Friday, June 24, 2011

Shabby Chic Lamp Shade Tutorial

As mentioned on the podcast episode 45, here's the shabby chic lamp shade I made for my Mason Jar lamp.  Got the lamp at a trade show a while back, and couldn't find the right shade.  I think this one's perfect. 

I love that you can highlight some of your favorite fabrics from past projects.  This one has pieces of my summery grommet bag, place mats, upsized strapping fall bag and more! 

(Hey KV, does this count as scrapbooking? It's sort of a memory project!)

Want to make your own?  Here's how:

  1. Find a lamp shade with a metal frame.  I got this one at a thrift store for $2.  Older shades are probably best for this, as they have a stronger frame.  Plus, you won't feel bad about step #2 with a thrifted shade.
  2. Rip all the fabric off the frame.  This can either be cathartic, or scary, depending on your sense of adventure.  I found that using an Exacto knife to cut through the fabric, and then pulling around the top and bottom edges worked best.
  3. If needed, sand any glue spots, or use a product like Un-Du to remove any remaining glue.
  4. Spray paint the frame if needed.  For example, if it's brass and you like nickel, pull out the spray paint and go to town.  I only used one quick coat of nickel spray paint for mine.  No need to be super-precise on this paint job.
  5. While the frame is drying, go through your fabric scraps, looking for wide-ish pieces.  I ripped all of my pieces down to about 1" wide.  Don't worry if they're not long enough, you can tie them together.  I chose all my scraps from one color group.  You can also just choose at random.
  6. Now, the really fun part.  Tie the scraps to the frame.  Start with a knot on one of the vertical pieces of the frame.  Then, see how far the scrap will take you around the frame - see photo below.
    For longer scraps, I wrapped around the spoke and kept going.  For shortest scraps, I tied them spoke to spoke.  For medium scraps that ended in between 2 spokes, I just tied them in the middle and kept going.  (Note: you can click on the pic to enlarge.)

Last step:  step back and admire your lovely new lampshade!

If you decide to try it, please share your pictures in my QuiltedCupcake Flickr group.  I love to see your projects!


Miss Val's Creations said...

What a great tutorial! The lamp is adorable! ~Val

Linda said...

How cute for a sewing room! Thanks for sharing and explaining how you made it!
And thanks to you, I'm hooked on Pinterest. Not sure that's a good thing, but sure is fun!!!

Jessica said...

Great idea! It's so pretty. Thanks for the tutorial! I'll put it on my crafty to-do list :)

Sarah said...

Do you have to worry about the light bulb getting to hot near the fabric? I was thinking about doing this in my children's room but don't want to have to worry about it getting too hot. Thanks!

Quilted Cupcake said...


I haven't had a problem. The shade I used sort of flares out from the bulb, so that helps. Also, if you use a CFL bulb, you could be extra safe.

Hope that helps!