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How to Recover a Lampshade Tutorial

My son has been in his big boy room for well over a year, and I still haven’t shared all the projects! For a refresher, I started with this transport-themed appliqued quilt (doona/duvet) cover, matching art work and fabric bookends:


Since I seem to like things matchy-matchy, I decided he needed a matching lampshade for his bedside table. I intended to revamp a second-hand lamp, but they’re hard to find with electrical safety laws here, and I felt a bit funny not knowing the history of the lamp when it was going in a toddler’s room. Next best option was to head to IKEA, where I picked up an OLLSTA shade with a JANUARI base – a plain and simple combination.

Using the same striped fabric from the quilt, here’s the final big boy room lamp:

Recover a Lampshade

Here’s the tutorial:
8” x 37” Fabric strip (New Traditions Stripe in Chartreuse from Robert Kaufman)
Sewing Machine
Fold back clips or pegs
Craft glue
Serger/Overlocker (optional)

I’m going to start with some maths – sorry to the non-engineers, but I’ll try to make this simple! Here are the dimensions of my lampshade:


Cut a piece of fabric 8” wide (height of the lampshade + 1” allowance) by 37” long (distance around the bottom + 1”)


Darts are needed to fit the lampshade, and I decided 6 darts sounded about right, so here comes some more maths:


Make a mark 3.5” from the edge of the fabric, and then make 5 more marks every 6 inches. This is the centre of each dart.

Fold the fabric in half (right sides together) at each of these marks and pin together. Measure 1.3” away from the fold at the top of the fabric and draw a straight line to the bottom of the fabric at the fold.


Sew along the line using a standard straight stitch. Trim the fabric inside the dart and press the seam open.


After you have sewn all 6 darts, your fabric should look like this:


I was concerned about my fabric fraying, so I serged along the top and bottom (but since I’m gluing the fabric, it wasn’t really necessary!):


Wrap the fabric around the lampshade and use fold-back clips or pegs to hold it in position.


Place a strip of glue on the inside rim of the lampshade at the top and bottom and glue the fabric in place.  (I originally planned on Mod-Podging the fabric on, but thought if I just used craft glue around the inside rim, it would be easier to replace the fabric in the future.) Snip the fabric on the inside where necessary to help the fabric sit flat and go around the supports of the lampshade:


Overlap the ends of the fabric and fold under a small “hem” to give a nice edge finish. Apply a strip of glue between the two layers of fabric, and stick the fabric in place.


Put the lampshade on the base, and you’re all done!

Recover A Lampshade

Let’s see if I can get the rest of the big boy room tutorials together before he starts high school!


  1. Super cute! I am in the middle of a “big boy room transition” project list myself! 😀

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