How to Cover a Lampshade

March Madness, 31 Thrifty Makeovers in 31 Days!! Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

Time for thrifty Makeover #23, ya’ll! What?? Only eight more left in this thrifty makeover series, but I’ve got some good ones still to come!

Today’s makeover is this rooster lamp that my Mom had brought over to sell at my neighborhood’s annual yard sale last Spring:


She was over the rooster thing and it no longer matched her kitchen, but she was undecided at the last minute whether she really wanted to sell it.

She ended up leaving it at my house, and I decided to give it a makeover to match her kitchen:

How to recover a lampshade from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

I think it looks like a whole new lamp!

How to recover a lampshade from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

For this makeover, I started with the rooster. I spray painted him with brown first:

How to recover a lampshade from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

That way when I spray painted him in Heirloom White, also by Rustoleum…


…and sanded a little, brown would show through instead of a multitude of colors.

How to recover a lampshade from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

Then I knew I needed to do something with the shade. I grabbed this left over French fabric from Hancock Fabrics that I’ve used many times before, to cover the shade. I think it looks great with the rooster!

How to recover a lampshade from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

She doesn’t love a super shabby look, so I only sanded lightly.

Here’s a how I covered the shade:

How to cover a lampshade from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

1. Collect your supplies. For this project I needed:

  • A shade
  • Fabric (A solid or random pattern works best unless you have drum shade that is the same size at the top and bottom.)
  • Newspaper
  • Scissors
  • Scotch tape
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Sharpie marker
  • Straight pins

2. Lay out the newspaper. Connect  a couple of pieces together with tape if necessary to get a piece large enough. Roll the shade up in the newspaper.

3. Fold the top and bottom edges over to fit the shade, and mark all around the top and bottom with a sharpie.

4. Unwrap the newspaper from the shade and cut along the line, but at least 1/4 inch bigger on both ends. This will give the fabric needed to fold over the top.

5. Pin the newspaper pattern to the fabric and cut.

6. Position the shade on the fabric and roll, hot gluing in place as you go. Fold over the excess at the top and bottom and secure with hot glue.

How to recover a lampshade from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

New fabric really updates the feel of this lamp.

How to recover a lampshade from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

You could this project in an afternoon.



How to recover a lampshade from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer


How to recover a lamp shade from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

I’m excited about tomorrow’s post. It’s Themed Furniture Thursday and I’ll be giving this headboard a farmhouse feel to go with this month’s Farmhouse theme!


Oh and if you don’t already, follow me on Instagram HERE, so we can chat there too! πŸ™‚

UPDATE: See what I did with this Headboard HERE now!

If you missed any of the makeovers in this Thrifty Makeover Series, grab a cup of something yummy and get comfy…here are all 22 so far!

March Madness, 31 Thrifty Makeovers in 31 Days from Confession of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

1. DIY Tray from an Old Picture  2. How to Turn a Drawer Front into a Planter

3. Patterned Sofa Table  4. Mini Shelf Makeover  5. $5 Yard Sale Dresser

6. DIY Wooden Tote Redo  7. Antique Mirror Repurposed  8.  Jewelry/Trinket Holder

9. Updated Candlesticks   10. Shutter Cabinet 11. 80’s Clock Cabinet Reimagined

March Madness, 31 Thrifty Makeovers in 31 Days from Confession of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

 12. Oval Rosette Mirror  13. $5 Thrift Store Lamps  14. DIY Jewelry Storage

15.  Thrift Store Container Makeover  16. 15 Minute Table Makeover

17.  Charlotte’s Night Table 18. French Provincial Desk Makeover 

19. Spring Bird Nest Wreath 20. The Perfect Necklace Holder

21. Romantic Flatware Box Makeover  22. 80’s Shelf



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  1. Mary Kaiser says

    WOW, LOVE IT!!! You are SO Amazing! I sure bet your Mother is SO proud of you and how creative you are!! Just when I think you can’t do anything more creative than you have already done this month, you do it again. Amazing!! You go girl!!!

  2. Hello Christy! First, thank you for the tutorial on how to cover a lampshade. After reading yours, it doesn’t sound so hard. Secondly, I really love the shade and the lamp! I liked the before and love the after. Thanks a bunch for sharing!

  3. This is gorgeous!!! My mom just gave me a colorful rooster to makeover for her. This is perfect inspiration! Just found you on Pinterest and I have loved every post I can read of yours!!! Thank you for all you share!

  4. Cheri Hins says

    Love it. Thanks so much for sharing where you got the fabric for the shade. Been looking owing for some like that.

  5. Rena Swan says

    Every makeover you’ve done has turned out beautiful!!! ????????????
    I have really enjoyed the March makeover you’ve participated in.
    I will be sad once the month is up and I don’t receive daily photos of your projects anymore… Seeing a new post everyday has been like receiving and opening Christmas presents everyday. ????????????

