Cost-Effective & Easy: How To Cover Lampshade With Fabric

How To Cover Lampshade With Fabric

Last Updated on January 27, 2024 by Wahid

Want some personality in your room? Make a focal point of the room with a fun lampshade. You can match the pillow fabric or compliment the lamp base. Actually, totally customizable & original, this project will make your home unique!

Ever wondered how to cover lampshade with fabric? Is it safe to cover a lampshade with fabric? Yes, of course! An inexpensive and easy way to transform a lampshade is to cover it with fabric. With a fabric-covered lampshade, you can add visual interest, pattern, & layers wherever it’s placed. 

However, it’s a pretty simple concept, but our detailed instructions are easy to follow even beginning DIYers! Well, let’s see below.

Table of Contents

The Following Questions Could Also Be Asked

01. Is it possible to cover an existing lampshade?

Answer: Many ways exist to cover a lampshade with fabric, from using a lampshade kit to covering an existing one. First, choose a fabric you love for your lampshade, and a table lamp base as well.

02. Can I use acrylic paint on a fabric lampshade?

Answer: Sure, you can paint your lamp shades with acrylic paint to give them an exciting new look. By following our simple steps, plus tips for caring for your new shade, you’ll get long-lasting results.

03. Can I use latex paint on a fabric lampshade?

Answer: Yes, latex paint is safe to use on lampshades. It was actually quite easy and quick to complete our little project. By hand painting the shade with satin latex paint, it looks fantastic.

04. Is it safe to paint fabric lampshades?

Answer: Yes, of course. Fabric lampshades can be painted any color you like. 

05. To cover a lampshade, what kind of fabric should I use?

Answer: Cotton, linen, cotton drill, and polyester cotton can all be used. During the manufacturing process, they are usually well behaved.

06. How do you make a lampshade fireproof?

Answer: Generally, there are 3 methods for reducing fire risks:

  • LED or compact fluorescent light bulbs are the easiest way to combat the danger.
  • Fire-retardant spray can also be applied to the paper.
  • Finally, you can cover a plastic lamp shade with decorative paper.

07. Can a lampshade be temporarily covered?

Answer: When you have a shade that is perfectly straight & doesn’t slope, “ribbon” is an excellent choice.

08. How do I put a lampshade on top?

Answer: Use leftover wallpaper to cover. You can use your leftover pieces to cover an old, dingy lampshade instead of tossing them. Match the wallpaper to the room’s decor, then glue or spray adhesive around the lampshade.

09. Are peel-and-stick wallpapers suitable for lampshades?

Answer: Definitely. Due to peel & stick wallpaper’s ease of removal, you can easily change the lamp’s pattern. For drum-shaped lampshades, wallpaper preparation is also simple.

10. Can I decoupage a lampshade?

Answer: Use an old car jack or attach the lampshade to the lamp base, which means you can rotate the shade smoothly as you move around. Taking one strip separately, cover the shade & the back with decoupage. 

Why Should Recover A Lampshade: 10 Reasons

Why Should Recover A Lampshade

It is fun and creative to recover a lampshade yourself. The lamp can be transformed and personalized to match your decor. Recovering a lampshade has several advantages, including:

  1. Cost-Effective: You can update your lighting on a budget by recovering a lampshade instead of buying a new one. Saving money can be achieved by using existing materials or affordable fabrics.
  2. Customization: With a reupholstered lampshade, the fabric, color, and pattern are entirely up to you. The design can be matched to your current decor or you can choose a bold one to make it a focal point.
  3. Personalization: By restoring a lampshade yourself, you can express your individual style & creativity. Make your own unique piece by mixing fabrics, trims, & embellishments.
  4. Quick & Easy Project: Recovering an old lampshade is an easy project that doesn’t need any special skills & tools. An entire weekend or a few hours can be spent on this project. Those looking for a quick makeover or beginners will enjoy this project.
  5. Upcycling: When you have an antique lampshade that no longer fits your current decor, reusing it makes it a whole new story. By giving an item a fresh, updated look, it is repurposed sustainably and reduces waste.
  6. Gift Option: Recovered lampshades make thoughtful & personalized gifts for friends and family. Lampshades can be customized to fit their taste & decor, ensuring a meaningful and unique gift.
  7. Versatility: Through the reuse of lampshades, a room’s ambiance & style can be easily changed. Cover your furniture with different fabrics for different moods, occasions, or seasons, keeping your decor dynamic and fresh.
  8. Room Transformation: Adding a new lampshade to a room can make a huge difference in its overall appearance. It can bind together various elements, boost color, or change texture, elevating your space’s aesthetic appeal.
  9. Learning Experience: Fixing a lampshade gives you the chance to gain new knowledge and improve your DIY skills. With it, you can practice measurement, cutting, & sewing, enhancing your craft skills.
  10. Satisfaction & Accomplishment: Homemade projects, like refinishing a lampshade, provide satisfaction & accomplishment. With this handcrafted piece, you will have an exclusive piece to proudly display.

