How to Patchwork a Lamp

by Sarah Clark
Brighten up your lampshade with a vibrant patchwork cover.

Brighten up your lampshade with a vibrant patchwork cover.

Jupiterimages/ Images

Lamps can brighten up a room with not only their light, but with their decorative elements as well. Plain lampshades can be covered or redecorated to fit your creative and home design needs. Adding a fabric patchwork cover is an especially crafty way to redesign your lamp while adding a kitschy, bohemian touch to your decor. Choose to make a patchwork of floral prints for a delicate touch, solid colors for a bold statement or any combination of fabric to suit your tastes.

Items you will need

  • Lampshade
  • Butcher paper
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Marker
  • Cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Multiple fabrics
  • Sewing machine
  • Spray adhesive
  • Fabric glue
Step 1

Lay the butcher paper out flat. Place the lampshade near one end of the paper, with the shade's seam positioned at the very center. Make horizontal marks with the pencil onto the paper at the top and bottom of the shade. Slowly roll the shade along the paper, making horizontal marks about every 1/2 inch. Stop when the seam returns to its original position.

Step 2

Line the ruler up with the first top and bottom markings. Draw a straight line to connect the lines. Then draw a horizontal straight line 1/2 inch above the top mark line. Draw a vertical straight line 1 inch beyond the second short edge. Outline the first short edge, the bottom edge and the two edges with the additions to make a template for your patchwork shade.

Step 3

Draw a square onto the cardstock that is 1/2-inch wider and larger than you wish your patchwork pieces to be. Cut the square out with scissors.

Step 4

Trace the square template onto multiple fabrics. Cut them out.

Step 5

Use the sewing machine to join the squares together, about 1/4 inch inward from each side.

Step 6

Lay the segment of joined squares onto the lampshade template to check your progress.

Step 7

Continue cutting squares, sewing them together and consulting the template until you have sewn a piece that completely covers the template. Trim away any edges that extend past the lines of the template.

Step 8

Fold over one of the patchwork piece's short ends 1/4 inch and sew it down. Repeat this for the opposite end and the two long edges.

Step 9

Apply an even layer of spray adhesive to the lampshade. Line up the first short end of the patchwork with the shade's seam, ensuring that the long sides also match the top and bottom of the shade.

Step 10

Smooth the fabric onto the shade as you press it onto the adhesive until you come back to the seam. Neatly fold over the excess fabric and glue it on top of the beginning of the patchwork with fabric glue.


About the Author

Sarah Clark has been writing since 1997, with work appearing in Northern Arizona University's "Student Life Organization Newsletter." She holds a B.A. in anthropology with a minor in art history from Northern Arizona University.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images