Sometimes, you’re out walking the dogs and find a couple of perfectly good lampshades in the trash, and you have no choice but to take their existence as a sign you need some new lampshades. Even if you aren’t lucky enough to find craftable trash lying around, this project can be done with any wire-framed lampshade in need of a makeover.
lots of ribbon, in 2 contrasting colors
an old lampshade with a wire frame
liquid stitch/fabric glue
lots of straight pins
Using whatever means necessary, strip your lampshade down to its wire frame.
Since I literally found my lampshade in an alley, and since even non-alley lampshades get dusty over time, I advise you to take this opportunity to throw away the probably-gross fabric removed from the shade and clean off your workspace.
Cut a piece of ribbon long enough to wrap tightly around your lampshade plus two inches. Pin one end around a vertical support of your lampshade skeleton as shown below.
Wrap the ribbon around the outside of the shade. When you get around to where you began, fold down the second raw end and pin it to the first, folded over end of the piece of ribbon.
Cover your lampshade frame from top to bottom in this manner. The next step is weaving in vertical pieces of ribbon. You don’t have to do this in a contrasting color, but I found it made the weaving effect really pop.
(I made two lampshades, using the purple ribbon for the horizontal loops for the first, and then using some cute bumble bee ribbon for the horizontal loops on the second. The pictures above feature the first lampshade, and the pictures below feature the second one. FYI.)
To weave in the vertical ribbon pieces, cut several pieces of ribbon that are two inches longer than your shade skeleton is tall. Fold one end of the ribbon over the top of the shade frame and secure to the top horizontal loop of ribbon with a pin. Repeat this process all the way around the shade, leaving the bottom end of the ribbon free and alternating how you weave the vertical ribbon among the horizontal. See the checkerboard effect of the purple ribbon on the bee ribbon?
Next, it’s time to glue everything in place as well as to glue over the ribbons’ raw ends to prevent raveling. Begin with the top of the vertical ribbons. Leave the pins in place until the glue is totally dry.
For the bottom of the shade, fold each end around the bottom metal piece similarly to the top, pin it in place, and glue to finish. Remove the pins when the glue has dried.
When the vertical ribbons are all set, you’ll need to glue the horizontal ribbon pieces too. Put a little glue inside each folded end and over the raw edge of the ribbon to keep it from raveling. Again, wait until the glue is totally dry to remove the straight pins.
An optional last step, if you’re so inclined, is to cover the exposed metal skeleton of the shade with more ribbon. For once, I decided to go with the shabby chic look on mine and left it raw.