Finding a gorgeous lamp is always a win when thrift shopping, but even if the base is in fantastic condition, usually the shade will not be in the best condition. Atlanta based home and design expert Marcie Millholland shares a simple and cheap solution that will help you breathe new life into an old lamp.
All it takes is a bit of fabric, glue, bias tape maker, and you’ll have your very own DIY lampshade that has a “grandmillennial” vibe that is so popular these days.
Millholland says her inspiration came from when she was looking at an old lampshade that was in serious need of TLC. She always loved the look of a pleated lampshade, and she noticed this style keeps showing up, but with quite a hefty price tag. She knew she doesn’t have the sewing skills to create one from scratch, so she came up with this DIY workaround solution.
Armed with a glue gun, a thrifted cotton curtain panel, and $5 bias tape maker, she created and laid out faux pleats around the diameter of the lampshade. It took just a few hours to make and looked just like the lampshades at all the upscale stores.
If you don’t know what a bias tape maker is, it’s a gadget that helps finish fabric piping, edges, and faux folded pleats. You can use it to take a strip of fabric and neatly folds it over itself. You can look at YouTube videos to see how to use it, and it will certainly be worth it.
Choose your fabric, Millholland chose an orange patterned fabric, and remember that because of the pleating, a repeated pattern won’t be seen, so you don’t need to worry about patterns lining up from fold to fold.
She recommends using a light fabric, as she said they “are easiest because they move smoothly through the bias tape maker. The strips are also less bulky, particularly when you need to cover the top and bottom of the shade with the final strip.”
Millholland said about her project: “Pleated shades are expensive to buy — as they should be with all the handwork! But I wanted the look in my budget. This was the solution. I also love when I can reuse something instead of tossing it out, and this is a great way to save old lampshades.”