How To Recover a Lamp Shade

How to Recover a Lamp Shade - Vintage DIY!Lamp shades can easily be recovered by the craftsman at considerably less than the cost of a new shade. Parchment shades can be attractively covered with cloth which is cut to fit, sewed, and then glued onto the parchment with ordinary liquid glue. Decorative borders can be made with colored gimp of the type upholsterers use.

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How to recover a lamp shade - Vintage DIY

When a shade is being recovered the first step is the preparation of a pattern for cutting the material that is to cover the parchment. The shape of this pattern, if the shade is tapered, will be similar to that shown in Fig. 1. To lay out the pattern, a piece of paper is wrapped around the lamp shade; a pencil line is traced on the inside surface of the paper at the upper and lower ends of the frame as shown in Fig. 2. The paper is removed and is then cut along the pencil lines. This operation will produce the inside and outside curves of the pattern as shown in Detail (A). In order to establish the correct length, the paper now should be replaced on the shade so that the “V” cuts can be made at the upper and lower edges in both ends of the pattern as shown in Fig. 3. With the pattern again removed a pencil line is drawn from the lower “V” cut to the upper one. Cuts made along these lines will produce a pattern which is the exact size of the shade without any seam or hem allowance.

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When the cloth is being cut according to the pattern, at least 3/8″ allowance should be left on all sides for hems and seams. The upper and lower edges of the cloth are hemmed before the ends are turned down and joined as shown in Fig. 4. This scheme keeps the cloth as flat as possible. The completed covering is now tried on the shade. If it fits properly, it is removed and glue is applied to the upper and lower edges of the parchment as shown in Fig. 5. The covering is then slipped over the shade. The decorative gimp is applied with glue as shown in Fig. 6.

If you’d like a bit more help with recovering a lamp shade, you can get a DIY Lampshade Kit on Amazon (this one has GREAT reviews!)

Thin imitation leather can also be used for recovering shades that are to be opaque. The original material is first removed from the wire frame; the leather is cut to fit the frame and is stitched onto it. The laying out of the pattern of the shade is done in the same manner as previously outlined. If a paneled effect is desired the pattern should be divided into any number of equal parts. The material being used for the covering should be cut to the outline of each of these parts; extra material must be allowed along each side of the pattern for hems. The panels are sewed together by means of a seam similar to the one shown in Fig. 4. When completed the shade will look like the sketch in Fig. 7.
Lamp shades that have a covering which is slightly concave as shown in Fig. 8 will require panels with the edges curved. The lacing of the completed shade to the frame is the final operation. Goat skin or Florentine lacing similar to that used in leather work is ideal for use on lamp shades. Holes are punched around the upper and lower edges of the covering before the lacing is applied as shown in Fig. 9.

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Now over to you!

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One response to “How To Recover a Lamp Shade
  1. I liked and understood the process but would love to understand it better through a DiY tutorial.

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