    Please keep sharing your work!!! ????????????
    God Bless, and Happy (early) Easter ????????????

  6. Love it! It definitely looks like a different lamp. Much, much better!

  7. Mary Meusburger says

    Too cute….and a HUGE improvement:)

  8. chris aka monkey says

    no insult to your mom but up was the only way you could go with that lamp and you knocked it out of the park xx

  9. I collect roosters, so I’d love to have this lamp! Did you cover the old shade or purchase a new shade to cover in fabric? Such a great makeover:)

  10. Julie Timmerman says

    What an amazing transformation! I don’t have words….! I have passed on so many lamps but not any more! Thanks so much, as I’ve said before I’m going to miss your daily tutorials. I feel like I have been going to design school, LOL!!
    On another note, I do go to the thrift stores as you do, but so does everyone else around Charlotte! Are there any tips on when to go or is it just luck that you find such good “junk”?
    Thanks from your new and appreciative student,
    Julie Timmerman

    • You are the best, Julie! It really makes the work involved to pull this series off so worth it when I hear such awesome feedback!! I will truly miss meeting ya’ll here every day as well…but I’ll still be around, just not every day. As for thrifting, I go A LOT. Sometimes I come home empty handed. I find better deals usually in the morning hours at the start of the week when the stores are more quiet. I also go to the thrift stores near the nicer neighborhoods, they have better junk. πŸ™‚

  11. I’m in love with this lamp now!! I would have never imagined it like this, and I’m really not into farm animals but I’d have this lamp in my home in a heartbeat! Beautiful makeover! And thanks for the lamp shade directions, I needed to know how to recover a shade and now I do! Woohoo!!

  12. I just love it. I think I might keep the lamp for awhile if I were you, it looks great right where it is.
    Another great project!

    • Thanks, Treva! My Mom keeps it on the counter in her kitchen and I brought it home to photograph it. She kept asking when she was getting her lamp back lol!

  13. Julie Timmerman says

    Hi Christy,
    What an amazing transformation, I really don’t have words………!! I have walked by lamps like this in the past but no more!! I have learned so much during your series I feel like I have been going to design school!! LOL????
    On another subject I also go to the goodwill stores but so does everyone else in Charlotte! Are there any tips you have or is it just pure luck that you find such great “junk”!
    Your very grateful student from Charlotte,
    Julie Timmerman

    • You are the best, Julie! It’s sweet comments like yours that make the work that goes into this series so totally worth it…thank you! As for thrifting advice. I have better luck if I go in the morning at the beginning of the week when it is not busy. I also shop mostly at stores near the nicer neighborhoods, or those that have trucks that regularly pick up in our neighborhood. They seem to have nicer junk. πŸ™‚

  14. I love what you did to this lamp. I have a rooster lamp and I have been wondering what to do with it now I know, Thanks so much.

  15. Amaaazing! I totally had my doubts how you could update this. But you did it once again. I love it!!!

  16. Sandi Biquet says

    Hi Christy!
    You gave me an idea with the rooster. I have rooster bookends that are hiding in my cabinet. I’m going to give them new life with white paint. I love what you did to the lamp & shade.

  17. I love all your make-overs! You have a gift…to be able to see what something will look like after you have worked some magic on it -where I just see the ugly “before”!!! I’m hoping some of your ideas will rub off on me!

    • Aww thanks, Marty! At least now you know to at least try to see past the ugly ha ha. It isn’t always possible though, but when it is…you can make beautiful treasures! πŸ™‚

  18. What a great makeover! It turned out awesome. I am so enjoying this March Madness Series.

  19. Roosters are definitely not my thing, never really have been even when they were super popular but I cannot believe this makeover! It looks so great! Did you give it back to your mom?


    • Same here, Tania…never had a thing for roosters, but I too was so pleasantly surprised at how pretty this turned out. Paint is magical! I did this for my Mom last Summer, so it has a permanent place in her kitchen once again. πŸ™‚

  20. New life to a dead chicken!!! Wow!!!! Me did not like before….REALLY updated!!!!
    It is great to see how little effort can make things useful again….and keep them out of the landfill. I think the distressing on this is perfect. Me now likes!!!!
    Give yourself a pat on the back.
    God Bless!!!
    Addie πŸ™‚

  21. That is such a great transformation! I’m sure your Mom must love it. I am always amazed how paint transforms a piece of art, furniture or room. Really enjoying your March Madness Makeovers.

  22. That rooster just went to a day spa. What a transformation. Paint is wonderful, isn’t it?

  23. Absolutely gorgeous! Beautiful job (as usual!)

  24. Oooooooh, I want that lamp, haha! I love it! You took pretty good and made it GREAT!!!

  25. As usual you knocked it out of the ballpark!
    I especially love how you give us step by step instructions along with listing products and colors used, so we can do similar projects. I also love that you include a GREAT image for pinning that has the before and after.
    These things are what sets you apart from all the rest!
    I am really appreciative!