How to Create a Cheery Paper Lamp Shade

Use our easy step-by-step instructions and some felt to pep up a plain paper lamp shade to hang over the kitchen table. 

Peter Ardito

When I wanted to pep up a plain paper lamp shade to hang over the kitchen table, felt came to mind. It's easy to work with and you don't need any special skills: Just cut out pieces, brush on paste, and you're good to go. I took my cues for the motif from Scandinavian design, creating a graphic nature-based pattern with pops of color against a neutral background.

What You'll Need

—Plain drum-shape lamp shade (paper- or fabric-covered)

—Length of white or cream wool-blend felt long enough to cover lamp shade

—Yes! paste

—Fabric glue (such as Fabri-Tac)

—Red and gray felt (1/4 yard of each is more than enough)

—Pendant light kit

Step 1: Cut a length of felt long enough to wrap around the drum lamp shade, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang above and below the shade and at the two ends.

Step 2: Working in approximately 8-inch sections, brush a thin layer of Yes! paste onto the shade from top to bottom and cover with felt. Continue covering the shade, except for about a 1/4-inch section at the back seam.

Step 3: Apply quick-setting fabric glue to the ends of the felt and adhere to the shade at the seam. Apply fabric glue to the top and bottom overhanging edges, fold over, and adhere to the inside of the shade.

Step 4: For the branches: Cut 1/4-inch strips of gray felt using a rotary cutter and a cutting mat, or fabric scissors. For the circles, trace bottle caps or coins, using two different sizes, onto felt, then cut out with pinking shears.

Step 5: Arrange the design on the lamp shade. When you're satisfied with the mock-up, use fabric glue to adhere each piece to the shade, and hang. A drum shade can also be used on a lamp base.

Originally published in the February 2011 issue of Family Circle magazine.