Ultimately, restoring a lampshade is a worthwhile DIY project. However, you should prioritize safety whenever you are handling electrical components.

Is It Possible To Cover An Existing Lampshade With Fabric?

Definitely YES. Basically, covering an existing lampshade with fabric gives it a fresh, customized look. 

  1. However, using adhesive or appropriate methods, you apply your chosen fabric to the lampshade frame after removing the existing fabric.
  2. Using fabric to cover an old lampshade can update its style, enhance your décor, or turn it into something new. 
  3. Be sure the chosen fabric is suitable for the task and the frame is in good condition.

Finally, it is possible to revitalize your lampshade & enhance the appearance of your home with this creative and cost-effective method.

Is It Safe To Cover A Lampshade With Fabric?

Obviously YES. Lampshades can generally be covered with fabric, as long as certain precautions are followed. 

  1. To cover a lampshade with fabric, ensure to select the fire-resistant fabrics suitable for surrounding heat sources.
  2. In addition, ensure that the fabric is tightly secured to the shade frame using proper adhesive methods, avoiding fabrics that are highly flammable.
  3. Ensure safety by avoiding obscuring light sources or creating conditions that could accumulate heat.

Finally, if you choose the right materials and follow safety guidelines, fabric lampshades can be an elegant, safe and stylish addition to your living space.

What Is The Best Fabric To Cover Lampshade?

Choosing a fabric that is both safe and visually appealing is important when covering a lampshade. When you know how to cover lampshade with fabric; then, consider the following factors:

  1. Fire-Resistant: Fire safety is a priority. Choose fabrics that are fire-resistant and intended for lampshades. Be sure to choose fabrics that are labeled as “UL-listed” or “fire-rated.”
  2. Heat Tolerance: Make sure the fabric can withstand the lightbulb’s heat without catching fire. It is generally a good idea to choose natural fibers such as cotton & silk.
  3. Lightweight & Semi-Transparent: Choose fabrics that diffuse light gently but allow it to pass through. You should choose lightweight fabrics such as cotton blends, silk, linen, or sheer fabrics.
  4. Design & Color: Select fabrics that complement your interior decor & your own style. A variety of colors, patterns, & textures will work, according to your preferences.
  5. Durability: Choose a fabric capable of handling wear & tear on a lampshade, and also a potential cleaning process.
  6. Texture: Textured or patterned fabrics add depth & visual interest to lampshades.
  7. Application Ease: You should consider how easy it is to attach the fabric on the lampshade. The process can be simplified by using adhesive-friendly fabrics.
  8. Personal Preference: Most importantly, the ideal fabric is one that matches the lampshade’s design and adds to the overall appearance of your room.

Last but not least, make sure that safety is your top priority. It is always a good idea to choose a fabric made specifically for lampshades and fire-resistant to maintain both beauty and safety.

How To Cover Lampshade With Fabric: Step-By-Step Guide

Covering Lampshade With Fabric

Lamp Shade Covering Materials:

Step 1: Select A Lamp 

Lamps come before shades. Shade size and shape are determined by the lamp’s height, width, and style. Shades are larger when a lamp is larger. Additionally, larger shades are more expensive.

  • I have a lamp that is about 7 inches tall & 9 inches wide. 
  • Even though this type of lamp won’t tarnish, I thought it would be wise to keep it clean. 
  • Typically, silver polish wipes are my go-to option. At a time, I usually buy 3 boxes.
  • For cleaning silver, these wipes work best. Some tarnish was removed & the lamp was given a shiny finish.
  • Regardless of what lamp base you use, it’s important to keep it dust-free before covering it.

Step 2: Prepare Fabric

  • Lay your fabric out and iron it flat if necessary in order to eliminate wrinkles & fold lines. 
  • To choose an appropriate direction for fabric coverage, roll the drum shade across the fabric. 
  • Your shade’s size may require you to roll diagonally across the fabric. 
  • Be sure to include enough fabric to cover the whole shade plus a little extra because the fabric may start at an angle.

Step 3: Cover Work Surface 

  • If you plan to use an adhesive, prepare the work surface by covering it with craft paper or newspaper.

Step 4: Trace & Measure

  • Mark the shade with the erasable marker and erase it. 
  • Mark along the top and bottom of the shade all the way across the fabric for your measurements. 
  • After marking the first line, measure a 2nd parallel line roughly 2 inches higher (to provide a seam & protect the shade’s inside). 
  • You will probably draw some curved lines on the shade, so ensure that your 2nd lines (above top shade line & below bottom shade line), are aligned properly.

