post-christmas project: lampshade re-do

My dear friends! How is it possible that one-day after Christmas and I’m itching to ‘create’ something? This thingy is like an addiction…I’m not happy unless I’m productive…making, creating, re-doing something. Anything. There must be a medical term for THIS, for this I’m certain!!!!

That said – I feel better proclaiming it to the world as if to relieve myself [or make excuses] for a terrible character flaw! It’s forced me to think about New Year’s resolution(s)! I don’t think it’s too early to begin the process… narrowing down the ‘opportunities’ to a manageable few! Once again, on the top of my list is to give serious consideration to completing ALL the unfinished, half-done, PROJECTS that I have lurking in all the out-of-sight hidey holes. But, I still know they’re there…lurking…calling to me!

So, to demonstrate my committment to the cause, I took-on a small project: a lamp-shade make-over! I’ve been wanting to re-do this particular lampshade since the original lampshade covering sported a ‘typical country-style barn-red plaid’ which absolutely cLaSheD with my dining-room re-painted walls. GAK!! Oh, the horror!

…and since I’m too cheap [er, thrifty] to purchase another more suitable ‘neutral’ lampshade, I decided I would re-cover it! BURLAP, yup, natural burlap. Burlap anything & everything is quite the thingy right now. I normally ONLY use burlap in the garden – HA! Burlap scares the bejeebies out of me [because the ease of fraying], hence the procrastination. But, I’m rambling….!


First, because of the very loose-weave of the burlap fabric, I PAINTED over the original plaid fabric. YES, painted it with two coats of a neutral acrylic paint to cover-up the plaid. It actually worked quite well…and even looked OK to leave it…which I did…for awhile! But, I wanted burlap!

Next, I made a paper pattern by covering and scoring/tracing the exact footprint of the lampshade onto the paper.  I then transferred the pattern onto my burlap and added about 1/4-inch seam allowance. Once the burlap was cut, I carefully lined-up the edge to the existing seam on the lampshade. I used fabric glue initially [didn’t stick quick enough]. Plug-in the hot-glue gun! Viola!

lamp seam

It’s important to line-up this seam with the ‘overlap, seam-allowance’ evenly distributed between the top and bottom of the lampshade. The burlap fabric has a bit of flexibility, but you don’t want to ‘tweak’ it too much! I applied a small bead of hot glue to the top edge of the lampshade, a little bit at a time, so I could ‘fit’ it properly, smoothing and re-checking the burlap as I went along the top.

Next, I applied the hot glue along the bottom edge and smoothed-out the fabric…as taught as possible without skewing the weave!. Finally, I turned the seam under about 1/4-inch where I initially began, to make a clean edge and glued it down nice and neat. I simply cut-off the excess burlap fabric top and bottom. HINT: In hindsight, you could apply a wonder-under iron-on interface-type fabric to the burlap to minimize any fraying if desired. Thankfully, I actually didn’t have much trouble with fraying.

Last, I wanted to finish the edge with some kind of trim. Even though, neatly trimmed, the ‘raw’ burlap edge was fine. Nevertheless, I experimented with making my own burlap ribbon trim – forget it! It’s simply NOT pliable enough. After all, I’m talking about approx 3/8-inch trim!! Grosgrain ribbon, in either neutral or contrasting brown, was a potential candidate until I uncovered some burlap-like ribbon in my ‘stash’. Did I mention I didn’t want to go out and actually BUY anything for this project…use up what I had at home!

The 1 1/4-inch burlap-like ribbon was too wide for my intended purpose. The good news was that it was actually ‘backed’ with a fine netting-like material. Perfect! I determined the width I wanted, ran a fine bead of fray-check along the seam, waited for it to dry, and then cut my trim piece. I applied a fine bead of hot glue to the lamp top and bottom and secured my ribbon trim! I actually think this project turned-out better than I expected!


That’s ONE unfinished project done…and a bazillion more to go!!! Happy Day!!

3 thoughts on “post-christmas project: lampshade re-do

  1. Pingback: simple doorstop [not another sheep!?] | Sheepy Hollow Farm Life

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