How to Recover a Lampshade – Slipcover Tutorial

Wouldn’t you love to be able to change the fabric on your lampshades at a whim? I’ll show you how to recover a lampshade with a slipcover so you can do just that!

But first, a warm welcome to the Creative Craft Blog Hop. If you are coming over from my friend Jenna at The Painted Apron, I’m thrilled to have you join us! At the bottom of this post, I’ll be directing you to the next stop on this venture. But don’t forget to check out the other stops too. There’s a creative group of 16 other bloggers with inspiring Summer ideas: be sure to drop back in throughout the week to visit them all!

Now, let’s get to it!

How to Make a Lampshade Slipcover

Earlier this year I got some fabric determined to upcycle this yard sale lamp base.

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I was unable to find pressure sensitive styrene in Canada to make my own shade so I used a shade I found on clearance at a big box store instead. My original plan was to spray glue the fabric to the shade to transform it.

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That’s when the pandemic hit and Canada went into lockdown. I didn’t have any spray glue so thought I would wait it out until I could get my hands on some. Little did I know that lockdown would stretch out for so long.

Then inspiration hit again. I love to change up our pillow covers every season, so why not do the same with my lampshades with a lampshade slipcover! Watch the video below to see how to slipcover a lampshade. Then read on for the full tutorial.

Materials

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For Trim:

Lampshade Slipcover – Before You Start

If the lampshade has trim, remove it so there are no obstructions.

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A Note About the Fabric

I had my heart set on using the fabric shown below for the lampshade. I love birds (hence our blog name Birdz of a Feather), but when the fabric arrived, the scale did not work for a lampshade (the birds would have been too few or cut off). I would recommend keeping the pattern very simple or going with a small scale pattern (like the fabric shown above under ‘Materials’; as you can see the scale of the pattern is much better).

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If the lampshade will be seen from the back, you might want to rethink using a patterned fabric at all. As you can see later, the pattern will never meet if the lampshade tapers and there is the slightest curve on the final pattern. In that case, if a mismatched pattern bothers you, use a solid fabric.

Creating the Paper Pattern

Sometimes a drum shade looks perfectly even, but this one looked like it might have a slight taper. Just to be sure the fit would be perfect, I traced it out onto paper. I added 1″  seam allowance onto the sides and 1/2″ on the top and bottom.

I then cut the pattern and folded it along the centre so it would be symetrical.

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I also folded the fabric, then pinned the pattern to the fabric along the fold. Cut it out.

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Dry Fit

Along the top and bottom iron the 1/2″ seam allowances.

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Pin wrongs side together at the 1″ seam allowance and do a test fit before moving on. Note that if your drum shade does taper, mark the bottom so you know which way it goes onto the shade. Wouldn't you love to be able to change the fabric on your lampshades at a whim? I'll show you how to recover a lampshade with a slipcover so you can do just that! lampshade slipcover | sewing tutorial | slipcover for lampshade | lampshades | birdzofafeather.ca | lampshade makeover | lampshade makeover diy | lampshade diy | lampshade ideas | lampshade redo | lampshade makeover fabric covered | sewing hacks | sewing crafts | sew a lampshade | sew a lampshade cover | how to sew a lampshade | sew a lampshade slipcover | how to recover a lampshade

Construct Flat Felled Seam

If you’re happy with the fit, stitch the side seam (1″ seam allowance) with wrong sides together so you can sew a flat felled seam on the outside of the fabric. A flat felled seam is the kind you see on the outside leg of jeans.

Cut one side of the seam allowance back to 3/8″ then fold the other side in 1/2″ as you see below and iron it.

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Fold the wider edge over the cut edge and topstitch along the fold. The seam should look like the picture below.

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Serge Edges

Because this is a slipcover and will get wear and tear, I serged the top and bottom before folding and topstitching the outside. I topstitched just shy of 1/2″ so the bias tape trim we’ll be adding later would cover the stitching.

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Put the slipcover onto the shade so you can attached the trim. Line the flat felled seam up with the seam on the shade.Wouldn't you love to be able to change the fabric on your lampshades at a whim? I'll show you how to recover a lampshade with a slipcover so you can do just that! lampshade slipcover | sewing tutorial | slipcover for lampshade | lampshades | birdzofafeather.ca | lampshade makeover | lampshade makeover diy | lampshade diy | lampshade ideas | lampshade redo | lampshade makeover fabric covered | sewing hacks | sewing crafts | sew a lampshade | sew a lampshade cover | how to sew a lampshade | sew a lampshade slipcover | how to recover a lampshade

Add Trim

If your lampshade already had trim that’s still in good shape, you can reuse it. Otherwise, you can use any pre-made trim, like grosgrain, to finish the edges or make your own bias trim using fusible bias tape makers. These ones from Clover come in 1/2″ and 1/4″ sizes, making them perfect if you want to add some contrast.

