The rings should fit the shade perfectly. If you’re having trouble getting them to fit, check that the top ring is on the top side of the shade and make sure there are no gaps between the shade and rings.
When both rings are attached, the rings should be flush to the top and bottom edges and tight to the shade paper with no gaps.
Although I’m admittedly a chair addict, they’re not my only obsession. I am a sucker for lamps, and after years of collecting lamps in every size, shape and color, I found myself with a lot of lamps and no shades. The success (or failure) of a table lamp has as much to do with the shade as it does the base, yet there are surprisingly few options when it comes to ready-made shades. This month on Upholstery Basics, we’ll make a custom drum shade to inspire your next bright idea. Photography by Mel Cole — Amanda
20. Use the small paint brush to apply glue to the bottom half of the paper tape (only a few inches to start). Start just beyond the seam with the bottom edge lined up with the line from step 18 and press the paper tape to the top edge of the shade.
34. Repeat steps 29–33 to attach the trim to the bottom edge of the shade.
You can make a lampshade in any size you want! Our tutorial on how to measure your lamp to find the perfect-sized shade can help you decide.
You’ll need one plain ring and one ring with a fitter for attaching to your lamp. We sell Euro + Spider-Washer fitter rings in our store.
Light-medium weight cottons are the easiest to work with, but if you’re an experienced DIY-er, the options are endless!
23. Apply glue to the top half of the paper tape and use your fingers to fold the tape around the rings to the inside of the shade. Do your best to tuck the excess tape neatly under the ring.
Look at other lampshades to get your creative juices flowing. These 16 DIY lampshades were all made with supplies from our store.
25. Follow steps 8–12 from Coil Seat Finale to make bias tape out of the fabric of your choice. Instead of making it 1 1/2″ wide, make it 2″ wide. This will be the trim for the lampshade, so you’ll need enough to cover the seam and go around the top and bottom edges of the lampshade.
29. For the trim around the top of the shade, start by cutting the end (with fabric completely folded) at a 45-degree angle. Open up the trim halfway and apply glue to the bottom half.
We still sell all of the same lampshade making supplies that we used to. In the past, we sold them in all-in-one kits that included all of the materials in a single box presentation. We’ve since decided to deconstruct the kit and offer each piece individually. This way, you’re free to mix & match so you get the exact size components that will work best for you, instead of adhering to the height and diameter dimensions that we had previously decided on. Not offering all of the supplies in a kit format gives you even more freedom to make a unique lampshade that you’ll love.
Making your own lampshade is a lot easier than you might expect!
12. Flip the shade over and place glue on the fabric beyond the line from step 11.
27. Open up the trim for the seam and cut 3/4″ off of one side, leaving a 1 1/4″ wide bias tape. Apply glue to the backside of the fabric and press the ironed flaps down.
1. Determine the height and circumference (pi X diameter) of your shade. This shade will be 13″ tall by 13″ in diameter, which is 13″ tall by 40.84″ around (3.1416 (pi) X 13″). We’ll need an extra 1/2″ of width to overlap the connection in the shade (41.34″). For the purposes of making this easier, feel free to round up to the nearest 1/2″ (41.5″).
For example, if your lampshade diameter is going to be 10″, your adhesive styrene should be 32″ long (= 10 x 3.14 +1 = 32.4, rounded down to 32″). In this case, you would buy our 40″ Styrene sheet and cut it down to 32″.
Cotton fabrics are the easiest to work with, as they stick well to the adhesive styrene + tacky lampshade glue. But if you want to get more creative, there are plenty of other interesting fabrics and materials you can make a lampshade with. Read this blog post for inspiration!
When your materials arrive, it’s time to start making! We have many tutorials and videos on our blog on how to do this. Here’s one of our favourites:
18. Carefully pull the top ring up without pulling it out of the shade and use the bulldog clips to attach it to the top edge of the shade. The top ring has braces that attach to the washer in the middle. Line up one of the braces with the seam. Allow the glue to dry for 10 minutes.
