Revamp a Lamp with Color

Don't discard a perfectly good lamp just because the shade's worn out — revamp it! Update a lampshade by adding colorful fabric, wrapping paper, ribbon or trim.


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What do you get when you combine a lamp that's seen better days, a sheet of colorful wrapping paper and a few decorative trims? A revamped lamp, of course!

Materials and Tools:

old lamp with a paper shade
fabric to cover lampshade
hot glue
wrapping paper
permanent marker
painter's tape
decorative ribbon
decorative trim


1. Roll out a long piece of the wrapping paper onto the work surface. Line up the edge of the paper with the seam on the lampshade and use a piece of tape to secure in place.

2. Roll the lampshade in the paper until you reach the taped edge. Trim off any extra paper. If you're working with a large lampshade, you may need to piece the wrapping paper together to make a larger piece.

3. When you reach the taped edge, fold the additional paper back so that the two edges meet, and use the painter's tape to secure in place.

4. Working on the top and bottom of the lampshade, fold the paper to the inside of the lampshade. Using a permanent marker, trace the top and bottom edge of the lampshade onto the wrapping paper. Remove the wrapping paper from the lampshade. Use scissors to cut along the fold lines on the sides and the marker lines on the top and bottom. This is the lampshade template.

5. Roll out a new piece of wrapping paper and tape the template to the paper with painter's tape. Working on the rolled-out paper, use a marker and ruler to add 1" to the top, bottom and side edges of the template. This will create the pattern. Cut out the pattern from the rolled-out paper.

6. Iron the fabric and pin the pattern to it. Make sure you have the fabric going the proper direction. Cut the fabric into the shape of the pattern and remove pattern. Fold one side edge over 1" and iron in place.

7. Hot-glue the unironed edge of the fabric along the existing seam on the lampshade. Make sure you have 1" of fabric on the top and bottom edge. Roll the fabric around the lampshade. Hot-glue the ironed edge over the glued edge. Pull the fabric so that it's smooth.

8. Working on the top, apply the hot glue on the top inner rim and fold the fabric over to create a finished edge. Repeat for the bottom. Trim away any excess fabric.

9. Hot-glue decorative ribbon on the inside of the lampshade, covering the top and bottom raw fabric edges. Hot-glue decorative trim on the outer bottom edge.

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