I had this awesome idea once to buy these huge lamp shades at a thrift store.  They were wrapped in plastic still so I thought the $5 price tag was a steal. Well, it wasn’t.  Once the plastic was removed I could see that they had stains all over them.  Yay.  Add something to my to do list.  But that’s what you get for being cheap and for buying thrift.


I felt like my room was getting a little cold and I wanted to bring in some shabby chic into it, so that’s how this project began. I bought burlap at Joann’s for $3.99 a yard.  I needed about three yards because these are big lamp shades and  I also wanted to do the burlap at an angle so I didn’t have to try and line it up and do it straight.  Burlap is really wonky, so I knew that it would be difficult to do it straight around.  Plus, it looks really cute going diagonal.



Lamp Shade

Glue (Entire Bottle, Dries Clear)

Large Paint Brush

Scissors (Really Sharp)

3 yards of Burlap

Ruler & Sharpie



First I started by removing the top and bottom ribbon edging on the lamp shades. Next, I laid out the burlap on the floor at an angle.  I found the seam on the shade and used my ruler to draw a straight line where I would cut a perfect straight starting point.  I lined up that burlap edge with the seam on the shade.


At first, I tried to water down the glue so I could paint it easily.  It was less sticky and didn’t grab.  So, I did glue really thick on the starting seam, the edges and I just painted glue on the rest.


Turns out this is a great way to update your lamp shades especially if you have some  minor damage or stains to them.  As you can see above, these lamp shades had dents all over them.  I had hoped this would be covered and no longer noticeable and it isn’t!  I just continued to paint glue on over the shade and smooth out the burlap and worked my way around until I came to the starting seam.  After I glued the seam I used the ruler again to mark a straight line so I could cut away all the excess burlap.  Be sure to not cut it too short.


I cut all the remaining burlap from all around the lamp shade top and bottom, but left some around the edge while it dried. From there I put the shades back on the lamps to dry.


After the glued dried for a few hours. I took really sharp scissors and cut all along the edge.  I was surprised how well it worked out.  I got an amazing cut and a really smooth line.  I had really glued the edge well, so when I cut it, it wasn’t fraying like I had feared.


Finished product turned out great.  It again was one of those projects that was NO BIG DEAL and I am frustrated that I put it off for so long.  Those lamp shades had been so embarrassing and I had no idea it was going to take a total of an hour to revamp these bad boys.  So for $20, I have these beautiful little babies.