DIY Lampshade

You will be surprised how easy it is to make a lampshade!  Well, I didn’t exactly make the lampshade; I just dressed it up. 

This sweet lamp was my Grandmothers and it has been sitting in my closet, all sad, for way too long.  I finally got it out, painted the faded brassy base a nice white, rewired it and set out to find the right lampshade.
I knew I wanted more of a drum shape than a flared shade.  Finally I found the right size at Target, well priced but oh too ho-hum; just a plain white shade.  I HAD to style it up a bit!

Ribbon to the rescue!

1.  You are going to have to do a little math to figure out how much ribbon you will need.  A soft measuring tape will be helpful but not necessary.  I know you can whip out your calculator and do some basic figuring and get a good approximation of yardage.

2.  Wind the ribbon vertically around and around the lampshade.  I found clothespins very helpful to secure the ribbons as I went along.

3.  Experiment with the spacing to get a look that you like.  The color and condition of the base shade will in part dictate the look you want to achieve.

4. Before you go any further, place the shade over a light bulb to see how it looks different when illuminated.  You may want to make some adjustments.

5.  When you are satisfied, be sure the ribbon is snug.  Not too tight, just snug and join the ends together on the inside of the shade.  I experimented with various techniques for joining like glue and staples and finally decided that a simple hand sewn tack stitch was the best choice.  It is practically invisible and really quite simple.

6.  Now it starts to get REALLY FUN!.  Weave the horizontal ribbons in and out of the vertical ones.  Here is another step where you will want to experiment a bit to see how many rows, what color combinations and what finishes work best.  Also, once again be sure to see how it looks when lit.  Leave enough of a tail on each row of your ribbons to give you some choices of how to finish.  I found it much easier to weave the ribbons when I made an angle cut on the end.

7.  I chose to tack the ends of some of the ribbons and hide them under the horizontal pieces and then just tied the sweet little bows on some of the rows.

I’m VERY happy with my “new” lamp and lampshade!  What do you think?