Add Stripes to a Lampshade - DIY

You know when you really want to do something decor-wise but you think maybe it’s not a good idea because a few months down the road you might not like it anymore or the winds of change might blow away your old decor with new or future owners might scowl at your decision?  Happens to me a lot.  I always try to make decisions in our current home based on what I like but also what would be the most transitional from decor change to decor change and, because I know this isn’t our forever home, I don’t want to give permanent things a personal vibe…if that makes any sense.  Now I’m not talking about pillows or curtains.  Those things can be switched out on a whim with very little effort (but probably some cash).  I’m talking about things that you can’t change without a lot of effort like the color you paint your kitchen cabinets or the tile in your bathroom or a big ‘ole light fixture in your kitchen.

When I first envisioned this light project, I pictured a really colorful chandelier underneath a coordinating, fun geometric covered shade.  And then I talked myself down from that fun high because, in case I didn’t like that geometric fabric in a year or we put our house on the market, it would take a lot of work to replace all that color.  The lamp shade I made for the kitchen light can’t be removed unless a) you unwire the entire light from the ceiling, b) a hurricane throws our house fifty feet, or c) a hurricane known as ‘toddlers throwing toys in the kitchen and oops’ happens.

So, I decided to go all white with the light and shade and spice things up with some stripes at the top and bottom that I made with…

Yep, elastic.  The best part is, they’re temporary and you can switch out the color or just take them off whenever you feel the need!

Here’s how I made them.

First things first, you’ll need fold over elastic.  I purchased mine from Peak Bloom.  I bought some patterned elastic there last year to make headbands for the girls (tutorial someday) and I knew their elastic was great and would work perfectly.  You can also find this elastic at most craft stores and, of course, on Amazon*.    

The first thing I did was wrap the elastic around my drum shade to figure out how much I’d need per stripe.  I held it around semi-tight – tight enough that it would stay put and not slide down but loose enough so that it didn’t cut into my shade.  Then I added an inch for where the ends would overlap after I glued them together.
Since my shade had the same circumference on top as it did on bottom, I measured once and cut two strands.  If your shade has two different circumferences, just measure and cut one for each side.  Or, you can just stripe the bottom or just the top or two at the bottom or you can do lots of stripes all the way down or or or!  There are lots of possibilities and they’re all temporary!  No having to take apart your shade and recover it or buy new with this trick!

Next, I grabbed my hot glue gun and dabbed a little glue on the end of one of the pieces of elastic and held the other end to it…in short, I glued the ends together.
IMG_0894Make sure that when you do this though, your strand of elastic isn’t twisted! 

Last, slip the elastic over both ends of the shade and slide it to where you want it.  I slid mine down so that it was about 3/4 of an inch from the edge.  I also made sure that the place where I glued the elastic ends together fell right on the seam of the shade.
And, it’s totally personal preference, but I wanted the matte side of the elastic to be seen vs. the shiny side so that’s how I put it on my shade.

And that’s it!  So easy and it makes such a big impact…that doesn’t have to be such a big impact if you don’t want it to be four months down the road!  Speaking of, I actually thought the color of the elastic on my shade was going to be a darker gold instead of the mustardy color that it is, so I’m already going to switch it out once I find the color I want…and I might grab a black and charcoal gray too just to keep my options open…and I might be doing this to all the lamps in the house. 

Go forth and elasticize!  :D

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stripe a lampshade diy


  1. What an awesome idea! I actually have a bunch of fold-over elastic laying around here, hmmm...what can I stripe? : )

  2. Clever! You are so resourceful!