Light Me Up

sitting pretty

One consequence of being a semi-professional crafty person is that friends will occasionally give you random things and say, “Can you make a craft out of this?”  Such was the case with a plain lampshade that My Chic Life garden expert (and my sister-in-law!) Katie handed me a while back.  All it took was some pretty ribbon, glue, and tape to breathe new life into an old lampshade that might have gone into the trash or a garage sale pile under other circumstances. Here’s how I did it!

What you need:
a lampshade (preferable with straight sides)
liquid stitch or fabric glue
permanent adhesive glue tape (such as UGlu, available at Joann’s)
sharp scissors

Before you begin: I used sheer ribbons of various widths for my lampshade — if you use regular ribbon, take into consideration that it might not let as much light shine through.

raw materials

1. Gather all the ribbons you’re going to use and measure out the lengths you’ll need — be sure to leave a little extra, it’s easy to trim off excess but frustrating to come up with too short a piece.

tapes n' tapes

2. Cut a half-inch wide piece of tape and apply it along the seam of the shade.

getting started

3. Press the ribbon about halfway across the tape, making sure it’s perpendicular to the top of the shade, and carefully start to wrap around.   The first piece you lay down is important–you don’t want part of the ribbon hanging over the edge of the shade or everything looking crooked.  Every four or five inches, drop a thin line of glue/liquid stitch down to anchor the ribbon … less is more!  You don’t want huge blobs of glue bleeding through the fabric.

wrap it up

4. When you’ve gone all the way around the shade and are back at the seam, trim the remaining ribbon so that it fits nicely onto the remaining tape without much overlap.

a tale of two ribbons

5. Repeat this process as needed, using various widths and colors of ribbon.  I found it helpful to do the first two ribbons at the top and then the two ribbons at the bottom, so that I could keep things nice and symmetrical.  Just work slowly and keep everything nice and even, making sure to use glue sparingly but strategically.

seamy side

6. Once the shade has been covered with ribbons, you’ll be left with some raw edges at the seam.  If your lamp is going into a corner, you might not care so much about that.  But if you want it to look semi-professional, just cut a length of ribbon and fix it over the seam.  Wait a bit for the glue to dry and there you go! A beautiful lampshade to replace your old one!

let there be light