Diy Home Decor: Quick & Easy Lampshades

If you need new lampshades in a hurry, and there's no time to shop or money to spend, here are instructions for sewing some quickly yourself.

Just heard your mother-in-law is coming? Hurry, rip off those old, dusty lampshades and impress her with your ability to make some of the most gorgeous lampshades she's ever seen. It's easy, just cut the old shade away - down to the frame - and warm up your glue gun. A piece of lace works beautifully, or you can use a nice fabric for the shade. Cut the fabric to the approximate length of the lampshade, allowing an extra 4 inches for the hems. Measure around the largest part of the lampshade, usually the bottom. Double the measurement and cut the cloth.

The material or lace can be sewn on a machine, but quick results can be attained by just using the hot glue gun for hemming and making the shade. Fold the fabric along the top, about a half inch, then glue. Now fold over once again and glue the hem. Do the same to the bottom hem, folding once and gluing, then folding and gluing a second time. Be very careful with the hem, not to burn fingers and keep a cool, wet washcloth nearby, just in case.

Place a dab of glue on the edge of the top of the fabric, about an inch below the top hem. Stick the fabric edge to the lampshade frame. With the lampshade lying on its side, put a 3" run of glue on the lampshade top wire, then, holding the fabric above the glue and just below the glue, scrunch the fabric into the glue. You might have to scoot the fabric into the glue, let go and grab again, below and above the fabric, and scrunch some more fabric into the glue. When that is dry, lay another 3" run of glue, and scrunch more fabric into it, following this procedure until the top wire of the shade is complete covered. Leave a couple of inches of fabric, unattached, for folding the seam. The fabric can come up an inch or so above the top wire of the shade, but pay attention to keep it straight. You can draw a line before beginning to assure that you keep it straight while gluing. You'll attach the bottom part of the shade the same way as the top: lay the glue, scrunch the fabric into it, and so on, until the entire bottom is attached to the shade rim. When you come to the end, fold the fabric over to make a nicer seam, then glue at top and bottom. Now you can decorate the shade any way you want. Glue a ribbon around the top, or glue a narrow lace piece around the bottom and the top.

If you want to take the time to get out your sewing machine and make some pretty lampshades, it won't take much longer than the gluing technique. Measure around the largest part of the lampshade, and then double that measurement. Measure the length of the shade, from top wire rim to bottom, and then add an inch and a half for the top hem and two inches for the bottom. The top hem should be slightly narrower than the bottom hem. Fold top hem over a quarter-inch, then fold again, a half-inch. Hem. Do the same to the bottom hem, folding first a half-inch, then an inch. After hemming both borders, using the gluing technique above to fasten the lampshade to the frame. For a country look to your shade, cut a strip of fabric, hem, and tie it in a bow around the top portion of the lampshade. Your mother-in-law will be so proud!

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