DIY Bathroom Lighting Fixture Makeover




Introduction: DIY Bathroom Lighting Fixture Makeover

About: Part MacGyver, part Martha, creator, host and producer of Engineer Your Space, an award winning DIY home design show dedicated to clever, affordable and stylish solutions for common challenges faced by rente...

I really wish I could renovate my bathroom, but being a renter, doing a complete gut job and rebuilding from scratch wasn't a possibility. The lighting, however, was definitely something that I could upgrade without changing out the existing lighting fixture. So I came up with a plan to change out the shades by making my own DIY drum shade from wooden embroidery hoops and flexible chopping mats!

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Step 1: Watch This Video to See All the Steps in Detail

Step 2: Materials Needed

Drum Shade construction:

4” wooden embroidery hoops:

Iron-on wood edging (3/4” wide):

wood edging (2” wide):

tape (3M 200MP):

screws (#4 1 1/4” long)Flexible chopping mats


Plaid wood tint (Grey):

white wax:

Step 3: Switch to LED Bulbs

The first thing I did was swap out the incandescent light bulbs for ENERGY STAR certified LED light bulbs. I ended up choosing candelabra bulbs to go with the long and narrow shape of the lampshades I designed. Even though I don’t have a dimmer for this fixture, I still purchased dimmable light bulbs, that way if I ever install a dimmer in the future, I’ll still be able to use the same light bulbs.

Step 4: Making the Rings for the Shade

I made the rings with 4” wooden embroidery hoops (7), 3/4” and 2” wide iron-on edging (birch). I glued the inner hoops of the embroidery rings together using wood glue to make 2 stacks of 2 hoops and 1 stack of 3 hoops. Then I attached iron-on wood edging to the outside of the rings and I sanded the edges and the inside of the rings.

Step 5: Stain the Rings

I chose to finish the rings with a grey wood stain from Plaid, giving a couple of coats. I let that dry for a couple of hours and then sealed in the finish with white wax, wiping off the excess wax with a clean, lint-free rag.

Step 6: Drill Holes for Hanging

The last thing to do with the rings was to drill 3 holes with a 1/8” drill bit, equally spaced out, at the top of the wider rings. I marked the spacing of the holes on a piece of masking tape to transfer onto the rings to make things easier. The holes are for the screws that will attach the shade to the existing fixture.

Step 7: Cutting the Chopping Mats

I made the shades from flexible chopping mat (from the dollar store, 2 for $1). Since I’m using LEDs, they don't give off that much heat so there's no issue with using this material.

I cut the chopping mats in half horizontally and cut it again so that it’s about 1/2” longer than the circumference of the inside of the rings. Then I added masking tape to mark the location of the middle ring and added clear double sided tape(3M 468MP) to the seam and where the bottom and middle rings will go.

Step 8: Form the Shade and Place Middle and Bottom Ring

I removed the liner from the double sided tape at the seam and formed the shade, then I removed the liner for the middle ring and slid it in place, repeated the same thing for the bottom ring.

Step 9: Place Top Ring and Drill Holes

Since the top ring will be secured with machine screws, there's no need to use double sided tape. Place the ring flush with the top of the shade, and dill holes into the chopping mat. Then screw in place the machine screws (I used #4 1 1/4” long screws).

Step 10: Attach the Shades to the Fixture

Step 11: Enjoy!

I love the way the new shades turned out and the new ENERGY STAR certified LED light bulbs are perfect to light up my bathroom.

Thanks for ENERGY STAR for making the project possible. You can find out more about ENERGY STAR here:

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    6 Discussions


    3 years ago



    Reply 3 years ago

    Thank you!


    4 years ago

    Love the way you created the drum shade. I need to do one for a floor lamp and this idea is the best I've seen. Thanks for sharing!


    Reply 4 years ago

    My pleasure!


    4 years ago

    Thanks. The shades look nice.


    Reply 4 years ago

    Thank you! glad you like them!