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Redoing a lamp shade?

Posted by anele (My Page) on
Sun, Oct 26, 08 at 19:47

I made the mistake of getting (vintage) white bases for lamps. I SHOULD have picked colorful bases, because plain lamp shades are easy to find . . .interesting ones are not.

Anyway, I'm stuck with them, and finally got some plain lamp shades that are the right shape/size. I figured I could redo them somehow.

Has anyone done this? How have you done it? I know I could add stencils, but I think I'd rather cover them with fabric. If I do that, do I have to completely remove the fabric that is there and just use the frame, or could I just glue/sew the fabric over the existing fabric? (That seems much easier!)

Anything else I should know, or any other ideas? Thank you!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Redoing a lamp shade?

I'm assuming you have new "stretched fabric" shades. If you use a lightweight or semi-transparent fabric, it would work to keep the old fabric in place and sew the new fabric over it. Think of the old fabric as a double lining. If the old or new fabrics are very heavy, it will block a lot of light and you might want to reconsider. And check the fabric you are thinking about by putting it over the shade with a lightbulb on to make sure you like it with the light on. Or use a flashlight. Some colors and fabrics will wash out too much and the pattern isn't what you hoped.

Once you've got a good fabric, take off the trim along the top and bottom of the shade. It is glued and should come off fairly easily. (You can later reapply the trim with glue or use a different trim.) There are probably two vertical lines of trim on either vertical side of the shade and remove those also. They are essentially the side seams where the two halves of the shade were sewn together.

Cut two pieces of fabric roughly to size for each half of the shade. Sew one side at a time like this: Pin and stretch the fabric tightly so that you can handsew it to the old shade at the two vertical "side seams". ( Don't overlap the two halves of fabric, just butt them up to each other. Trim will cover this later.) Then handsew at the top and bottom of the shade where you can see the stitching on the old fabric. Be sure to sew the new fabric a little short from the top and bottom edge. You will be cutting off all the excess just short of the edge so make sure your stitches are set back slightly so they won't get snipped when you cut off the excess. The trim will cover the sewing but you don't want any of it sticking beyond the edges of the old shade or it will stick out under the trim. Carefully trim/snip all the excess fabric close to the edge where you have sewn, at the top, bottom, and vertical side seams. Remember to keep the new fabric shy of the edge so it doesn't stick out. Sometimes I put a thin layer of white glue on the handsewn stitches just to protect them a bit before I trim away the excess. Be careful to keep in mind how much area the new trim will cover so that stitches will be hidden and no raw edge sticks out beyond the trim.

Glue the trim on like it was before or put on new trim with white glue or fabric glue. You can use gimp or other trims. Ribbon often will not work because you cannot mold it to the curve quite right, but you can give it a try . Hancock Fabrics has a lot of home dec trims that will work. Beaded trim will work but you may have to cover the edge with gimp on top of that because of the molding problem.

Good luck! I like this way of making shades because you don't have to start from scratch or do a lining, and you can use all sorts of interesting fabrics.


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RE: Redoing a lamp shade?

I just read a blog article recently about recovering a lamp shade.

http://southernhospitality-rhoda.blogspot.com/2008/10/covering-lampshade.html

Here is a link that might be useful: Recover a lampshade


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RE: Redoing a lamp shade?

bananafana and norasnews, that is exactly the info I am looking for-- THANK YOU!


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RE: Redoing a lamp shade?

I recovered a couple of shades. I covered one right over the existing shade. I pleated fabric, using clothes pins and fabric glue on the top and bottom. When dry, I added some trim. Sorry, I don't have a photo of the shades. They were from years ago. It's very easy if the shape of your existing lampshade doesn't have too much of a curve. At least for me, I couldn't do anything that had curves. I'm not that talented.


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RE: Redoing a lamp shade?

I forgot to tell you my secret for making self-trim out of the same fabric to cover those vertical side seams. You can also use it at the top and bottom if you like the look of not having a contrasting trim or gimp or whatever:

I use masking tape--wide enough to be the trim width plus enough to fold under the raw edge on both sides. Do this on the bias---like at a 45" angle to the straight grain of the fabric. You could cheat if you run out of fabric, but the angle gives the fabric enough stretch to let you mold it nicely which is important especially when using it on the top or bottom. So, tape the masking tape on the bias to the wrong side of some of the fabric scraps. Then cut along the edge of the tape on both sides. Leave the tape on and iron the edges under. If you used the right size tape, you can make the edges meet in the middle. You'll get a nice, even hunk of trim this way. I leave the tape there for extra oomph.....you don't want it too flat or it looks funny. So go easy on the ironing too....don't flatten it more than you have to. Then glue the taped fabric to the shade. Works like a charm. And I've tried everything til I figured this method out. Put the trim on the side seams first before the top and bottom so the top and bottom trim will cover the beginning and end of the side trim.

Just notice how the trims are put on as you are removing the old trim so that you can see the order in which they were applied. It will make sense as you are removing the trim.


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RE: Redoing a lamp shade?

I was going to suggest the Southern Hospitality blog - that's georgiagal (who posts here) and she has some AMAZING lampshades!

tina


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RE: Redoing a lamp shade?

Hmm . . .I looked at one of my shades and it has several vertical seams. That is going to be a problem, right, or does it just depend on how hard they are to take off?


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RE: Redoing a lamp shade?

More than two vertical actual seams in the top fabric or are you just seeing the multiple ribs of the metal shade frame? Is there a super deep curve on the shade? I thought you had a lined (typically silk) shade but is it one of those with the rigid, kind of hardback stuff as a base that the fabric is probably glued to?

Either way, you can do it but you might need to change techniques. Can you put a picture here?


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RE: Redoing shade

More than two vertical actual seams in the top fabric or are you just seeing the multiple ribs of the metal shade frame? Is there a super deep curve on the shade? I thought you had a lined (typically silk) shade but is it one of those with the rigid, kind of hardback stuff as a base that the fabric is probably glued to?

Either way, you can do it but you might need to change techniques. Can you put a picture here?


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RE: Redoing a lamp shade?

hello anele,
i've done up a couple of old lampshades that i got free from a friend... mine's made of paper so i could actually paint on them. instead of using paint i think a marker pen would do as well if you don't want the hassle:) you can take a look at it in my blog, in the link below :) hope you get some ideas :)
"luthien"

Here is a link that might be useful: my arty-diy-homedecor blog :)


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RE: shade

Oh hey....is it like the shade shown on mythreedog's thread about her ebay lamp transformation? If it is, no problem. You'll just do it the same way but with smaller pieces of fabric. It's actually easier because there is less stretching of the fabric required to get a tight fit. The only thing that can mess you up with all those seams is if you aren't careful to keep your handsewing within the area that will be covered by the vertical trim.

I think I would sew one piece completely, sides first, then top and bottom, then put a little white glue on the side seam to protect the stitches and keep the fabric from raveling. I use a teeny paint brush. Then trim away excess fabric on side seam before starting on the adjoining piece. If you have to overlap the fabric with the next piece a teeny bit that's ok, but be careful you can cover it all with the trim.

You might like using a small curved needle, but I just usually use a very small straight needle. It's hard on your fingers, so a thimble might help.


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RE: Redoing a lamp shade?

I have apair of lamps with paper foil shades. The outside is in perfect shape but the inside is getting yellow with "insect spots".
How can I make the inside look clean and new?


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