Reuse It, Missoula: A DIY Fabric-Covered Lampshade


My niece is graduating to a room of her own, and OF COURSE I had to just butt in with some fun decorating ideas.

Lisa's repurposed, redecorated lampshade

What can I say… I have boys. I don’t get to do the foofy, girly stuff much.

It was also a pretty good excuse to get rid of some of the cute stuff I had but wasn’t using, like this little lamp base. The shade for it was stenciled with pastel-y letters from its former life in the boys’ (baby) room.

I considered just buying her a new shade, but this one was perfectly useable. Plus, I wanted to give her something with a little more soul to it.

My mom came up with this great idea…Mod Podge and fabric scraps.

She put this super-cute, funky lampshade together in less than an hour. The fabric scraps are bits left over from the quilt my niece will have in her room (also made by my mom), so it will tie in perfectly.

Plus, Niece wants to be a fashion designer when she grows up, so something with lots of color and textiles seemed like a perfect fit (pun intended).

To make your own lampshade like this, you’ll need the following:

  • Smooth, thick lampshade (flimsy paper or pleated shades will not work)
  • Mod Podge crafting medium Mod Podge
  • Fabric pieces in assorted sizes
  • Fringe trim and/or coordinating bias tape to trim around edges, if desired

Working in sections, brush Mod Podge on to the shade.

While wet, lay fabric scraps over the medium. You can do a random pattern, as my mom did, or something more orderly. If you want to layer on cutout shapes, just dab a bit of medium on the back of the shape to hold it in place.

Once the shade is completely covered, allow the Mod Podge to dry, then apply another coat to the entire shade. Allow to dry overnight.

We trimmed out the bottom with this great pom-pom trim, and the top edge with matching bias tape (both from JoAnn fabrics). I attached both with craft glue. It dries clear, so don’t worry about it soaking through a bit. Better to get it really attached.

Allow to dry completely before setting it on your base.

Score one for us…My niece LOVES it! What do you think?


Like this Reuse It post by Lisa Hensley? Reuse some of her excellent stories, like How to Turn Tin Cans into Decorative LanternsRepurposed Lighting, Winter Warmer: Homemade Chicken Stock & Soup.

   Visit Lisa Hensley’s Reuse It archive.


Lisa Henley, as photographed by her son.Lisa Hensley is a mostly-native Montanan, living in Missoula with her husband, two young boys, and various pets. She spent more than 10 years in the marketing and creative field, but is now Director of Household Operations for the Hensley group. When she’s not herding kids or doing laundry, she’s shooting photos, gardening, baking, reading, or taking classes—sometimes all at once. She also volunteers for Home ReSource, which fits in nicely with her tendency to repurpose pretty much anything.

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