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Once the trim is made, you can glue it around the edges of the fabric with Hi-tak glue (covering up the topstitching).

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My trick is to use mini binder clips to help hold the trim in place while you’re attaching.Wouldn't you love to be able to change the fabric on your lampshades at a whim? I'll show you how to recover a lampshade with a slipcover so you can do just that! lampshade slipcover | sewing tutorial | slipcover for lampshade | lampshades | birdzofafeather.ca | lampshade makeover | lampshade makeover diy | lampshade diy | lampshade ideas | lampshade redo | lampshade makeover fabric covered | sewing hacks | sewing crafts | sew a lampshade | sew a lampshade cover | how to sew a lampshade | sew a lampshade slipcover | how to recover a lampshade

The binder clips also hold it in place while the glue dries.

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Option

If you prefer not to glue the trim (or you don’t have glue), hand stitch the trim in place. On a contrast trim like this, I would use black thread and ‘stitch in the ditch’ between the black and white trim using a running stich.

Pop the shade onto the base and you’re done!

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This slipcover turned out better than I ever expected. Not only didn’t I need harsh chemicals in the form of spray glue, but the flexibility that a slipcover provides makes it a win-win in my books!!

I can easily take this slipcover off and swap it out with a different slipcover.  Now that I’ve done this one for Spring, I’m tempted to switch up the fabric every season! How fun is that?

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Give a Lampshade Slipcover Try

If you have a bland lampshade that could use some sprucing up, I hope you’ll give this lampshade slipcover project a try! Pinning is always welcome and appreciated:

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Interested in more crafty projects? Check out our craft rehab category.

Now I’d like to send you on to Debbee at Debbees Buzz.  She has vintage teacup craft projects for you!

When you are finished visiting Debbee, please remember to visit these other amazing talents below:

Celebrate And Decorate | Design Morsels  | My Thrift Store Addiction 

Home Is Where The Boat Is | Purple Hues And Me | Sustain My Craft Habit  

Chas’ Crazy Creations | Bluesky At Home | Raggedy Bits | Decorate & More with Tip

B4s and Afters | The Painted Apron My Hubbard Home |

Zucchini Sisters  | White Arrows Home

Happy Crafting Friends!

 

39 thoughts on “How to Recover a Lampshade – Slipcover Tutorial

  1. Sara, what a beautiful end result — I love the color, pattern and trim choices you made in creating the slipcover! I’ve always been curious how to recover a lampshade and you’ve provided a detailed, easy to follow tutorial.

  2. Your slipcover lampshade is amazing, Sara! And it looks beautiful, too! I can’t believe you can take it off and make others to transform lamps! How cool and oh, so useful, is this idea! Pinned for future use!

  3. Oh my gosh, I have been wanting to do something with a lampshade and this might be it! Thanks for sharing and lovely crafting with you!

    • Thanks so much Chas! I’m hoping projects like this will help me get onto Hometalk’s video roster one day. I’ll eventually work up the courage to do some FB lives too. I’ve been working on improving my tutorial content so we’ll see. You are such a pro at that; I love how polished your videos are. I’d love some feedback (if you watched the video) 🙂

  4. Sara, there are so many things to like about this project, starting with that great lamp base, the fabric choice, and creatively making slipcovers for a lamp shade! I’ve never seen another tutorial like this. Great job!

    • Thank you so much Rachelle! That means a lot to me. I pride myself on creating tutorials for new and unique projects like this :).

  5. Sara, great redo of the lampshade. I have added fabric to so many lampshades I’ve lost count. I did a new one a few weeks ago on the blog. I’ve never used this approach, but it’s a great idea. I also love the fabric. Very pretty.

  6. Your lampshade turned out lovely, Sara! It is a pleasure to join you for another craft hop–hope you’ll stop by for a visit! Blessings, Cecilia @My Thrift Store Addiction

  7. It looks great! I have so many lamps that could use this. I guess I’m going to have to brush up on my sewing skills. I want to try this, but not sure how to do that seem. It look so custom, fresh and cute. Thanks for sharing in the hop.

    • Thanks Andrea! I just started sewing again and am having fun. Even my husband is taking it up again; he learned to make kites.

  8. You are the best Sara. What a novel idea. I would love to be able to change my lamp shades to match whatever decor style tickles my fancy.

  9. What a transformation! I love that you made this as a slipcover instead of just gluing fabric on your old shade! It is always great to be able to upcycle something and give it new life! Thanks for hopping with us!

    • Thanks Chloe; just about all my craft projects are upcycled in one way or another. I think it’s so important to use what you have. If I can inspire just one person to think twice before throwing something in the trash, I feel pretty good about that :).

  10. This is actually really cool. I have some lampshades that need some love but I’m not a sewer. Hmmm.

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