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How to Recover a Lampshade & DIY Copper Lamp Base

How To Recover A Lampshade With Step By Step Photo Tutorial & Use Spray Paint to Give a Lamp Base an Updated Look By now you’ve all figured out I’ve been a crazy lady with copper spray paint and once again I’ve found a project (spray paint a lamp base) to use it on and while I was working on updating the lamp I also recovered the lampshade.

I’ve always liked the shape of the iron lamp base but dust collects in every crevice and it’s impossible to clean. I think if I’d given it a clear coat of spray paint when I purchased it, that may have made a big difference when cleaning but I didn’t so instead COPPER spray paint to the rescue. First I had to search for the lamp, I knew I had two and they were stored in my blogging décor spot but the lamp wasn’t there. I made myself crazy looking for it and finally gave up and decided to purchase one at a thrift store when hubby came carrying it up from his man cave asking if the lamp is what I’m searching for. Yes, I screamed where was it? I though I had lost my mind I’m not one that forgets where I store things; especially when I have a designated are for them. Well he had it in his man cave, that just goes to show you how often I go in his space I didn’t even know he was using it. He did kindly had it over for me to repurpose though.

How To Recover A Lampshade With Step By Step Photo Tutorial & Use Spray Paint to Give a Lamp Base an Updated Look After spraying the base, by the way the copper spray paint is amazing and only takes one coat for terrific coverage. I’m going to try another metal finish once I find a project for it, and look out I’ll probably go nuts with it like I did the copper. Anyway next I went to put the shade on and noticed it was water damaged. How the heck did that happen, hubby wasn’t’ even using the lamp with the shade and I know I wouldn’t have stored it in that condition I’d have pitched it. Since I wanted the shade and wasn’t about to spend $30 on a new one I decided to recover it, how hard could it be right? I looked through my decorating fabric and picked something that matched the décor and was thicker than just regular cotton. Next I debated on using the glue gun but ended up deciding on spray adhesive to attach the fabric to the shade. Oh and let me tell you the adhesive is the way to go.


Step by Step Tutorial on How to Recover a Lampshade 1. Gather enough fabric to go all the way around the lampshade with no piecing, if the fabric has a pattern account for extra when making the purchase. Iron the fabric and lay right side down on a flat surface.

2. Spray the shade and the wrong side of the fabric with spray adhesive. Making sure to extend the spray zone about 2 inches wider than the shade. You will need to roll the fabric over the top and bottom edge once it’s cut so it’ll need to be sticky to adhere.

3. Start rolling the lampshade onto the wrong side of the fabric starting at the original seam of the shade. Line it up exactly, and this may mean you are rolling the shade in a diagonal fashion across the fabric if the shade is smaller at the top then at the bottom.

4. Keep rolling and smoothing with your hand until the shade is covered.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Recover a Lampshade 5. Grab scissors (make sure they are ones you can clean because they will have a sticky residue on them from cutting through the adhesive).  

6. Allow 2 extra inches of fabric when making the cut.

7. Fold the cut line back onto itself so the raw edge is folded inwards.

8. At this point add a little hot glue to the seam and press it shut with your fingers.Step by Step Tutorial on How to Recover a Lampshade 9. Next trim the excess fabric from the top and bottom of the lampshade.

10. If you pull the fabric taunt you can see the shape of the shade and just follow along with your scissors leaving about ½” extra to fold into the inside of the shade. Your finished shade should look just like new when you’re done.


And if you’d like to watch the tutorial in video form just follow me on INSTAGRAM to see it!

How To Recover A Lampshade With Step By Step Photo Tutorial & Use Spray Paint to Give a Lamp Base an Updated Look




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  1. Dawn, I think it looks so pretty. I especially like the shade. I’ve always wanted to try to recover a lamp shade. I have a lamp that I can’t find a new shade for bc of the way it attaches to the lamp so I might just try recovering the old one. While I’m at it I might as well spray paint the lamp too. I like the copper color. Great job.

    1. Becky I would recommend recovering what you have shades are ridiculously expensive and most of the time they’re just plain.

  2. I love custom lamp shades! I have never used the spray adhesive so thanks for the tip. 🙂

    1. Ann get the heavy duty stuff it sticks like crazy.

  3. Beautifully done, Dawn! I love love love your transformation! I have a couple lampshades to upcycle! xo

    1. Yvonne this is such an easy and fun way to make them new again, you will have to give it a go!

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