lighting the way, in a pretty way

Those of you who know me in real life know that I need to have a few projects going at any given time.  One should be in process, one on deck and one (ok, 11) in the planning/pre-planning/day dreaming stages.  Right now my big project is unpacking (and prepping for next semesters classes).  But I had a project in the back of my head and today it was fully executed.

In the old house, we had no lamps.  Zero, zilch, none.  every room had lights in the ceiling and we never needed them.  Even the master had built in, dedicated, reading ceiling lights.  In this new house we need lamps.  The living room has nothing in the ceiling; the kids ceilings are bare as well.  So we found the box of lamps that we stored in the attic of the old house and started using lamps once again.  And they work, and it is all fine.  let there be light and stuff like that.

In Emily’s room and in the master we had the same lamp. it is one I got at Pier One 15-20 years ago.   My aunt happened to have its twin and did not need it, so she gave us the other one.  We used them in the condo,  They are fine.  They make light, which is pretty much all we expect of them.  And after all, that is what we are paying the lamps to do….

The lamp is fine, but the shade is so boring.  And NOT at all pretty for a 5 year old girl’s room.  So I got it in my head that I could cover it with fabric.  So one day, Emily and I went through the fabric box and she found a FABULOUS fabric for a lamp shade.

it is likely the most perfect lamp shade fabric ever! But before I could cover her lamp, I panicked. the truth is I love this fabric so much that I was worried about messing it up. So I chose a fabric to cover the other lamp in, figuring it will be a test run and if it works, D and I will have a prettier lamp shade.

I originally got this for a chair but forgot to use it on said chair (long story). I love it and thankfully, D really liked it too.

So here is how I did it, and I am giving the step by step directions for 2 reasons, 1, in case anyone out there wants to use my technique, and 2, so I have a record in case I do this again. And 3, because I use so many other people’s tutorials, it is nice to give back.


    1. Place ugly, boring lamp shade on the floor and step back to ponder how this will work.  Walk around it several times and wait for inspiration to strike.  This will take a while, don’t rush it.
    2. I finally decided to make a template.  I put my lap shade on its side on a piece of packing paper and traced it.  I used the seam to get the correct length.

      Then I taped it to the fabric and cut out my lamp shade.  I cut it about 2 inches bigger on each side, just to make sure I had enough fabric, and to have enough to fold over the edges
    3. Then I spent a day or so debating how to attach the fabric to the lamp shade.  Anyone following these directions will save tons of time and immediately reach for the spray adhesive!  It works perfectly!  (all that extra on the top and bottom is the 2 inches (or so) I left)
    4. The top and bottom edges were also really easy using the spray adhesive.  But a tip, cut some slits in the top, so it lays nicer.

      Then more spray adhesive and it will stick.  I used some clothes pins just to help out.
    5. It works perfectly!!!
    6. Then, because it was shadeless, I put it on the lamp in Emily’s room.

I LOVE it!  I look the way it came out, off and on!!  The first lamp shade took me about 3 days; most of that was spent percolating on how to do it though.  Then I was confident enough to do Emily’s in her chosen fabric.

I cut the same template and taped it on to make sure it worked.

Then on to the spray adhesive and minutes later, Emily had a brand new lamp!

I love this one even more!! And so does Emily, which makes it so special. I love doing projects like this, but doing them for my kids makes it so much better. And seeing their joy, love it! Plus, since I already owned the lamps, fabric, spray adhesive and clothes pins, this was a completely free lamp makeover. You can’t beat that! And speaking of the happy lamp recipient, a few days ago she was tackled by her bother and sister.

But now there is a problem – no new crafty projects on deck…. Must find new project….


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