DIY Cloth Flower Lamp Shade Project

Here’s a fun, easy way to brighten up a dark corner of any room — for all you fellow crafters.

(Click photos to enlarge.)

What You’ll Need:

  • a lamp base that wants a makeover
  • a plain lampshade
  • fabric of your choice (~1 yard)
  • matching thread
  • sewing needle
  • fabric scissors
  • hot glue gun
  • decorative buttons

Step 1

Using whatever fabric you want (I chose burlap for a frayed, raw look), cut out “flower” shapes free-hand. For my project, I needed:

25 “large” cutouts with 5 petals each (~4 inches across)
25 “medium” cutouts with 4 petals each (~3 inches across)
25 “small” cutouts with 3 petals each (~2 inches across)

They really, really don’t need to be perfect. I know crafters always say that, but this time it’s true. Flowers aren’t symmetrical, and your cutouts don’t need to be either. They also don’t need to be exactly the same size. Once you layer and overlap them, you’ll see that the variances actually make them look more natural.

You will need about one yard of fabric, more or less depending on the size of your flowers and the number you choose to make.

Step 2

Stack the flower cutouts from biggest (on bottom) to smallest (on top). Twist them so that the petals overlap in an attractive way, rather than lining up.

Step 3

Center the button in your stack of cutouts and sew through the buttonholes to hold the stack together. Use a simple square knot in the back to tie it off. Trim the extra thread.

Step 4

Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have enough flowers to cover your lampshade. You should play around with the positioning before you begin gluing, to make sure you have enough flowers and like the way it will look.

You can position them however you want. I lined mine up in a row on the bottom of the shade, but you could also completely cover the whole thing, scatter them randomly, do top and bottom, etc. Get creative!

Step 5

Put a dot of hot glue on the back of each flower, applying them one at a time to your shade. To achieve the look of my row, squish the flowers together a bit so that the petals are forced to curl upward, giving a 3D effect.

Step 6

Once your shade is covered how you like it, put it back on your lamp. Be sure to use a compact fluorescent lamp bulb (the energy-saving ones) so your lamp doesn’t get too hot when it’s on for a long time. A hot lamp could potentially melt the glue that holds on your flowers.

Turn it on and enjoy your handiwork!

A Final Word

This project has tons of room for personalization! Just think of all the aspects you could change to make it your own: the color, shape, and size of the lampshade, the base of the lamp, the type and color of the fabric for the flowers, the size and color of the buttons, the size and layering of the flowers themselves, the placement and number of the flowers…. the list goes on and on! Have fun and get creative.

And if you come up with something you love, please come back here and share it!

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  • Donna Gough

    Pretty interesting — thanks for posting!