Step 5: Cutting Process

  • Using pinking shears, cut the chosen fabric. On the inside, this gives the fabric a nice edge.
  • Pinked edges minimize fraying on the inside & give a neat finish. 
  • The gray fabric I used was a decorator fabric with very little fraying, which is why I simply used straight cuts.

STEP 6: Apply Glue


Apply spray adhesive to the frame before attaching the fabric. In order to roll the frame along, spray the fabric edge first. Turn the glued fabric over the frame as you roll the frame. While the glue is drying, use pins or clamps to secure the fabric together. Hot glue gun can also be used instead but be careful not to make large blobs so that they will show through.


Finish recovering neatly by folding and overlapping the fabric with additional spray adhesive to finish recovering neatly. On the inside, you can attach some ribbon and corded tape to strengthen and neaten the edges.


Wrap the excess around the top & bottom so that it fits better when it’s turned inside out. It’s possible your spray glue has dried slightly by now, which means you may have to apply another coat to the edges. 

When you have a frame arm on the edge, you should place a clip there. Turn the edges inside out. On the metal arm, it is easy to see how the fabric was positioned.

Step 7: Cutting Excess

  • You will probably have extra fabric overlap the shade at the opposite end from where you began wrapping it. 
  • Adhesive should be sprayed over the already laid fabric to attach the excess. 
  • To measure the area to be sprayed, use a piece of cardboard or paper as shown above. 
  • Make sure the top and bottom fabrics are sealed together.

Step 8: Sealing Edges

  • With your pinking shears, cut a line down the center of your seam allowance at the top of the shade around the wire. 
  • To seal the shade, press down on the inside. This should be completed once the entire shade has been sealed. 
  • Ensure that all spray adhesive has dried before moving on.
  • It’s time to enjoy your new statement lamp! Attach the shade to the lamp base, and you’re ready to go!

Step 9: Attach Ribbon To Finish Edges

  • When working around part of your lampshade, just snip the material and press it around.
  • In order to achieve a polished look, ribbon will be used to cover the fabric’s raw edges.
  • The final product will look nice with this step, but it is optional. 
  • To secure the ribbon to the shade’s inside edges, use a hot glue gun. 
  • If possible, start the ribbon on the lamp shade’s seam.
  • It’s done, now you can personalize your lampshade to fit your style.

Step 10: Setting Up The Fabric Lampshade

  • Your lamp shade must be attached to your lamp. 
  • Also, the lamp can be displayed in any way you like. 
  • On a newly made stand, I placed the lamp. My next post will discuss that project.

Others Lampshade Ideas: Let’s See

Do you want to know more about lampshades? The following tips and suggestions can help you recover a simple lampshade:

  1. You can paint a design on the shade or cut out pictures and collage a design on it using a stiff card or paper. 
  2. A bi-colored effect can be achieved by dip-and-dyeing.  If you want to color the shade, cover it with a shade of your choice and dip it entirely in the color. For the paint, use a bathtub or basin. In the bathtub, gently place the lampshade until it touches the bottom. In this way, a specific level of dye will be applied to the shade. After removing the paper, allow it to dry.
  3. Want to give your lounge a golden glow? Spray gold paint inside the shade. For extra strength, apply 2 coats. Black paint or black fabric can be used on the outside. Enjoy the golden glow by turning on the light.
  4. Using your fabric paints, you can create your own lampshade design if you’re a creative artist.
  5. A lampshade can also be decorated using decoupage.
  6. Nowadays, dot art is very popular. When the light is turned on, the pattern on the shade will be created using the principle of dot art.
  7. Put some fringing on the fabric & pleat it.  An interesting ‘boho’ effect is achieved.
  8. Add subtle fabric stencil designs to the lampshade by adhering a stencil inside.  Paint the stencil with a dark color using a brush and some paint. Remove the stencil after the paint has dried. Light the lamp and take a look at your silhouette design.
  9. Use a t-shirt to cover the shade from bottom to top. Scrunch the shirt up and use a hot glue gun to cover the shade.
  10. An interesting border can be created by winding rope. Alternatively, you can use plain rope or rustic string. Top and bottom of the shade should be wrapped in rope.
  11. Add a beautiful bow to the shade by wrapping some satin ribbon around the bottom.

Can I Cover A Lampshade Using My Own Block-Printed Fabric?

Can I Cover A Lampshade Using My Own Block-Printed Fabric

You can block print your own lampshade fabric easily and inexpensively. Decorating on a budget is as easy as using a potato & leftover sample paint pots, explains Molly.  

