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Seam-Binding Lampshade

Liven up an ordinary lampshade with colorful stripes.




Begin with a white cloth or paper shade that fits your lamp. Select several different colors of seam binding; pick mostly light tones, but include one or two darker colors for contrast. A random combination of colored strips will result in the liveliest shade.


  • White cloth or paper lamp shade
  • Seam binding (several different colors)
  • Craft glue
  • Scissors
  • Bias tape


  1. Step 1


    To make the first strip, glue one loose end of the seam binding to the upper rim of the shade with craft glue; pinch until the glue holds. Dab glue on the bottom rim directly below the glued top end; hold the seam binding taut, and press it in place on the bottom rim, pinching until the glue holds. Cut the binding cleanly along the bottom edge. Continue to add strips of different colors in this way, overlapping half of each strip over the previous one.

  2. Step 2


    When you have gone all the way around the lampshade with the binding, run glue along the top and bottom rims, and apply a trim of bias tape over the exposed edges.

Martha Stewart Living, February 2000



Reviews (11)

  • DotK 10 Sep, 2008

    Unless you covered the entire 'sticky' shade with fabric/seam binding, the exposed sticky surface would be a dust magnet. Then you would have 'fur' stripes in between the colored would add texture!

  • mrspsp 6 Sep, 2008

    You could probably "pinch" the ends to hold until the glue sticks with clothes pins, right? What a classy way to remake a shade! And couldn't you also use one of those craft-store sticky shades too?

  • Lanette 6 Sep, 2008

    What type of paper should be used for the lampshade? It would need to take the heat radiating from the light bulb. Ths project is a great idea for updating a lamp.


  • Ribbons 6 Sep, 2008

    What a GREAT idea to add fun for a custom-designed child's room! You can keep the theme going on the lamps! How wonderful! =0)

  • Anna_Marie 6 Sep, 2008

    hollymaren, if you mean the strip that goes around the top and the bottom, there are two ways to finish it that I can think of. Use glue on the underside of the end, and fold it back under onto itself, to make a finished end, then glue that down, overlapping the starting end . If that is too bulky, just cut the end of the top and bottom bias strips straight up and down, and glue them to overlap the beginning end. Either way, the "end seams" can be positioned towards the back.

  • kjersta 6 Sep, 2008

    What kind of glue would you use? Elmers? Hot glue? Special glue?

  • sailboat 6 Sep, 2008

    I love the idea, however, i would like to paint an existing shade to match a new deco. Any suggestions. Thank you.

  • dets 6 Sep, 2008

    Ribbons work. Also, the tapered question. If you leave spaces between the stripes, you should not encounter the taper problem as it solves itself. This is an outstanding idea!!!! You could also punch holes in the open spaces for more fun.

  • sbolinger 2 May, 2008

    I have been looking liek MAD for a teal lampshade with no success! Now I can make my own!!! You're a genious!!!

  • hollymaren 1 May, 2008

    Would ribbon work as well? Lace, polka dots, textures, etc, would be fun.
    Is there something you do to finish up the tapered end of the last strip?
    Holly- Graham WA

  • gaylagal2 28 Mar, 2008

    This is one of the greatest ideas ever! I am working on sprucing up my bedroom and want to through shades of crimson/burgundy colors here and there to math my coverlet. This is perfect!

    Thank you so very much for posting this :)

    Las Vegas