9. When the shade is attached all the way around the top, place the shade (top down) on the table and attach the bottom ring to the shade all the way around.
Receiving pictures of our customers’ finished projects is our very favourite thing! Seeing the creative twists that people put on their lampshades makes us jump around and dance! So every month, we choose one lucky customer and reward them with a FREE PRODUCT from our store.
15. When the seam is secure and the glue has dried, place the shade on the table with the bottom edge up. Place a thin bead of glue all the way around the bottom inside edge of the shade.
3. Cut out a piece of fabric large enough to cover the shade with a few extra inches around the edge. Tape the fabric (face down) to the table with painter’s tape.
Tools + Supplies for Making a DIY Lampshade YOU DON’T NEED ANY OUT-OF-THE-ORDINARY TOOLS: Iron + ironing surface Scissors Small paintbrush or other glue-spreading utensil Ruler or measuring tape Pen, pencil or fabric marker
A rotary cutter and a cutting mat will make the process easier, but are not completely necessary. They’ll help you trim down your lampshade fabric and styrene more quickly and accurately, but most people do just fine with regular old scissors.
7. Lay the lampshade rings on the table and ensure that the rings lay flat to the tabletop all the way around. Use the edge of the table to bend the rings, where needed, to get them straight and flat to the table.
Don’t forget to check out Upholstery Basics: Tool Time to learn more about the tools we’re using today.
30. Repeat steps 20 and 21 to attach the trim to the top outside edge of the shade. Instead of lining up the bottom edge of the trim with the bottom edge of the paper tape, place the trim so that the middle rests on the top edge of the shade. Place a bulldog clip on the end to hold it in place as it dries.
13. Place the other side on top of the glue and line up its edge with the marked line. Press the seam together.
But if you want to get more creative, there are plenty of other interesting fabrics and materials you can make a lampshade with! Some of our favorites include wood veneer, fancy papers and tactile materials.
So you’ve already visited our lampshade sizing page and have determined the final size of lampshade that you want to make. Now it’s time to determine what length and height of styrene you need, as well as what diameter of rings you need.
4. Determine how you’d like the pattern centered on the shade and use the square and yardstick to draw the left and bottom edges of the shade.
When choosing fabric for a shade, always hold the fabric up to a window to see how the light shines through the material. Thicker fabrics can prevent light from passing through, causing an undesirable look when illuminated.
Keep a wet paper towel handy for wiping off excess glue as you work. Instead of making fabric trim, try velvet or ribbon trim for a simpler alternative. Simply glue the velvet or ribbon to the outside edges of the top and bottom.
If you have a shade that works with your lamp but want to cover it with a different fabric, remove the old shade paper from the rings and follow these steps to make a new shade. Finding the pattern for conical shades is tricky, so use old shades as a pattern or order a pattern to your specifications from a lampshade supplier.
To choose your lampshade rings, simply select rings that match your chosen diameter. If you want your shade to be 10” wide, choose rings with a 10” diameter. Next, determine how your shade attaches to your lamp, and select the right lampshade ring fitter for your project. We offer the standard US Style Spider-Washer rings, as well as Euro / Uno style rings, which are great for lamps from IKEA.
10. With a pencil, mark the edge of the seam at the top and bottom of the shade and make a mark to indicate which side is the top.
22. Cut out a small triangle centered over every brace in the top ring.
6. Continue peeling and sticking a few inches at a time until the styrene is completely attached. Use a flat, hard object, like a plastic ruler, to smooth out wrinkles and air pockets. Use the bottom line as a guide for keeping the styrene straight on the fabric.
Determining Which Lampshade Rings + Size of Styrene You Need
Styrene Length = Lampshade Ring Diameter x pi (3.14) + 1 Additional Inch for Overlap
31. When you get back to where you started, fold the trim in half and cut it at a 45-degree angle opposite of step 29. The end should cover the cut edge of where we started.
16. Place a bulldog clip on the seam of the shade and place the back of the bottom ring on top of the clip to prevent it from falling into the shade. The bottom ring will have a welded joint. Place this joint to the right of the seam. Slip the front of the ring just inside the shade and use the bulldog clips to hold it in place. When the front half of the shade is attached, remove the bulldog clip at the seam and attach the back half of the shade with bulldog clips.
