Saturday, 8 October 2011

How to upcycle the lamp

I have just finished upcycling this lamp and I will share with you how I did it.

On my usual treasure hunt in the local charity shops I found a little lamp with an interesting base and a vintage tea towel, probably from the sixties. I liked the boldness of the patterns and thought I could use this fabric for a lamp shade.

The existing lampshade was covered with some sort of artificial suede which was quite opaque so I stripped it off using the pliers, leaving the plastic layer in place. If the lampshade you are using is made from a white or light colored fabric, which is letting the light through, you can leave in on and glue your chosen fabric on top of it. 

After deciding which part of the tea towel I am going to use, I put the lampshade sideways on top of the fabric and cut a strip of fabric which was about 2cm wider on each side of the lampshade.

I wrapped the strip of fabric around the lampshade. The length of my fabric strip was too short to cover the lampshade so I cut an additional piece from the tea towel to cover the gap. I arranged the fabric pieces on the lampshade and made sure that when the fabric overlapped, only the finished edges of the pieces were visible.

Now I had all the things I needed for upcycling the lampshade, including a strong PVA glue and a binding tape which I would use for the top and bottom edges of the lampshade:

After spreading the fabric face down on a clean protective surface I applied the PVC glue. Avoid using a newspaper as the base protection because the print may transfer on to the moist fabric.
Next I wrapped the fabric carefully along the bottom edge of the lampshade and gently pressed the fabric to the lampshade while forming several folds to accommodate the narrower top of the lampshade. I kept on pressing down the fabric and smoothing the surface and then I left the lampshade to dry. 

After the lampshade had dried out, I cut off the excess fabric along the top and bottom edges. I applied the glue to the binding tape and glued it to the top and bottom edges of the lampshade. 

Here is the detail:

After cleaning the base of the lamp with white spirit, I mixed artists oil paint to match one of the colors in the fabric's pattern and painted part of the lamp base with it. I left the base to dry. 

After several days the lamp base was dry and I added the lampshade to it. The lamp is now ready. Here is the back view:

Happy lamp upcycling.




  1. What a great idea! And very neat how you made it too.Nice to have something like that in your home, something recycled and given a new life by yourself.

    Lots of kisses!

  2. Thanks Poorna and Elisabet!
    I enjoyed working on this lamp so much and I am planning to produce several of them and start selling them on Etsy, under Hatome name.

    Lots of love to you both