Tuesday, June 15, 2010

How To Cover Lampshades With Fabric & Trim


These lampshades, which were recently covered with fabric for Max's room, turned out so well that I decided to try it again. This time on a pair of shades for the lamps I just refinished, and I'm stepping it up a notch! I wanted to refine the look a bit, as this is one of the projects I'll be doing over the next few months for HGTV.com. Rather than simply running the cut fabric up to the existing shade trim, here the fabric will be turned under with ribbon trim applied along the edges. Also, the shades being used are slightly tapered rather than the straight drum style used in the boy's room.

To start the project the shade was laid out on the Waverly Canton Bazaar fabric, allowing me to decide which part of the design to showcase. Then the width of fabric to cover the shade was cut, leaving approximately two inches of fabric extending beyond both the top and bottom edges of the shade.


As you can see, when covering a tapered shade the cut of fabric will turn up on each end. By cutting the fabric this way the grain of the fabric will be straight on the "front" of the shade and become slightly off grain towards the "back", while laying flat against the surface. To determine the degree of curve needed for your shade, place the shade at the center of the fabric and carefully roll in each direction, cutting above and below the edges as you go.


Next, find the center point of the cut fabric and place it on the side of the shade opposite from its seam. Wrap both ends of the fabric around the shade to make certain the fabric is positioned correctly and then cut one end, leaving a half inch of fabric beyond the seam on the shade.


Apply a line of fabric glue along the seam and attach the fabric to the shade.


Hold the fabric in place for a few seconds and then tape the edge to the shade so that it doesn't shift as you work. I simply used the tape I had on hand, which happened to be frog tape. Isn't the green pretty?


Then wrap the fabric around the shade, pulling firmly so that there are no gaps as the fabric hugs the shade and tape the second end in place.


Starting on the top edge of the shade, fold the fabric over towards the inside of the shade and mark the fold line with a temporary fabric pen. Do this around the entire circle of the shade.


Next trim off the extra fabric, leaving about a half inch beyond the mark made with the pen.


Tuck under the cut fabric, with the turned edge sitting just a fraction above the existing shade edge.


(Hum, from this angle it looks like the fabric is below the top of the shade...but trust me!)


After turning under the fabric check to make sure the edge ends at an even height around the shade. Next glue into place by squeezing a small continuous amount of fabric glue inbetween the fabric and shade.


Press the fabric down and tape into place while the glue dries.


The next step is to turn the shade over and repeat the above steps to the bottom edge of fabric.



Once the top and bottom edges are turned under and glued, it is time to create the finished seam on the second end of fabric. Make certain the fabric extends two inches past the seam of the shade while overlapping the first fabric end, which has already been glued into place. Cut off the extra fabric, apply a line of glue along the cut and turn under.



I went a little overboard with my next application of glue...it turned out okay, but on a lighter fabric the glue may have shown through. So, apply a smaller amount to the underside of the finish edge and press into place.


Tape the top and bottom edges of the finished seam to the shade, ensuring the fabric doesn't move as the glue dries and work continues.


Then it was time to add trim. I actually read the glue application directions, wanting to make sure the glue didn't bleed through the trim when it dried. The suggested tip was to paint the glue on with a brush, providing a lighter application spread over a wider surface. Made sense to me so that was the approach I used...and it worked! Happily no glue lines are showing through the trim.


I began by attaching the trim at the fabric seam (see second photo below, right side of shade) and then wrapped the trim around the shade, brushing on a layer of glue as I went.



The trim was positioned just a fraction beyond the turned edges of the fabric for a clean result.


And then I repeated the process for lampshade number two. It took about two hours per shade, partially because I had to stop and take a lot of photos, but also because I was figuring out how best to do this project as I went along!


Here is a sneak peek of the finished shades sitting on their fabulous bases. You didn't think I'd show you the final result today, did you?! Plus, I need something to post about tomorrow!! I hope you'll stop back by...

