DIY Lampshade Tutorial

by Emma Jeffery

A new lampshade can freshen any room, and it's a pretty easy DIY to take on. Start by collecting your tools and materials, take a few measurements, and you can begin your project today.

DIY Lampshade Tutorial

To make your DIY lampshade, you'll need the follow tools:

To make your DIY lampshade, you'll need the follow materials:

  • Decorative metal sheets
  • Gloves
  • Clear epoxy
  • Clamps
  • Black spray paint and primer in one - you can choose any color that fits your home décor
  • Cloth rag
  • Wire
  • Hanging lamp light cord with socket
  • Bulb

How to Make a DIY Lampshade with Decorative Metal Sheets

1. Cut the decorative metal sheets to size. Wearing gloves for protection, use the Fiskars® PowerCut™ Easy Action™ Snips to snip the decorative metal sheets to size. You will want the metal sheets to be big enough so that they will wrap around in a cylinder to create the lampshade of your desired size. Use more than one sheet if necessary. Use the tape measure to determine your dimensions.

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2. Secure the sides of the lampshade. Wrap the metal sheets into a cylinder and secure the sides together using a clear epoxy. Clamp in place and following manufacturer's recommendations on drying time.

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3. Paint the lampshade. Wipe the lampshade down with a rag to ensure it is dirt and dust free. In a well-ventilated area, spray paint the metal and allow to dry thoroughly. I chose black to match my kitchen colors, but you can select any color that works for you. Keep in mind that the darker the color the more the lampshade will stand out against lighter fixtures in the area. If you want your DIY lampshade to blend in a bit more, I would recommend choosing a lighter color. When dry, paint the inside of the lampshade. Allow to dry thoroughly.

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4. Create the hanging fixture. Use the wire cutter on the PowerCut™ Easy Action™ Snips to cut a length of wire. Then use the pliers to create a loop in the wire. Place inside the top of the lampshade and twist into the grid of the metal sheet to secure. Use the wire cutters to trim the wire to size as necessary.

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5. Finish the lamp. Secure the DIY lampshade around the hanging lamp light cord and insert the bulb.

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How to Cover a Lampshade with Fabric

There are other materials you can use to cover a lampshade, and one of the most common is fabric. Visit our tutorial detailing how to cover a lampshade with fabric here. The basic steps involve measuring and marking your fabric to fit over an existing lampshade, cutting the fabric according to those measurements, ironing so the fabric lays flat, and adhering the fabric using a glue or spray to the lampshade itself. If choosing a fabric cover, make sure to keep in mind that a darker fabric will restrict more of the light from shining through. If you want a brighter light, select a lighter fabric. For a moodier feel, go with a darker option.

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How Much Do the Materials for This DIY Lampshade Project Cost?

The materials for my DIY lampshade came in around $50. Considering you can pay almost three times that for a statement lamp, this project is a bargain!

Lampshade Design Ideas

You can be super creative when thinking through the materials used to either cover or create a DIY lampshade from scratch. For me, I wanted something modern and sturdy since my lighting was going in the kitchen, so metal sheeting was a great choice. I considered hardware cloth as well, and only selected the metal as my final material because I wanted the light to be more centered downwards, almost like a spotlight. The hardware cloth didn't provide as much light cover as I wanted.

In the past I have used durable home décor fabric to give a softer feel when covering lampshades for my bedroom and living room.

Types of Lampshades

There are a number of different lampshade styles. First, lampshades can attach to your lamp in different ways, from spider fitters to clamp fitters and more, but there are also many different shapes lampshades can come in. You can have bells, drums, ovals, boxes and even think up new shapes to create on your own. Whatever your style, you can find a lampshade shape to match!

How to Keep Your Lampshade Clean

To keep a fabric lampshade clean, simply use a dry soft cloth over the top to remove dust. For the metal shade we created, you can use the same dry cloth or a duster.

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