Simple No Sew Lampshade Upcycles!

Simple No Sew Lampshade Upcycles!

Simple No Sew Lampshade Upcycles! As seen at Westfield Stratford & Westfield London 2024!

The Coolie Shaped Shade


After prepping and painting your shade leave till completely dry. The coolie shape is an easy shape to work with and most fabrics should stretch and fit smoothly.

Check your fabric hasn’t any pulls and if using a scarf you should cut any sewn edges off. Lightweight fabrics work well.

Remember that if you use a dark fabric it will give a different effect when the lamp is turned on.

Lay your fabric over the shade. Fabric tends to stretch more when its is on the bias ( on the cross grain) but you can use the fabric straight along the grain too.

Mix your wallpaper paste to a thick gel similar to double cream. Using a small decorators paint brush apply all over the surface.

Lay the fabric over the shade making sure the join of the fabric will sit on the join of the shade. Continue to apply the paste. You must apply enough paste so the fabric looks wet. DON’T cut anything till you have got rid of all the bubbles and the surface is smooth.

“Nurse” the fabric and encourage it to bend around the bottom and top frame edge.

Now you can take some sharp small paper scissors and start cutting any excess fabric from the shade from the top and bottom. Make sure the fabric doesn’t move position.

As the shade is drying you may notice that the fabric starts to wrinkle. This is normal. Just take a small amount of wallpaper paste on your finger and press down to smooth it again. Repeat if necessary.

When dry if needed add some PVA glue around the top and bottom of the shade, then when its all dry, its time to add your trim.

Use a glue gun or a clear strong fabric adhesive to stick the trimmings.

Please note this is not an exact science! Test! Test! Test! You can use watered done PVA but this can give the fabric a more milky appearance.

Remember the shade shouldn’t get wet as it hasn’t been sealed. On harder shades you can apply a water based varnish to seal.

Westfield London Workshop

Health & Safety at Stratford City Westfield & Westfield London Venue

  1. Wallpaper paste. Wear gloves if needed for smoothing. You should wash your hands after use. If the product comes into contact with the eyes rinse immediately with plenty of running water If ingested drink 1-2 glasses of water.
  2. Paints, Cover paint brush ends in sustainable bags when not in use so the tips don’t dry out.
  3. PVA- Use sustainable gloves if needed. Wash hands after use.
  4. Glue Gun- Keep out of the way of children.
  5. Make sure fabrics don’t hang directly over the lamp inside the shade. Only use 2,3 Watt lamps with a low heat output.

What you will need

  • A hard or soft shade to upcycle
  • 320 Fine sandpaper to “KEY” the frame.
  • Masking tape or plastic to protect edges inside frame.
  • Wallpaper Paste
  • Light weight Fabric to cover the shade
  • Trimming for the top and bottom of shade, possibly a fringe
  • Decorators Paint Brush to apply the paste.
  • Sophie James Décor Paint for frame and lamp base
  • A small artist brush to apply paint for frame and possibly any edges
  • PVA to finish edges
  • Small sharp paper scissors to cut fabric and trim
  • Clothes pegs to hold the fabric in place
  • Glue Gun or strong clear fabric adhesive

More Upcycle Ideas 

Painted Hard Lampshade with added fringe

Six Panelled Vintage Shade Transformation

This gorgeous shaped shade was too good to throw out so I applied the fabric to the internal and external panels. The trim covers the area where the sections meet on the shade.

Before Picture of Shade

Paint & Fabric Decoupage Shade & Lamp

Want to further your upcycling journey?

I'm running a number of workshops in 2024 with limited spaces left.

You will find more information about my Update A Lamp & Shade, Paint & Fabric Decoupage, Paint & Paper Decoupage and  Paper Mache Angel Wing workshops and for many more see our workshop page


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