60 comments :

  1. Amazing! That sneak peak was enough to know how fabulous they look now!

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  2. Oooh, I can't wait to see the final result! I can already tell it is going to look fabulous!!! Thank you for the detailed tutorial.....I will definitely be referring back to this!

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  3. These are looking great! Although, I'll probably have to read this tutorial again to be able to do it myself!

    I hope that when we see the finished lamps, they are sitting in your room so we can get a glimpse of your headboard:-)

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  4. This is an excellent tutorial. I will be referring back to this. The lamps are gorgeous BTW.

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  5. I like those lamps and thanks for the inspiration.

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  6. AMAZING!!! what a great job!!!!! have to speak with my patience,;), but want to try this at home!!!!

    thank you!!

    Lynda

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  7. I'm saving this post in my project file. Thank you yet another inspiring post.

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  8. You make everything look so effortless Janell! I've only tried covering a shade once and it didn't turn out well. You've inspired me to try again.

    I love the fabric you selected for your shades.

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  9. I've been wanting to try this for a very long time but have been afraid of not having the skills to complete the job. Your instructions are so clear and your picturtes are great. Thank you, I'm gonna give it a try.

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  10. You are one talented lady!! I admire your ability to tackle all these projects!! The lampshades look beautiful!

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  11. What a great tutorial! The sneek peek pic looks great :)

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  12. Thanks for the how-to. I've been scared to try covering mine, now I feel like I can probably do it without causing a mess. (Or I could just send them to you)

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  13. Great tutorial. I'm sure I'll use this at some point!

    Kelly

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  14. fantastic. what time and effort you took to show us all that. This post is a keeper for sure. I tried it last year and needed your instructions back then!

    Thanks a million! Donna

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  15. Great tutorial!! You really take your time and share all the steps. I love the detail in the stitching on the green ribbon. Perfect touch! Enjoy your day!
    Maureen

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  16. I have 2 boring lamp shades that i wanted to revamp, this tutorial is beyond handy, love the idea!!

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  17. thanks for sharing the how too!! I really like the fabric and the trim a lot :)

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  18. Stunning! Thank you for the how too we will definitely be using this once we move in to our new rental house!

    Do you have any great recommendations to repair a cracked lamp base? The material is porcelein..... is there a glue that you've found to work particularly well for that sort of thing?

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  19. I love how you folded the edges under, it makes for a much cleaner look. I will have to try this method next time I cover a lampshade. Last time I did this it was a big old mess, but your way looks so easy I can totally tackle this myself!

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  20. These turned out so beautiful! you did an amazing job - particularly tucking the fabric under and painting on the glue. You should sell fabric lampshades!! : )

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  21. I like this look. Your projects always look so good!

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  22. That fabric is gorgeous and I'm so glad you went for a green trim. After seeing your frog tape I fell in love with that colour combination. Can't wait to see the lamp tomorrow.
    Would spray glue work do you think? hmmm

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  23. That fabric is gorgeous and I'm so glad you went for a green trim. After seeing your frog tape I fell in love with that colour combination. Can't wait to see the lamp tomorrow.
    Would spray glue work do you think? hmmm

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  24. What a sneak peek! I really like how these turned out, the pattern that you selected has a great deal of character and is well compemented by the base ribbon. Another job well done!

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  25. Love that fabric, Janell! I can't wait to see the finished product!

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  26. Fantastic ! Bookmarking for, I love this tutorial !

    xoxo
    Kate

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  27. You made a very neat job of these; they look great!
    Something tells me my lack of patience would result in a far less professional result.

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  28. This is a great tutorial!! Thank you so much! I recovered a lampshade using spray adhesive, but this looks like it gives a much more polished result. And of course it helps that the fabric and trim choices are perfect!

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  29. You make it look so easy, sadly mine would never look half as great as I am imagining these look...will stop by tomorrow, prepared to drool away!!!

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  30. You're so precise, Janell -- and you always give such incredibly detailed (and well photographed!) instructions.

    I love how those shades turned out, by the way. The green trim is perfect with the chocolate brown & cream (and of course I love the chinoiserie print!).

