DIY Ruffle Lampshade | Los Angeles Photographer

Ruffle Lampshade | Red Poppy Photos by Stacy Thiot | Los Angeles Photographer

I’ve been meaning to blog about this for a while now. A couple months ago I was in search of two lampshades. Pretty basic, right. Apparently not!

I searched high and low for cute lampshades and found nothing I liked… and the ones I could ‘settle for’ or somewhat liked were hundreds of dollars. Who knew?!

When we lived in San Francisco, I bought a lampshade at Ikea* (see bottom of post) because once again, it was the only one I could live with out of the entire store – and of course, there was only one left. But we were moving to Los Angeles soon, so I figured I’d buy the other one here. Once we moved here, we went to Ikea, and they don’t carry that lampshade at our store… and you can’t buy it online.


So, with the help of my dear friend, Jill – from JillyBeanCraft on Etsy, I finally decided what I was going to do. (I basically sent Jill hundreds of emails of different lampshades I liked, looking for her approval and secretly hoping she’d just make them for me… jk. I wanted to make them. Kind of.)

Finally, I found this:

Ruffle Lampshade | Red Poppy Photos by Stacy Thiot | Los Angeles Photographer

Beautiful ruffles.

Ruffle Lampshade | Red Poppy Photos by Stacy Thiot | Los Angeles Photographer


I kept saying to myself after seeing the tutorial online; I can do this, I can do this.

I found the tutorial here: MamaSaysSew.blogspot.com

What you need:

– cheap, white lampshade

– lamp base, which you can spray paint

– burlap (you could probably use another fabric, I like the way the burlap looks)

– iron

– glue gun and about 20 or so glue sticks (I had the small ones)

So, I did it… Here’s my tutorial for the process:

– First, I bought cheap medium drum lampshades at Target. (I bought the large drums originally and those were WAY too big) Also, I couldn’t find pure white shades, so I bought the ones with black trimming and just peeled it off.

– Covered lampshades in one single layer of burlap. I bought my burlap on Amazon here: 2 yards white burlap (note: I ran out of burlap on the second lampshade while doing the ruffles – so if you’re doing this exactly like I did… order two)

Red Poppy Photos by Stacy Thiot | Los Angeles Photographer

– Cut strips of burlap** – 2 inches wide and 1.5 times long as your shade is tall (i.e. my shade was about 12 inches tall, so I cut the length about 17 inches and called it good) I would cut a few and see how you like that length and then cut the rest. The strips may seem long at first, but once you start doing the ruffles, you’ll see how quickly it scrunches and loses its length.

– After you cut your rectangles, fold in half length-wise and iron the seam.

– Glue your strips on the lampshade with your hot glue gun, gluing as you go. I usually put about 6 inches of glue on at a time, held for 10 seconds and then put more glue on and decided how I wanted to shape the strips along the way. (Make the ruffles random, filling in gaps as you go)

Red Poppy Photos by Stacy Thiot | Los Angeles Photographer

This is how the lampshade looked before in the first picture above and then after about 1/3 of the way through with the ruffles.

I like the stray pieces of burlap that jut out as you glue on the ruffles. If they get too long, just trim them. You can see below on the right what I’m talking about.

Red Poppy Photos by Stacy Thiot | Los Angeles Photographer

That’s it!

I spray painted our chrome lamp bases purple. (Husband’s favorite color, this girl isn’t complaining) We went to Home Depot and bought Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Purple Gloss paint. But we didn’t want it too shiny, so we also bought Rust-Oleum’s Clear Matte. I did two coats of purple and then two coats of the matte. As the bases were drying outside, I did the lampshades inside. The lampshades took me a few hours, plus I ran out of burlap as I said before, so I had to order some more and finish the rest another day.

*Here’s the before of the chrome lamp base and Ikea lampshade. (This is a different lamp base – you can see that it’s shorter… I forgot to take a before picture. But it’s the same color of our other lamp bases before I spray painted them)

Red Poppy Photos by Stacy Thiot | Los Angeles Photographer

**When cutting the strips of burlap, the thing I found easiest was to follow the groove or cross-section of the fabric. Then I knew for sure that my rectangles were even. I just stayed in between the lines while cutting because I didn’t measure or have a fabric cutting board. :)


Hope you enjoyed seeing my new lamp bases and shades! We love them! If you have any questions about the tutorial, let me know. I tried to explain it a little more than the other tutorial (but the other has more pictures of the process fyi).




Audrey Crisp - April 16, 2012 - 5:24 pm

So cute! Great job!

Mama T.O. - April 16, 2012 - 5:48 pm

I LOVE your ruffled Lamp Shades. What to go DIY GIRL! I’m so proud of you for doing them yourself. They turned out way cute!

Ariel - April 16, 2012 - 7:08 pm

Love them:) And I totally agree about the lack of cute and cheap lamp shades.

Linda potter - August 13, 2012 - 9:08 pm

Could you tell me about how tall your light bases are and we’re they wood and if possible where you got them I am going to make these for my granddaughters room

Debbie Parent - February 2, 2013 - 4:01 pm

Love this idea.

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