Repairing a Lampshade

Written by Doris Donnerman (last updated July 4, 2022)


The quality of your light can be easily diminished by a damaged or broken lampshade. Lampshades are often unique and irreplaceable, so the option of going out and purchasing a new one for your beloved lamp may not be an option. Here are some basic suggestions and guidelines for repairing your lampshade.

Before you can begin your project, you will need to properly assess the damage. The two most common "ailments" lampshades experience are discoloration and the ring coming apart from the fabric portion of the shade. With a quick trip to the craft store and a few craft items laying around the house you can make this an easy fix.

If your lampshade has been discolored you will need a bleach solution, spray bottle, window and a sponge. Use a low strength bleach solution (usually about a gallon of warm water with a standard "lid" filled with Clorox bleach). Using your spray bottle, spray the fabric on the lampshade (be sure do to this away from other fabrics). You do not want your shade soaking but you want to ensure that every area has been exposed to the bleach solution. You can use a sponge to apply the solution if you feel more comfortable with that. After you have finished bleaching the shade you can place it in the sun to dry.

If the lampshade fabric has become detached from the ring that gives form to the shade, you will need a hot glue gun, some glue sticks, scissors, and double fold bias tape. Your first step is to remove the ring entirely from the shade and set it aside. Next you will cut a piece of bias tape that is approximately the same size of the ring. Working from underneath the shade you will put a little bit of glue on the upper portion of the ring and underneath the radius of the fabric. Before the glue dries you will hold the metal ring against the edges of the fabric and gently press the bias tape into place, encircling the metal and fabric portions. You may want to secure your work with clothes pins until it has dried properly.

If you do not feel comfortable fixing your lamp shade, especially if it is a family heirloom, there are a variety of restoration companies that can be found online.

Author Bio

Doris Donnerman

Doris is a jack of all trades, writing on a variety of topics. Her articles have helped enlighten and entertain thousands over the years. ...


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What is two minus 1?

2014-04-27 13:54:48

Maud Dannhauser

Thank you for this great tutorial. One question please:-
My lamps' fabric is also gross. Took it off. Thats when the rings broke. Do I have to make a new cover first and then put the rings on with the bias??
Sorry I ask a lot. I am disabled with a brain problem and sometimes I need to just make sure. I appreciate your help.
The bias is the Best Ever I heard to fix the rings. Where I live we do not have a lot of craft shops and they dont stock a lot..
South Africa