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  31. Muito lindo e fácil! Obrigada pela dica!

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  32. They look wonderful!! I love covering lampshades and do this all the time - great suggestions! And love the finished project, I'm off to find some lampshades I can spray paint white!
    Morgan @ PepperDesignBlog.com

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  33. Thanks, I've got a drum shade that needs a little love.

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  34. Great tips, I have done this before, but a different way. I have a couple of laps in need of more love too!
    Great tutorial,
    L.

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  35. for wonderful lampshade designs, feel free to browse our site at http://www.victorianlampshadesupply.com/ or http://victorianlampshade.weebly.com/
    or you can watch this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wq1Y-Hq0Cp4
    hope it could help J

    Happy surfing to all


    Victorian Lampshade
    http://www.victorianlampshadesupply.com/

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  36. Janelle,
    I used your directions to recover a lamp shade today and I love it!! I could not have done it without your step by step instructions!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I am posting about it tomorrow and will be sure to give you full credit!!
    xo Sissy

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  37. Can you share where the fabrics are frm? They are perfect!
    Sacy @ www.conspicuousstyle.com

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  38. I just used your tutorial to recover a couple lamp shades, it was so easy to do! Thanks so much for the step by step pictures. I'm a visual person, so that helped me a ton!! And now I LOVE my lampshades! Thank you!!

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  39. What a great idea...I can´t wait to try this tutorial... greets julia

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  40. hello from London! Thank you SO much for this tutorial. It is the easiest to follow and I just now covered a shade I've been wanting to cover for months! :) This tutorial is now circulating on pinterest ;)

    Amanda
    http://darlingbelleevents.com

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  41. Your post made HGTV.com. Congrats! I found it on the HGTV website first on Pintrest, but will definitely delete that pin and repin your site! You have a great site! Thanks a bunch!

    http://www.hgtv.com/bedrooms/custom-fabric-covered-lampshade/page-2.html

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  42. Thank you for this awesome tutorial!! I was able to cover my lampshade FINALLY :)

    http://barillafab4.blogspot.com/2012/01/lamp-revamp.html

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  43. fantastic issues altogether, you just gained a {logo new|a new} reader. What would you suggest in regards to your put up that you just made a few days ago? Any positive?
    Devil Driver - Hooded Sweatshirts - Zippered Band

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  44. I just finished making my own and it came out awesome!! I used a modern waverly pattern with purples on a tapered shade. I didn't add ribbon to mine and it still looks professional! Can't wait to make more!

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  45. Saw your blog post via Pinterest & covered a lampshade today. Great, easy, & fun idea-thanks!

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  46. Hi there,
    I'm a little "late to the party", but found you when searching to learn about this process. Your bases and fabric are gorgeous!
    Cheers!,
    Barbara

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  47. Hey! Wow, that looks phenomenal!

    I have tried and retried but can't get my fabric to fit correctly on my lampshades. They are the drum style but slightly smaller at the top than the bottom as in your example.
    I think my issue is that the fabric is a check. It doesn't line up right and after multiple tries I am frustrated!
    Any suggestions or am I out of luck in trying to do a check patterned fabric?

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  48. Using a check fabric on a shade that has a slight taper will result in the line of the check curving upward towards the seam of the fabric. Really no way around that, so if that bothers you, I think another fabric without will bring about a result you'll be happier with.

    Thanks for asking, Janell

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  49. Just love this! I have a lamp shade that needs a little pick me up, this is perfect. Thank you!!!

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  50. Looking up a handful of crafts to attempt tomorrow. and I might just attempt this one. I been looking for new bedroom lamps and cannot find any I like anywhere. So, maybe I should just do this and it'll make the lamps more satisfying! Great step by step directions!

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  51. Have you done this on the odd shaped one, large on the bottom,much smaller on top? I ha Ve want3d to do this ever since I saw a lamp on "Reba" and co6ldnt find it but fo6nd the fabric but was to chicken to try it.

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