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Ruffled Lampshade Makeover

I love vintage furniture.  I love that it has a history and that someone else loved it before me. How great is it that I can breathe new life into them? One of my most prized possessions is a set of vintage lamps that I inherited from my great-grandmother. The lamp bases are fabulously gold and embellished with cheesy and wonderful designs. They are perfect lamp bases for a little girl’s room, but the lampshades need a fierce update. A feminine and lovely makeover was in order, and I had just the craft: fabric circles used to create a ruffled lampshade!


  • fabric in the color you want your lampshade to be (I used about 3 yards of white fabric)
  • pencil
  • something circular (about 5″ in diameter) to trace
  • fabric scissors
  • hot-glue gun and glue sticks

Ruffled Lampshade Makeover

Step 1: Begin by using your circular object and pencil to trace circles on your fabric. My lampshade was pretty large so I made around 150 circles.

Ruffled Lampshade Makeover

Step 2: Next, use the fabric scissors to cut out the circles. Tip: I didn’t actually trace all 150 circles. Instead, I used one circle as a stencil on top of several layers of stacked fabric then cut out several circles from there. This sped things up quite a bit.

Ruffled Lampshade Makeover

Step 3: This is where you bunch your fabric circle up and turn it into a ruffle. Begin by laying the fabric circle in your hand. Pinch the center of the circle with your other hand and flip it over. Then, grab all the edges of the circle and push them up together to create a flower-like ruffle.

Ruffled Lampshade Makeover

Step 4: Take the pinched center of the circle and apply a dab of hot glue right on the fabric. Next, firmly attach the circle to the outside of the lampshade. At first your ruffled circles may look a little funny. But once you add all the ruffles to the lampshade the effect will be amazing, because all the circle ruffles hold each other in an upright and ruffled position. To finish, repeat steps 3 and 4 with all your ruffled circles, spacing them about 1 inch apart on the lampshade.

Ruffled Lampshade Makeover

Ruffled Lampshade Makeover

I LOVE my “new” lamp! It looks like a delicious lampshade made of whipped cream (but in a good way). And I couldn’t believe how quick and easy it was to transform my great-grandmother’s hand-me-down into a modern ruffled lamp that I will love forever.


DIY, Handmade

11 Responses

  1. Sue Photo says:

    Wow what a transformation! It looks simply to do as well. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Lora says:

    I am SO doing this!!!!

  3. cassandra says:

    I love this idea and it just so happens that i'm in need of a new lampshade and this would allow me to re purpose the old one. I'm thinking of using ribbon or some other material. great idea!!!

    • Alix Adams says:

      Good idea with the ribbon! I think you could experiment with several different materials and find one you really like.

  4. Toni says:

    How you going to clean the dust off? Vacuuming with a brush attachment will only smear the dust into the fabric???

  5. Mary says:

    This is SO lovely! Thanks!!!

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Alix AdamsAlix is a guest blogger for Design Happens. She is also a mom and a maker of important things like floral crowns. Her proclivity for glitter borders on the side...


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