No Thanks
Let

Keep In Touch With MarthaStewart.com

Sign up and we'll send inspiration straight to you.

Martha Stewart takes your privacy seriously. To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.

Lampshade Slipcovers

Update an old lamp with a custom-pleated paper shade that fits right over the old one.
Martha Stewart Living, May 2002


1. Cut out a strip of slightly transparent lightweight paper as tall as the existing shade plus 1/2 inch and as wide as the shade's base plus about 7 inches or so, depending on size of shade. On the wrong side, measure and mark lines 1/2 inch to 1/4 inch apart, depending on desired size of pleat. Score lines across the paper strips with the point of a bone scorer (a flat tool made of bone, available in crafts stores). Use these lines as guides to accordion-fold the paper, pressing with the bone scorer to make crisp creases. With white craft glue, attach the two ends to make a cylinder. If you need additional paper to fit around an extra-large shade, cut and pleat another strip, and attach to both ends.

2. At the top of the shade, use a 1/8-inch hole punch to cut holes through four pleats at a time; use the first holes as your guide for the second set, and so on.

3. Thread 1/8-inch-wide ribbon or thin cord through the holes with a darning needle; tie off. This will draw the top of the shade inward. Place on top of the existing shade. Note: For safety's sake, do not use on lamps with high-wattage or halogen bulbs.

Comments (8)

  • 24 Sep, 2010

    I've also done this with thinner scrapbooking paper at Easter. The light still shines through nicely =]

  • 24 Sep, 2010

    I used my computer and printed spider webs onto white legal size printer paper. I traced around the shades and taped the paper shades "on". I trimmed the new shades with black grosgain ribbon an now i'm set for halloween. I have 9 lights in my dining room. It ditn take too long.

  • 16 Jul, 2009

    I'm going to try this with the leftover pieces of my pleated paper window blinds. :)

  • 16 Jul, 2009

    I have been wondering if I should buy new shades. Now I know how to save some money., Wish I had thought of it sooner.

  • 16 Jul, 2009

    I did this years ago. I used wallpaper and it worked great!

  • 16 Jul, 2009

    I'm going to try it with heavily starched fabric. Spray starch doesn't stain when ironed, so maybe it will work even when the light gets warm/hot.

  • 7 Jul, 2008

    I really like this idea! I think I will try this soon.

  • 2 Jul, 2008

    Any further suggestions as to the make/type of paper? It would be helpful.