Sunday, April 14, 2013

Thrifty Acres: A Tale Of Two Lampshades

Hello! We've had a particular tabletop lamp for years - actually more likely decades - now. It wasn't expensive, but is serviceable and has made the move with us from house to house. Currently it sits on top of a small corner table in our dining room. 

A couple of months ago it was accidentally knocked over (not by me), which caused the lampshade to separate from the washer top. The top edge of the stiff paper inner lining had been affixed to the washer top, thereby attaching the lampshade to the edge of the washer top (a ring that screws onto the inner workings of the lamp). It was this lining that tore away from the washer top when the lamp was knocked over. And that meant the lampshade no longer stayed on top of the lamp.

Other than that, there was nothing wrong with the lampshade, so I didn't want to buy a new one. It seemed like there must be a way to attach the lampshade back to the washer top. And last week I found the solution in a thrift shop shelter magazine (I think it was an old Country Living issue) - fabric strips were wound around a plain lampshade. I could do the same with my lampshade. 

Here is my before:

The lampshade with its washer top next to it. The rough edges at the top of the lampshade are from that torn lining.

I had a bag of assorted fabric pieces on hand; I'd gotten them a couple of years ago from a local artist. Most of the fabrics were from fancy garments she'd picked up at consignment shops and then had cut up to use in projects. She was selling off some excess supplies at a garage sale and I got these fabric pieces for very little. 

I decided to use these pieces for my lampshade wrapping. I began by cutting my fabrics into strips 2" wide or so, then sewed them end to end into one long strip. But when I started to wrap the strip around the lampshade, I quickly decided that was too laborious, plus it would use up too much of the fabric - I had a limited supply of fabric from that garage sale purchase. So instead, I glued one end of the fabric strip to the top of the lampshade, attaching the end of the fabric to the washer top as I did so. I then cut the fabric strip to go to the bottom edge of the lampshade, with enough length to glue under. This took a bit of time, but eventually the whole lampshade was covered and attached to the washer top. From there, the whole thing was screwed back onto the lamp, secure again. 

And here's how the lampshade turned out:

I guess you could call this the "Shabby Chic" look. Our daughter was quite impressed; she said it looked hip and trendy - high praise indeed from a teen! My husband was pleased because the lampshade would now stay in place atop the lamp as it used to. 

And as for me - I was pleased that I repurposed some secondhand craft supplies in an attractive, yet practical, way!


  1. LOVE it! Shabby chic indeed! I'm sure you can even turn it around if you want to see different fabrics every so often.

  2. Thanks! It took a bit of work, but it was a fun fix for this old lampshade.