To create a potato print, you’ll need: 

  • White paper
  • Paint brush
  • Knife or biscuit cutter
  • Paint and 1 potato or two

Steps To Follow

  1. Prepare your potato by cutting it in half so that it is flat. 
  2. Use a pencil or biscuit cutter to mark the shape you want. Simple shapes make the most memorable designs, in my opinion. Once the potato is cut away around your shape, brush your raised shape with thick paint and apply to the fabric. 
  3. You should try your design out first on a scrap, and as you make prints, coat the potato with extra paint. An accessory made by hand is heartfelt, making your own is satisfying, looks good, & saves money as well!

What Is The Best Way To Cover An Existing Lampshade?

What Is The Best Way To Cover An Existing Lampshade

When you already own a fabric lampshade, you can recover it with a new design when it’s time for a refresh. 

  • First, mark your existing shade with a marker to create a template for your fabric. To accomplish this, wrap a piece of wool over the lamp shade from top to bottom & tie it in place. Ensure that the wool loop sits squarely on the board.
  • After that, set the shade on a sheet of newspaper, letting the wool touch the paper. Make a mark with a pen on the newspaper at this point. Roll the shade slowly along the newspaper, using the pen to trace its path top & bottom, until it has completed one complete rotation, at which point the wool touches the paper again. Drum shades produce a rectangle; for pendant shades with tapering ends, curves will be produced.
  • Then, cut out your marked shape, adding 1-2 cm all around. Place the template face down over your fabric, adjusting the position until you’re satisfied. Fabric should be cut out.
  • Now, face the fabric down and turn up 1cm on both long edges & one short edge and press. When the long edges are curved, this needs to be done slowly and carefully. Press the fabric and place it over the shade, aligning the fabric’s vertical seam with the shade’s vertical seam.
  • The manufacturer’s instructions should be followed carefully when using a fabric spray adhesive. Then, lightly spray the remaining vertical edge (don’t use much adhesive). Make sure the pressed vertical edge is neatly and evenly positioned onto the sprayed edge.
  • Apply spray to the top & bottom edges with the fabric, wrap them around the shade frame, & press them into place. Make sure the adhesive is completely dry before moving on.
  • Apply a fire-retardant fabric spray evenly and lightly to a scrap piece of fabric, according to the manufacturer’s directions. Allow to dry. Once you are satisfied with the results, spray your newly covered shade and cover any adjacent surfaces. Fix the shade to the base of your lamp after it has dried.


01. In what way should fabric be attached to a lamp shade?

  • Choose your lampshade kit.
  • Prepare your fabric by cutting it to size.
  • Put the self-adhesive panel in place.
  • Top & bottom edges should be peeled back.
  • Fit your lampshade frame with your fabric.
  • Make the edges neater.

02. What is the best fabric to use for lampshades?

  • Type: Cotton, cotton drill, linen, polyester cotton. Their behavior during the process of making tends to be positive.
  • Weight: The best weight is between light and medium.
  • Weave: A tight weave is preferable to a loose one.

03. What glue is best to use on lampshades?

A specialty tacky lampshade glue is ideal for making lampshades since it is much more user-friendly. The glue becomes sticky quickly, but does not dry immediately, which gives you just a little time to add any final touches.

04. What are the 3 types of lampshades?

Once you’ve selected the right size for your lamp shade, it’s time to consider its attachment method. Lamp shade assemblies can be classified into 3 types: spider, uno and clip on.

05. What is the purpose of leaving plastic on lampshades?

Lampshades are wrapped to prevent damage and spotting before they are sold. Before using it, you should remove it. Otherwise, the plastic might shrink and make the shade lose its shape, or the lightbulb’s heat might melt the wrapping.

06. Can I paint a lampshade?

With low-grit sandpaper, remove any lumps & bumps from the lampshade. Apply your walls’ paint color (the same one you used on the shade). Using latex paint & a foam brush works best, however spray paint also works, but you’ll have to cover the inside of the shade with masking tape. Before hanging the shade, let it dry completely.

07. Would wrapping paper work for covering a lampshade?

Using a blank sheet of paper, make a paper template for your lampshade. A small binder clip can be used for aligning the paper with the shade’s bottom edge. In the case of a flared lampshade, the bottom edge may not be perfectly straight; fold the paper beneath the edge and secure it with a clip.

A Final Note

Generally, lamps add an extra touch of ambiance in a room. The décor and colors of the room can have a great impact on the ambience of a room, as can the lampshade.

You already learn how to cover lampshade with fabric! It can be incredibly rewarding to redecorate. Makeovers include choosing the fabrics, creating new curtains, painting the walls, and adding accessories like lampshades. The shade shape is perfect, and it fits perfectly on the stand, but it doesn’t match the theme of your new living room or bedroom! 

Can a lampshade be covered easily? Well, when you have the right glue & your fabric, it doesn’t seem so difficult. Select the right materials, carefully follow our easy instructions, and you’re ready to go!