Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Hanging Pendant Lamp/ DIY Covering a Lampshade

I really wanted a hanging pendant lamp for Finn's room. Before the lamp that corner just looked so bare and I figured a light would really spruce it up. I'm so glad we decided to go through with it, it was a bit difficult cause we had no idea what we were doing but now that its finished, it adds the perfect little something to the nursery. I looked everywhere for a hanging pendant lamp, I wanted one of the cool Tiffany lamps with a chain but no luck. So we had to create our own. Home Depot and Lowes were no help, but luckily Ikea knew our crazy plan and had the goods we needed to create a hanging lamp. I wanted to add my own rustic flair to it so I decided to cover the lampshade myself, not an easy task but I figured it out and now I'm passing the wisdom onto you. Here's what we got for the pendant lamp and the how to for covering a  lampshade.

Hanging pendant cord (like the Hemma from Ikea)
Lamp shade (Ollsta from Ikea, make sure you get the right (hanging) lamp shade because a normal shade won't work, trust me we made that mistake. Ikea makes hanging lamp shades that are different from their table base lamp shades.)
Any kind of fabric to cover (I used burlap)
large piece of butcher paper, about 2.5 x 4 feet or so (I just used wrapping paper)
fabric glue
sponge brush/ paint brush
hot glue gun

Covering the Lampshade
1. If you lampshade is smaller on top like most lampshades are you can't just cut a long rectangle of fabric because you'll have too much fabric at the top of the lampshade and it will bunch up and look icky. So what you do is take your butcher paper or wrapping paper and lay your shade on its side in the bottom corner. Take a pen or marker and keep it in one spot right above the shade and start rolling the shade, it will automatically start to turn (like in the photo below). Put the shade back to it's original starting point and do the same for the bottom. Make sure its long enough that it will go completely around you shade with an inch or so extra. It's not going to be perfect but it will give you a better piece of fabric to work with.

2. Cut out the crazy shape you just made from the wrapping paper and use it as a guide to cut out a piece of fabric that shape. But give yourself a couple extra inches on the top and bottom so you can glue the fabric to the inside of the lampshade.

3. Then with your sponge brush and fabric glue, section by section, paint the lampshade with the glue and apply the fabric slowly, press firmly. Go all the way around until you get to the very last half inch or so and use the glue gun to glue the folded end.

4. With the glue gun go around the top and bottom and glue the folded over edges (so its pretty) to the inside of the lampshade. 

5. This is not necessary and possibly slightly insane but I didn't really like the plain white cord so I wrapped hemp twine around the lamp cord, gluing a little as I went with hot glue.  Yes this took a long time and yes my fingers hurt afterward but I think it was worth it, it helps the cord not stick out like a sore thumb and gives it a rustic feel.

5. All covered! Now just follow the provided instructions for hanging the cord and shade, pop in a light bulb and you're good to go!

Ollsta lampshade from Ikea (the hanging lampshade). Comes in many colors.

Hemma cord. 

Ta da! I'm so happy with how it all turned out. And I'm really happy that it's finished.
Good luck on your hanging pendant lamp and shade covering quest, I hope this helps!


  1. Oh looks so good! Yeah for seven more weeks :) our son was a preemie so I am happy to be so far , this kid can stay cooking the whole time

  2. You are so crafty!! Great tutorial.

  3. Love it! I'm the type of person who would be concerned about Wrapping the cord as well :)

  4. Ooouuuu!! I like this:)) Thanks friend!!!!

  5. love it! it looks super unique...I'll have to try this.

  6. You did it the correct way. Anytime I do a craft I don't follow directions and I end up getting it done, but it's the long, hard way.

  7. Charming! Love to have one of this in me bedroom. Bookmarked it.

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  8. i saw that you commented on my blog, so i thought i would stop by. i love your blog. seriously so cute. love it. you are so crafty and artsy. i love it. newest follow. oh and as for the top knot, its definitely a progressive thing, mine is not able to with only a few bobby pins. lol



  9. just stumbled upon your blog and it is darling. i love it, and i'm so happy you covered a lamp shade. I bought a lamp shade over a year ago that i want to hang in my dining room and the task has seemed too overwhelming....but now i have home! so happy i found your blog, can't wait to read/see more. xo

  10. Loving this project - looks awesome :)

    The Other Side of Gray