Showing you how to easily DIY and update any lampshade or chandelier shade with leftover wallpaper or fabric in 5 simple steps to elevate the look of any light fixture in your home! It’s an update that only takes a small amount of time, but makes a big impact using just a few supplies! Here are 5 easy steps to cover a chandelier shade or lampshade with leftover wallpaper or fabric for a lamp, chandelier, or wall sconce.
If you see something you like in these photos, you can also check out how to DIY picture frame molding where I share my genius hack to make it go fast and how to wallpaper inside picture frame molding! I have step-by-step tutorials just waiting for you!
How to make a custom lampshade
I recently took a flat white room in my daughter’s new home and turned it into the most elegant and classic, gender-neutral nursery that dreams are made of! It was one of my favorite projects to date and it turned out beautiful. Part of that makeover included adding an aged brass chandelier to the space.
The chandelier is really pretty and wasn’t very expensive, but kind of simple so I wanted to take it up a notch and make it look custom to the space.
The shades that came with it were just plain white and boring and didn’t add a whole lot of excitement to the nursery.
So I decided to customize them with the leftover wallpaper I had from the project and WOW! They look amazing and it only took me a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon. I absolutely love the way they turned out!
Customizing the lampshades made the chandelier look totally custom and like I spent way more than I actually did!
If you have a light fixture in your home and want to update it, this is an easy and inexpensive way to make it customized to your space.
This will totally work for a lamp you have as well! You will be amazed at what adding fabric or wallpaper to a lampshade will do to a space. It just might be the little detail that takes your room from EH to OH!
Can you add lampshades to a chandelier?
If your chandelier didn’t come with shades and you want to elevate the look of your fixture the answer is yes! Adding lampshades to your chandelier will do just that! It will change the environment of your room by softening the harsh light of a plain lightbulb and diffusing it to make a soft glow. Add shades to a dining room to create a more intimate mood, add them to a sconce on a wall to soften the harsh glare of a lightbulb, or add them to a bedroom to create a more cozy vibe that an uncovered lightbulb doesn’t provide.
You can choose to DIY your lampshade or you can stop right here and buy the prettiest shades for your home without doing any DIY. Just point, click, and add to cart!
Here are some of my favorites that you can add to your space by just clipping them onto the lightbulbs on your chandelier. Elevate your chandelier in seconds!
But, if you want to take on a simple project and do it yourself, I am going to show you how easy it is! Let’s get into the details.
How do you update a lampshade?
You can update a lampshade whether your fixture is old or new by using wallpaper or fabric or even scrapbook paper or craft paper to breathe new life into it! Think of all the patterns and textures that are available on the market!
It’s a fun and often overlooked detail that you can add to your decorating to truly make your space your own and feel like YOU live there.
I was very mindful of where my patterns would lie on the shades in my most recent project. The way the bunnies in the wallpaper are applied to the shades make it look like they are leaping around the room! It is so cute!!
Just follow my 5 simple steps below to update your lampshade.
Can you cover a lampshade with wallpaper?
Absolutely! And I hope you do!
You can update a plain lampshade or chandelier shade with wallpaper and add customization to your space easily in an instant.
I love to find new and creative ways to use leftover wallpaper. I like to line drawers with it or make little garlands.
I am thinking about making a baby mobile for the crib using it, too! I recently used the leftover wallpaper in my daughter’s nursery makeover to update the plain white and boring chandelier shades. It is really easy and you can follow my 5 easy steps to cover your lampshade below.
If your wallpaper is peel-and-stick then you will simply follow the same steps but leave out the spray adhesive.
After cutting the paper to the dimensions needed, peel back a small section of the protective paper away from the wallpaper and place it on the shade, smoothing it down. As you move around the shade you will work in small sections, peeling back the protective paper and smoothing the wallpaper down as you go until you reach the end of the shade.
You should have a small overlap at the seam where the two ends connect to ensure total coverage of the shade.
What kind of fabric can you use to cover a lampshade?
The beauty of customizing a lampshade yourself is that you can use any pattern you want! I love going to the flea market to get one-of-a-kind fabric pieces! You can keep your choice simple or add some fun and whimsy when customizing your shade. Make it light and airy or heavy and dramatic.
You can get a lot of bang for your buck by using fabric. Especially if you buy your fabric on sale.
But think of other places where you might find fabric. Maybe a tea towel or fabric napkin that has a cute design on it or a pillowcase that you can cut apart and use.
A chandelier shade is such a small surface that it can be really fun to do patterns to add a pop of color or texture to your space. They can be changed out for seasons, too, which is kind of fun!
Once you find that perfect fabric it is really easy to apply to a lampshade. Using spray adhesive makes it simple and it dries fast! You could use white craft glue or decoupage brushed on and applied as well, but I like to use spray adhesive because of the dry time!
What supplies will I need to cover a lampshade?
- Lampshade or chandelier shade. Drum shades are the easiest to cover because they are one straight cylinder.
- Wallpaper or fabric
- tape measure (best if it’s flexible to measure accurately)
- scissors or paper cutter or rolling blade and cutting mat
- spray adhesive
- Your trim of choice. If your shade did not come with trim, bias tape trim is always a good option. It comes in many colors at the craft store in the sewing section.
- Double-sided sticky tape or hot glue
5 Simple Steps to Cover a Lampshade with Wallpaper or Fabric
- Measure your drum lampshade circumference and height. For the circumference: be sure to add a little extra to have a little overlap to cover the back seam. For the height: Cut it slightly shorter so that the edge of the paper or fabric doesn’t stick out of the top or bottom edges of the shade. This edge will be covered with your trim.
- Remove any trim from your shade and set aside to reapply later.
- Cut your fabric or wallpaper to the correct size for the shade.
- Spray the back of fabric or wallpaper with spray adhesive and add to your shade. You can spray the shade directly instead, but be wary of getting the spray on the inside of the shade. If the adhesive doesn’t grab the paper or fabric when you first add it, you can use a little painter’s tape to hold it in place at the seam while it dries as you work around the shade. Then remove the tape when you get to the end. Be aware of the direction of your pattern and that it is centered on the shade. Just take your time and be thoughtful about the process and the result will be beautiful!
- Add the trim onto the top and bottom of the lampshade with double-sided sticky tape or use a hot glue gun.
How do you stick fabric to a lampshade?
I find it easiest to use a spray adhesive on the fabric to apply it to the shade, just like you would the wallpaper. Be sure to do this outside and use gloves if necessary. The glue is pretty sticky and will get on your surfaces and hands. If you want to use hot glue to secure instead, just be sure to use it on the top and bottom of the shade, and don’t make your bead of glue too thick! I just think that spray adhesive is the way to go to give you a flat and even coverage over the whole shade with no bubbling or puckering.
I was so excited to do this project for my daughter’s nursery! I planned to do this from the beginning and it turned out beautiful. The way the bunnies are positioned makes it look like they are leaping around the chandelier and it is so, so cute! Check out the entire mood board I made for the classic, gender-neutral nursery!
I hope that you enjoyed this Sunday afternoon project as much as I have and found inspiration for your own project from this post! Have an amazing day, friend! And remember to stop waiting. Start Creating!