I wish I could be embarrassed about this, but I’m not: my house is full of things I’ve dragged in off the street. End tables. Air conditioners. Chairs. Frames. It’s absolutely amazing what people in this city kick to the curb…but if it’s nice enough and I’m not laden down with anything, you can best believe I’m dragging it back to my apartment.
And that’s exactly what happened with this gorgeous lamp! All it had was an unsightly shade, which looked it may have been burned or otherwise dirtied in some way. All it needed, though, was a little makeover to be as good as new. Whoever threw it out did not know this, but that’s why I have a DIY blog and they probably don’t. I live for finds like this.
All it took to get this lamp gorgeous again was a stretch of fabric, a pair of scissors, and a hot glue gun. That’s it! And it only took about 40 minutes. Read on for the step by step and end result.
Step 1: Remove the outside fabric. When recovering any lamp, this is the toughest part. Oftentimes, the fabric is stuck to the shade, so just take this process very slowly. Also, if you can – the old shade makes the perfect pattern for tracing onto the new fabric, so bonus points if you can remove it all in one piece. In this case, the fabric was lightly glued onto the shade, so removal was slow, but finally, I got the ugly fabric off intact.
Step 2: Place your old fabric on the wrong side of your new fabric. Using chalk (I had tailor’s chalk handy), a pen or some other tracing instrument that won’t bleed through, trace around the old fabric. THEN! Go back around and make the pattern one inch bigger so you have room to anchor the fabric to the inside of the shade.
Step 3: Once your pattern is traced, cut carefully! And then give it a good iron so its nice and flat.
Step 4: Now you’re ready to put on the new fabric. Place the shade in the center of the fabric and make sure you have it centered between the top and bottom edges, as well. Then, using your glue gun, place a few dots of glue on one edge and secure the edge of the fabric to the center of the shade. Press it down and then pull the other edge tight.
Step 5: Working your way around the shade, place a dot of glue (close to the top or bottom edge of the shade so that it doesn’t shine through when the light is turned on) at regular intervals to secure the fabric. Soon, you should have the entire thing covered – with enough fabric hanging over the top and bottom.
Step 6: Working your way around again, but this time inside the top rim, place a dot of glue on the fabric and then secure it to the top of the shade. Before you do this, if you notice that the fabric is long and will reach deep inside the shade, give it a quick trim. Otherwise, when you turn on the light, anything inside the shade will show up as a shadow within the lamp. Instead, cut the fabric so that it’s close to the edge. See below on how it hangs over just the littlest bit.
When you get to the wires inside the shade, give the fabric a small snip so you can fit it over the bars.
Step 7: Do the same on the bottom. See how much more this hung over? I trimmed just more than half of it away so the overlap was the same as the top of the shade.
Don’t you feel bad for the person who threw this away now?? If only they knew!