Embellished Lampshade

CREATE A DREAMY ADDITION to your décor with this simple lampshade makeover. Select a fabric with medium- to large-scale motifs, and then add dimension with coordinating buttons and hand stitching.


• lampshade

• 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 yard of printed fabric, depending on the lampshade size

• fabric adhesive

• hand embroidery needle

• coordinating embroidery floss

• assorted buttons

• sharp scissors



1. Select the fabric print motifs that you like best. Fussy cut (see “Make a Fuss” below) around each motif edge.

2. Arrange the motifs on the lampshade until you’re happy with their placement. Spray adhesive on the wrong side of each motif. Position the motifs on the lampshade, finger pressing to adhere them to the surface.

3. To add decorative hand stitching, thread the needle with three strands of embroidery floss. Knot the floss ends. Poke the needle through from the lampshade inside and stitch around the motifs outer edges.

4. Position the buttons as desired on the lampshade. Hand stitch them in place, knotting the thread ends on the lampshade inside.

SOURCE | Westminster Fibers provided the Drawing Room fabric by Anna Maria Horner. Visit freespiritfabric.com to find a retailer near you.



To “fussy-cut” means to select and cut out a particular area of printed fabric rather than randomly cutting yardage as usual. Quilters often use fussy-cutting to achieve optimum design harmony in their quilts. It’s also a great way to utilize small pieces of favorite printed fabric. For the embellished lampshade, cut around the fabric motifs as roughly or “fussily” as you please. Here are a few other fussy ideas: 7

  • Cut out fun designs from printed oilcloth to make easy magnets (see Sew Simple Volume 8). 7
  • Select pretty floral designs to decorate a plain skirt or cardigan. 7
  • Cut out a festive fabric motif to create a special greeting card (see “Sewing with Paper” on page 26 for more tips and ideas).


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No photo
It would be nice to see a photo of the completed project.
Make lampshades from scratch
Great ideas, but if you'd like to make fabric covered shades from scratch, I learned how to make fabric covered soft lampshades (the kind with a lining, Victorian shades, etc.) the way professionals do it from an excellent e-book available at shadecrafters.com. It turned out to be a whole lot easier than I thought it would be, You only need basic sewing skills, and the book even includes sewing lessons for beginners.


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