Seeing our customers’ finished projects is our very favourite thing! It makes us jump around and dance to see the creative twists that folks put on their lampshades, and we often share them with our newsletter subscribers and followers on social media. Tag your project on Instagram with @ilikethatlamp, post a photo to our Facebook page, or send us an email directly to: [email protected]
21. Continue gluing all the way around, cutting the end of the tape even with the seam in the shade.
14. Place a bulldog clip at the top and bottom of the connection and lay weights on top of the seam on the inside of the shade. Allow the glue to dry for 10 minutes.
When your materials arrive, it’s time to start making. Watch our video tutorial to see the step-by-step process of making a lampshade.
Take the easy route and buy your styrene, lampshade rings and tacky lampshade glue right here in our store today!
5. Check the fabric to make sure it’s free of dirt and lint. The pressure sensitive styrene has a sticky side that attaches to the fabric. Peel off the first few inches of paper covering the sticky side, line up the bottom and left edges with the lines from step 4 and stick the shade paper to the fabric.
Simply tag your project on Instagram with @ilikethatlamp, post a photo to our Facebook page, OR send us an email directly to: [email protected] We can’t wait to see what you came up with!
You likely already have the basic tools required to make a lampshade in your home. Read on to find out exactly what you need.
24. Repeat steps 20–21 and 23 to attach paper tape to the bottom edge of the shade.
How can I make a lampshade in a different shape to a drum/cylinder?
To choose your styrene, you’ll need to consider these 2 dimensions: height and length. The height is simply the height that you wish your lampshade to be. The length can be calculated using this easy-as-pie (no pun intended!) formula:
26. After you’ve cut out and seamed (if necessary) your bias tape, iron it in half lengthwise. Then iron each half in half.
Get your DIY lampshade supplies in as little as two days and start making a unique lampshade that fits your home’s decor perfectly.
Tacky lampshade glue, a moulding stick and binder clips will help you achieve that ‘professionally made’ lampshade look.
33. Repeat step 23 to attach the trim to the inside of the shade.
Though drum lampshades are the simplest shape to start with, it is possible to make a tapered lampshade using a similar technique and the same materials. Here are links to some tutorials on making tapered lampshades, and panel style lampshades.
2. Cut out a piece of pressure sensitive styrene to the exact dimensions from step 1 (13″ tall X 41.5″ wide).
17. When the bottom is attached all the way around, flip the shade over and place the top ring inside the shade. Place a thin bead of glue all the way around the top inside edge of the shade.
For beginners, we’ve found that the best material to use is plain cotton. It sticks well to the adhesive styrene, as well as the lampshade glue.
fabric painter’s tape measuring tape chalk square yardstick pressure sensitive styrene pencil scissors hard, flat object like a plastic ruler bottom and top rings bulldog clips white craft glue small paint brush weights for the seam paper tape sewing machine thread iron
8. Attach the top middle of the shade to the top ring using a bulldog clip. With the bottom of the shade against your body, work your way around, attaching the shade to the top ring with bulldog clips. When you get to the end of one side, go back to the middle and work around in the other direction.
28. When the flaps are glued down, place glue on the backside of the trim and glue it to the seam of the shade.
Styrene is the type of material that most high-quality lampshades are made out of. It has a sticky backing that adheres to your fabric.
19. Remove the bulldog clips from the shade. Lay a pencil flat on the table and mark a line all the way around the top and bottom edges of the shade.
All it takes is a little bit of creativity, some lampshade-making materials, and an hour of your time to make a totally unique drum lampshade that you can be proud of.
And when you DIY, you have the power to control the design details – like the pattern, color and size – so you can make a lampshade that perfectly matches your home’s decor.
11. Remove the bulldog clips from the shade and lay the shade on the table with the fabric facing up. Use the straight edge to mark a line in chalk connecting the marks from step 10. This will be the seam line on the shade.