How to Decorate a Lampshade

Adding graphic stripes to a plain lampshade is an easy, low-cost way to reinvigorate a room. There are many variations you can create with different colors and widths of ribbon, but here is the basic technique for a 3-stripe shade.

What You Need

  • lampshade, grosgrain ribbon, flexible tape measure, scissors, fabric glue
  1. Determine how much ribbon you’ll need by measuring the circumference of the lampshade. Multiply that number by the number of stripes you’ll want. Cut three lengths of ribbon, each long enough to wrap around the shade perfectly.<br/><br/><strong>Tip:</strong> You don’t want the ribbon to overlap too much, just slightly.

  2. To prevent fraying, run a fine line of fabric glue along the cut edges of all the ribbons. Let dry for a minute or two.

  3. Start with the top of the lampshade first. Run a thin line of glue down the center of the first ribbon.

    <br/><br/>
    <strong>Tip:</strong> The texture of the fabric shade helps hold the grosgrain ribbon in place so you don’t need to add a lot of glue. This also makes the ribbon easier to remove if you make a mistake or you want to swap it out.

  4. Wrap the ribbon tautly around the top border, covering the raised edge. You want to make sure the ends of the ribbon overlap neatly.
    <br/><br/>
    <strong>Tip:</strong> For the best results, start at the seam of the lampshade.

  5. Do the same with the bottom ribbon: Add glue, then wrap the ribbon in place.<br/><br/><strong>Tip:</strong> It’s easier to flip the shade than to try to attach the ribbon at the bottom.

  6. Add the middle stripe. Measure the distance between the top and bottom ribbons, marking with a pencil where the middle ribbon should go. Make sure there is an equal amount of lampshade on either side.

  7. Glue the middle ribbon in place.

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