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Quick and Easy Lamp Shade Makeover

A while back, I found a crazy good deal on this solid crystal lamp from HomeGoods. So good, in fact, that I bought a pair. But, as you can see, the shade is a bit of a plain Jane.

LampShade1

I needed these lamps to pop. But I had no idea what to do to make that happen. That’s when my design SOS was answered by my friend, Nicholas Kniel, who owns the Sandy Springs ribbon and button store that bears his name. I’m not talking about your neighborhood craft store. Nicholas Kniel Fine Ribbon & Embellishments offers a millinery with stunning custom made and whimsical hats ranging from bridal toppers to cocktail hats and even feather fascinators. Kniel also creates custom masks, and his shop offers classes on how to fashion ribbon flowers. Check out his website.

Nick suggested that my lamps could easily be transformed with a glue gun and a couple yards of ribbon.

Same lamp shade as above, but with a much bigger personality.

Same lamp shade as above, but with a much bigger personality.

The instructions were simple: Measure the circumference of the top and bottom of the shades, then select the ribbon you like.

I went with black-and-white because I was going for a crisp look. But you can let your imagination take you to much bolder colors and styles. I’d go for a ribbon with some texture like a grosgrain because a satin ribbon can get a little slippery. The ones I used were French with a bit of heft to them. The total price for the ribbons was around $25.

LampShade6

I applied tiny beads of glue to the ribbon, working with about a four-inch strip of ribbon at a time, being careful not to use too much glue that might ooze onto the lamp shade.

This was my first attempt at gluing ribbon to a lamp shade. And, as you can see, these shades aren’t perfect squares, so I had to pay close attention and sort of pleat each corner on the flared bottom.

LampShade3

Because the top of the shade is narrower than the bottom, I needed to add width to the bottom ribbon so that the lamp shade wouldn’t look too skinny and out of balance. To get a wider look, I first glued a 1-and-1/2-inch black-and-white striped ribbon at the base of the shade, then glued the thin black French ribbon over that, leaving a little border on both sides. Essentially, making a custom design.

This is the same striped ribbon that's under the narrow French ribbon.

This is the same striped ribbon that's under the narrow French ribbon.

This project is so easy that it really doesn’t need much in the way of instructions. It took about an hour to complete, and the end result is exactly what I was hoping for.

LampShade7

Have you given your lamp shades a Cinderella makeover? Brag a little; we’d love to check them out. Send your photographs to socialmedia@ajc.com or post them on Instagram with the hashtag #AJCdiy.

3 comments Add your comment

Jean Park

September 4th, 2013
8:48 pm

What a great post! I absolutely love these ideas on lamp shade makover. I think this would actually work for me. I’ve been planning to do some lampshade makeover project and this article is indeed a great help. Thank you so much for sharing all these brilliant ideas.

Sabine Morrow

August 26th, 2013
11:33 am

Thank you. He has an amazing selection. And then there are the buttons. Oh, my.

Francine Brooks

August 26th, 2013
9:57 am

Nice job! What a difference. I love Nicholas Kniel ribbons.

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