally screw up like I did, 1 yard for 2 medium-sized shades would have sufficed. The trim was $2.99/yard and 3 yards would cover both shades. So, a $20 project.

Now I have to do it all over again on the second lamp. Maybe if I follow my own instructions I won’t mess up this time…

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 6, 2011 12:31 pm

    The white trim is a great idea! Love the little squat brass vase, as well.

    And sangria is always a winning decision.

  2. Elaine Smart permalink
    September 6, 2011 5:11 pm

    Great job, but looks tedious! Don’t think I have the patience.
    Wish Hancock Fabrics was still in Clearwater.

  3. Jane Curran permalink
    January 18, 2012 2:17 pm

    Have just found your site which I find delightful. On this project, I think you have done a very skillful job, with a lovely result! It’s also true though that for me the white tape addition is overkill, and detracts from the white base. Your chosen fabric has plenty of interest on its own.
    Thanks for sharing!

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