Rosie’s Chandelier and a Fabric Covered Shade DIY

A couple of months ago I said I would share some tutorials from Rosie’s room makeover, but then summer turned seriously cray, and I was cursed with a tiny bit (or bout?) of writer’s block, (I wrote about that last week), so I’m just getting around to it.   Anyway, the first project I’m going to share with you guys, is Rosie’s painted chandelier with DIY fabric covered shades.

DIY fabric lampshade chandelier after

The fixture was originally painted white and hung in the shabby chic bedroom when we bought the house.  This is the only picture I have of it:

DIY fabric lampshade chandelier before

Yeah, sorry about that.  Jeff took it from this room, (which later became the master bedroom. You can read about our room switch-a-roos here), outside where I spray painted it black, and then re-installed it in the guest room.  It worked in there for a couple of years, but when we started converting it into Rosie’s “big girl” room, the black was just too dark with her color scheme.

I didn’t want to ask Jeff to take it down again, (especially to paint it white), so I decided to lay down a drop cloth, hop up on the ladder and paint the thing right there.  Two coats of slightly off-white paint and 45 minutes of my time later, it disappeared against those light grey walls and looked just plain awful.  You walk in and are all like, “where’d the chandelier go, yo?”

I had picked up some dark grey paint from Home Depot, (one of those little $3.99 sample cups), that I was planning on using to paint Rosie’s doll basket, and I thought I might try it out on there.  Two coats and 45 more minutes of my time later, perfection.  Yes.

DIY fabric lampshade painting chandelier

Now on to the shade.  The original shade was thin plastic covered in off -white (or dirty?) fabric and beaded trim.  I tried to remove the fabric and salvage the shades, but they were kinda crappy anyway and they straight up cracked.  Doh.  So, I went to Lowes and picked up these   for $5 each.  Unfortunately, there aren’t many shade options, especially of the glamorous /princess/modern girly girl variety, so I decided to cover these in fabric myself.

It’s a little more difficult to cover a tapered shade than a drum shade, since the diameter changes from top to bottom, but hopefully this tutorial will get you through it.  The fabric is from Joann’s, and oops, I honestly forgot how much I bought.  Sorry.  If you’re math dumb like me, I’m sure you can take your shade in there, and they’d be happy to help you out.  I want to say it was around 1 1/2 yards.

Here are the supplies I used:

Approximately 1- 1/2 yards cotton fabric


“Disappearing ink” fabric pen (in the sewing supply aisle at Joann Fabrics), chalk or light pencil

Spray adhesive & scrap cardboard or newspaper to catch the overspray

Hot glue gun

Satin ribbon and fabric glue (optional)

Okay, so the first step is to lay your fabric right side down.  Place the shade on an edge of the fabric and slowly roll it, keeping your marker at the edge of the shade and drawing a line with it’s path.  Make sure your shade makes it all the away around, like the “big wheel” on The Price is Right.  Man, I’ve always wanted to spin that thing.

DIY fabric lampshade step 1

I don’t know what the heck I was thinking using an ink pen the first time around.  I had to do it over with my disappearing ink and I forgot to take pictures.  Don’t do that.

Pick up the shade and place it back at your starting point, repeating the step for the other end of the shade. You should end up with a rainbow shape.

DIY fabric lampshade step 2b


DIY fabric lampshade step 2

Cut out the rainbow piece 1/2″ outside of your lines, so that you have enough fabric to fold over the top and bottom of the shade.  Now GO OUTSIDE with your spray adhesive, spray the shade and the wrong side of the fabric and wrap the fabric around the shade a little at a time, smoothing out air bubbles as you go.  The awesome thing about spray adhesive is that you can pull the fabric back off and try again and again if you screw it up.  Also, try to get the fabric seam right over the shade seam, so that you only have one “bump” showing.

DIY fabric lampshade step 3DIY fabric lampshade step 4

Fold the fabric seam under and use your hot glue gun to secure it down. Then, use your scissors to cut slits for the bulb cage-frame-contraption thingy, and put a thin line of hot glue on the inside of your extra fabric and fold it over the top and bottom.

DIY fabric lampshade step 5

The bottom seam looked a little sloppy, and since the shades are up in the air and you can clearly see inside of them, I attached some satin ribbon with fabric glue to give it a cleaner look.

DIY fabric lampshade finalRosie's big girl room 3

Ugh, I really wish I had  a “before” picture.  Have you refinished/repurposed something that came with your house when you bought it?  Any lamp or chandelier re-dos out there?  I covered the shade on Rosie’s IKEA lamp, but I’m really hating the color.  I’ll keep you posted when I re-do it.  Someday.


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