How to Make a Photo Lampshade

Display memories on a lampshade with photo transparencies.
HCC2C104_3_photoshade

HCC2C104_3_photoshade

For this project, you'll need color copies of photos you want to display. Even if the images are black and white, it's best to use color copies because they retain the detail better. Here's how to bond them to a lampshade:

Materials and Tools:

color photocopies of photographs
glossy gel medium
lampshade and lamp
40-watt bulb

Steps:

1. Paint three to four coats of glossy gel medium onto the photocopies. Be sure to let each coat dry before applying the next one.

2. After the gel medium is completely dry, run water over the paper backing of the photocopies. Then gently rub the paper away with your hands. Try to get as much of the paper off the back as possible. Let dry. There will probably still be some paper fibers on the back. A little is okay.

3. After the gel transparencies are dry, cut them into pieces. If a page has a collage of images, just cut them apart.

4. Paint some of the gel medium onto the inside of the lampshade. It dries fairly slowly, so you'll be able to move the images around as you try to fit them together. To achieve a solid look all over the lampshade, try to butt the pieces together rather than overlapping them. Since the transparencies are flexible, you can stretch it to get the edges together so no white shows through. Overlapping will cause the edges of the pieces to show up darker. Note: If you don't want an all-over design and want the background to be white, you can print photos off your computer onto transparencies. This is quicker and easier, since you don't need to use the gel medium. You can just cut the pictures out and glue them into the inside of the lampshade. Just be sure you put the glue on the smooth side. The rough side is the side you print on, and computer ink isn't waterproof, so the glue will smear the picture.

5. Let the glue dry. Attach the lampshade to your lamp. Be sure you use a 40-watt bulb or less and never leave the lamp on unattended.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Create Your Own Lampshades

Use fabric, wire frames and fabric stiffener to make these lampshades.

How to Make a Mosaic Lamp

Follow these instructions for embellishing a lamp base with tempered glass.

How to Make a Nautical-Themed Lamp

Add a summery nautical touch to your home's decor by wrapping natural hemp around a ho-hum lamp base and shade. This quick update is easy, inexpensive and breathes new life into a tired accessory.

How to Make a Leopard Print Hurricane Lamp

Make a funky hurricane lamp with leopard print tissue paper, beaded trim and a boa.

How to Weave a Cylinder Lamp

Weave quilling paper around a self-adhesive shade to create a one-of-a-kind lamp that fits in any room.

Handmade Vintage Lampshade

Follow these step-by-step instructions on how to add shades of yesteryear to your decor.

How to Rewire a Lamp

No need to toss that old lamp. Follow these easy steps for rewiring a light, making it good as new.

Embellish a Lampshade With Leftover Fabric

Put leftover fabric to good use by embellishing a lampshade in 3 easy steps.

How to Paint a Pattern on a Lampshade

Follow these steps from HGTV Magazine to create this fun DIY painting project.

How to Make a Yarn Lampshade

Use a variety of yarn colors to make a bold lampshade for any room in your home.

On TV

Flea Market Flip

10:30am | 9:30c
11:30am | 10:30c

Flea Market Flip

12:30pm | 11:30c

Flea Market Flip

1:30pm | 12:30c

House Hunters

2:30pm | 1:30c

House Hunters

3:30pm | 2:30c

House Hunters

4:30pm | 3:30c

House Hunters

5:30pm | 4:30c

House Hunters

6:30pm | 5:30c

House Hunters

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Hawaii Life

8pm | 7c

Hawaii Life

8:30pm | 7:30c

Beach Hunters

9:30pm | 8:30c

Island Life

10pm | 9c

Island Life

10:30pm | 9:30c
11pm | 10c

Caribbean Life

11:30pm | 10:30c

Beach Hunters

12am | 11c

Beach Hunters

12:30am | 11:30c

Island Life

1am | 12c

Island Life

1:30am | 12:30c
2am | 1c

Caribbean Life

2:30am | 1:30c

Hawaii Life

3am | 2c

Hawaii Life

3:30am | 2:30c

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.