3 Ways to Upgrade a Plain Lampshade

We share three ways to give a plain lampshade a high-end look with a few simple materials.

3 DIY Lampshades 02:50

Add color and style to plain lampshades using only a few materials.


Photo by: Sarah Busby

Sarah Busby

Dip-Dye Materials:

  • lampshade
  • plastic tarp or paper
  • (1) packet of dye (we chose denim blue)
  • large bucket or container
  • (1) gallon hot water
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • stirring stick or wooden skewer
  • large paintbrush
  • blow dryer

Photo by: Sarah Busby

Sarah Busby

Protect your work surface with plastic or paper. Add a gallon of hot water to a bucket or large container slightly larger than your lampshade. Saturate the entire lampshade with the water using a large paintbrush.

Pour a packet of dye into the hot water. Add 1/4 cup salt, and use a wooden skewer to stir the mixture until combined.

Hold the lampshade above the container, and use the paintbrush to brush the dye halfway up the shade (Image 1). Place the lampshade in the container so the bottom 1/4 of the lampshade sits in the dye water (Image 2). Let sit for 10 minutes. Remove, and blow dry to set the dye.

Photo by: Sarah Busby

Sarah Busby


Photo by: Sarah Busby

Sarah Busby

Fabric Applique Materials:

  • lampshade
  • scrap of fabric (about 1/4 yard)
  • fabric scissors
  • fabric glue

Photo by: Sarah Busby

Sarah Busby

Cut pieces of fabric carefully using fabric scissors. You want to get as close to the pattern as possible.

Dry fit the pieces until you get your desired look (Image 1). Then, dip each fabric piece into fabric glue, and attach to the lampshade one at a time (Images 2-5).

Photo by: Sarah Busby

Sarah Busby


Photo by: Sarah Busby

Sarah Busby

Pom-Pom Materials:

  • lampshade
  • yarn
  • sharp scissors
  • hot glue gun and sticks
  • measuring tape (if spacing out evenly)

Make pom-poms from yarn. To do this, wrap the yarn around the palm of your hand 100 times (Image 1). Slide the bundle off your hand, and tie the center of it tightly with another piece of yarn (Images 2 and 3). Cut the loops, and trim until you get desired look. Repeat for each pom-pom (Image 4).

Attach the pom-poms to the lampshade using hot glue. We spaced ours out evenly, but you can attach them in any pattern.

Photo by: Sarah Busby

Sarah Busby

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