, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Recently, my coworker gifted me allowed me to snag two, matching lamps from her trunk on the way to Goodwill. I offered to pay her but she gave them to me for free. Mark the start of a great, inexpensive DIY project!

I knew I wanted to use these on the nightstands in our master. We want to give our room a mini-makeover and this is a great first step. Since I’d already picked out fabrics for the makeover, I quickly knew the colors I’d use for the lamps. If you remember my fan redo, you know I’m not afraid of a little color. 🙂

What you’ll need:

  • Ugly lamps. Ha!
  • 1/2 yard of fabric for each lampshade
  • Aluminum foil
  • 1 can of spray primer
  • 1 can of spray paint
  • Paper – large sheet or roll of contact paper
  • 1 can of spray adhesive
  • Hot glue

The Base

Step 1: Put aluminum foil on all the parts you want to keep paint-free, like the electrical areas and parts of the lampshade that may show in the end. (I didn’t quite accomplish this as you’ll see in later pictures.)

Step 2: Prime your metal base and the metal on your lampshades. I prefer to use a gray primer when covering with any color.

Step 3: Spray away! Dry. And spray away again. Side note: This project was the first time I used Valspar “the perfect finish” gloss interior/exterior spray paint with “easy-spray technology”. I have to say I loved the application the nozzle gave. First, I didn’t have to battle with a cap that you “squeeze and pull off”; instead, you just turn it. It might not be ideal for all applications since it gives a very wide almost mist-like application. I loved it though because it prevented me from getting streaks and gave a much more even application.


The Lampshade

Step 1: Prep the shade by removing any trim.

Step 2: If your shade has a paper or plastic shade with fabric already over it, cut the fabric being careful not to damage the shade. The fabric should then peel off fairly easily. (In my case, I had a plastic shade with pleated fabric that was stuck on with spray adhesive.) If your shade is only fabric or doesn’t leave you with a shade to work with, this blogger offers a great tutorial on making your own shade with the top and bottom rings only.

Step 3: Make the pattern for your new fabric. (This is the point I found the most difficult.)

  1. Layout your paper. I found that contact paper worked well because I needed a wide paper and it was heavy enough to layout and not require pinning.
  2. Place your shade on the paper and carefully trace the top ring as your roll the shade around completing a full rotation. (I used the seam as my start and end point.)
  3. Place the shade back at the starting point and trace the bottom ring as you did for the top.
  4. You now have two curves (top and bottom rings) that you should connect with straight lines essentially creating a “C” shape.
  5. Cut out your custom pattern. (And pat yourself on the back!)


Step 4: Place your pattern on the wrong side of your fabric. Cut around the pattern giving yourself .5″ to 1″ extra on all sides.

Step 5: (Having removed the pattern) Spray the wrong side of your fabric with spray adhesive.

Step 6: Place your fabric around your ‘naked’ lampshade. I found it very helpful to have an extra set of hands at this point. Thankfully, my husband was a willing helper.

Step 7: Fold over the unfinished edge and glue down with hot glue to create your seam.

Step 8: Around the top and bottom rims, fold the unfinished sides over and up inside your shade. Use hot glue to secure.

I couldn’t love my finished product more! It has dramatically improved my nightstand that went from this…

(so honest it hurts), to this…

  • Shade fabric: Joel Dewberry Napsack in “Timber”
  • Base color: Valspar Gloss interior/exterior spray paint in Hacienda Tile
  • Jewelry Tree from Selina Vaughan Studios