DIY lamp makeover

With thanks to my sister-in-law Renita, who did this several years ago and gave me the idea!

1. Take an old lamp, any lamp.

I had two in storage… not that I ever remember to take before pictures!

2. Remove the lampshade and spray paint the lamp base some color you like. Textured paint is best. Goodbye, rusting gilt.

3. Cut the fabric off the old shade, leaving the empty metal hoops.

4. {Bonus points: If you find your metal frame falls apart without theย fabric, as in the case of my floor lamp, which surprised me by having no uprights, only separate hoops โ€“ create a new one with a tomato cage, a wire snips, and a strong husband. The strong husband is particularly crucial. I’ve never seen one like that; I’m assuming they’re rare. The lampshade, I mean.}

5. Buy a white bed sheet from the Salvation Army.

6. Wash and dry the sheet, and tear it into long strips, roughly two inches wide. Do not cut! or stress about exact measurements. This is fun. Tearing is faster and neater than cutting, and creates a lovely frayed look.

7. Optional โ€“ Soak the strips in tea to antique them. Renita did, and they turned out beautifully aged and darkened. I intended to, but loved the clean white too much in the end.

8. Knot the strips around the hoops of the lamp shade.

9. Enjoy a new lamp at minimal cost. This is a good way to get matching lamps out of non-matching. I refurbished two, a floor lamp and a table lamp, using less than one can of spray paint and one sheet.

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Mom Coblentz
4 years ago

They are even prettier in real life!!

Aimee Stauffer
4 years ago

That is lovely . . . Thanks for sharing this, Shari! My daughter and I love crafts.

4 years ago

I want to remember this! Also I love that red velvet loveseat!

4 years ago

Love the idea! Shared it with several people.
That red velvet sofa also caught my eye!
Thanks for sharing!

4 years ago


Although I am not sure if I’m sleek or modern enough to fit in your living room anymore.


Beautiful make-over!!!

4 years ago

I’m learning new things as I see your pictures…
I totally missed the one crucial point of having a strong husband with the wire clippers and tomato cage. My lamp shade fell apart as well when I cut off the old shade, but I just hung the bottom hoop from the top hoop with 4 evenly-spaced strips. So my shade is now totally collapse-able. I’m sure the tomato-cage-rigged one is more sturdy!
Also, did you loop the strips around the bottom or the top every-other? That was smart. That would’ve saved me half the work. I tied every strip at the top and the bottom!
They look gorgeous and your whole living room looks so inviting. I’d love to sit in it sometime– it seems like every time we’re together, we are dashing after children or cleaning dishes. I enjoy doing that with you also. ๐Ÿ™‚

Priscilla F.
4 years ago

Very cool! I’ll tuck that one away for possible use sometime. ๐Ÿ™‚

4 years ago

That is too cute Shari!

4 years ago

Very cute!

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