Beyond Lighting: Revitalizing the Lampshade

by Stephanie Goins on September 22, 2012


We walk in the front door and turn them on without thinking. We sit by their side and read into the early morning hours. They keep children brave in dark bedrooms and have the ability to set a mood with just the flip of a switch. They sure do a lot for our homes, so why not take a little time this season to give your lamps a facelift?

Fortunately, your illuminated inspirations don’t need to come with a hefty price tag. Instead, a simple walk down your local craft aisle holds everything you’ll need to turn an ordinary lamp into an exquisite work of art just by changing up the shade!

Stick to stenciling
An easy-to-follow design and some acrylic paint is all you’ll need to spruce up a plain shade. Simply place your desired stencil directly on the lampshade you’re looking to refurbish, and paint away with all the colors you love. In no time, you’ll have a personalized and colorful addition to any room.

Stickers and more
One of the great benefits of wall stickers is that they’ll stick just about anywhere! Try using some left over wall decals from that room you finished a while ago and apply them to a dull lampshade instead. Stickers, combined with touches of your own personal acrylic paint designs, make for a unique light source to keep your kiddos entertained and able to see clearly all at the same time.

Apply a little sophistication
Most craft stores carry elegant, wooden appliqués that can just as easily be applied to a lampshade as they can to a wall. These work particularly well on shades that are square or rectangular and have large, flat surfaces. Paint the appliqués the color you’d like, then hot glue them directly to the lampshade. The result gives a glamorous new edge to what was once only a simple household item.

Spray paint your way to style
Spray paint might seem a bit over the top, but it is a dynamic route to giving a lampshade a cutting-edge look. Find an open area to place your lampshade and have some graffiti-style fun transforming your lampshade from plain to powerful in just a matter of seconds. Use a single color you’re crazy about or combine multiple hues for a tie-dye effect.

Wrapping it all up with ribbons
If adding new color to a lampshade just isn’t enough, feel free to go a step further and tie up your lampshade makeover with ribbons and bows. A length of satin or textured ribbon can be wrapped around a lampshade and glued on the inside, creating a shiny, crisscross effect. If you’re looking to make a feminine statement in your home, simply hot-glue small craft bows to the ribbons in matching or alternating colors. A benefit to using ribbon is that is can be easily changed out for new colors or textures to match specific holidays, events, or seasons later on.

Make the most of it!
Lamps are extremely visible in your home, so whether you go for stickers, stencils, or ribbons, take a little time to give your lampshades a budget-friendly new look this season and you will definitely be glad that you did.