Some Shady Business

Okay, so don’t get the wrong idea. There isn’t much shady about this project except for the fact that I covered a paper lampshade. This lampshade had been so abused by my two year old… poor thing. He suffered about a dozen pencil-punched holes and quite a few pen marks. We had to take him in for reconstructive surgery immediately after the fiasco. In Kyra’s defense, I do tell her to only draw on paper. She was just following orders.

Here was the fix for the holes and pen marks when the lamp was tucked in my decently safe bedroom: permanent marker “vines” and some 3D black cardstock butterflies. It was actually pretty cool.

I probably would do that over again without even being prompted by a dozen holes. If you are interested in creating butterflies for your lampshade, I’ll try to upload the template that I used soon. For the vines, just go to town with a Sharpie. Got to love Sharpies. They can be used to decorate pretty much anything from walls to lampshades to pillowcases.

But, alas, this cool lampshade wouldn’t have lasted a month week in my daughters’ playroom so it was time to consider a more resilient alternative. So, off to the hobby store I went where Jason actually picked this fabric (and I happened to like it!)

We bought enough of this fabric to cover the lampshade plus extra for any other project that might pop into my little brain, which came to a total of 4 yards.

So here’s a little tutorial on how I covered this particular lampshade. Unless you have the exact same lamp, you’ll probably have to adapt this to your size and shape but maybe this post can guide you a bit.

First you’re going to have to determine how much fabric is need to cover the shade. I simply wrapped the fabric around the shade and cut it off where it looked like it would cover. Not very exact, I know, but it worked.

Unless your shade is shaped like a cylinder, you’re going to have to do some type of cutting to help offset the shape. I made my cuts like this:

Then, I took a straight pin and pinned the top center of the fabric to the top of the shade. leaving enough room to wrap about 1/2 an inch over the top. After this pin is secured, continue to pin the top, overlapping the cut portions as needed.

After you’ve poked yourself about a dozen times (or was that just accident-prone me?), you’re ready to sew the top of your lampshade. Thread thin fishing line onto your needle, tie a knot in bottom of the line, and pull it through the shade from the back. Loop it over the top and begin another stitch. It should look similar to this:

Ewww… My nails are totally letting you know that I had just finished working outside. How embarrassing…

Anyway, ta-da! The top is finished. Okay so it’ll take a little longer than I make it sound, but the process shouldn’t be too tedious.

Repeat this whole process for the bottom.

After everything is stitched in place, you’ll probably have some overlap when the lamp is on, like this…

…but you can take scissors and trim the excess fabric off of the top layer so that you have smaller seams.

All that is left is to hot glue the seams so that they lay flat against the paper shade and you are done! You know the best part about this project (besides being able to cover a dozen little pencil holes)? You get to completely customize the look of your lampshade!

How do you guys improvise when things get destroyed around your home (please tell me it’s not just us…)? Had any kids punching holes in your lampshades lately (or anything else for that matter)? Share your ideas! I’d love to hear them!


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