Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Pleated Lampshades DIY

I've always wondered how to make pleated lampshades and I could never figure it out!  BTW, I still haven't figured it out.  Instead, I devised my own special way of doing it that's fool-proof!  Yup, I'm the fool who had to invent another way to make pleated lampshades.  Turns out, I'm just fine with this technique because it's seriously hard to mess up.  The best part is there is absolutely NO sewing!  None!  Just a little ironing and some glue.  I'm all IN.  Remember, make messes, invent new solutions and always Make Your Mark!
My cluster of pleats

Watch how to make them here!
Lampshade with wire base 
Glue gun
1. & 2.  Remove the cover from the old lampshade and scrape off any glue with a craft knife 
3. Fold the fabric on a diagonal matching the straight edges
4. 5. & 6.  Measure 1" lines from the diagonal fold and then cut the fabric in 1" wide strips
*Cutting on the diagonal is also known as cutting on the bias which is why it's called bias tape
7.  Thread the 1" bias strips through the bias tape maker and iron as you pull it from the tip
*This is how you make bias tape
8. & 9.  Hot glue the end of the bias tape to the rim of the wire shade and start wrapping from top to bottom overlapping every 1/4" to 3/8"
10. & 11.  Optional:  Trim the shade by hot glueing the edge of piece of bias around the rim.  Finish it by folding over the raw edge 1/4"
12.  Glue the other edge of the bias on the inside of the shade 
Make a pendant or add them to a fun lamp base and you're done!

Pleats please!


  1. Good gravy. I need a bias tape maker now. Off to the fabric store I go! :-)

    1. You can get an entire set for less than $5 bucks on amazon. Just click the link in the list of supplies and it will take you there. They are so much fun to use!

  2. Those faux-pleated lamp shades are adorable. I"m thinking you could use the same idea to cover baskets.

  3. This looks awesome, and perfect for a project I'm undertaking. Have you put one of these over a bulb? I'm curious, can you see where the different pieces of tape are glued together when it is back lit? Thanks!

    1. If you're careful to glue only around the rim it looks just fine.

  4. Is there a certain type of fabric you use? I made 4 candelabra shades for light above my kitchen table using a light turquoise cotton fabric. They don't put out enough light. The light bulbs have the tiny screw-in socket. The shades are gorgeous, just not enough light getting through! Sincerely Melissa