You can turn a plain drum shade into a statement piece for less than $10. I made my own drum shade pendant for less than $75, but I and then used this inexpensive technique to dress it up. I originally planned to stencil a design on the shade, but the fabric on the shade has a lot of texture and I was nervous about getting a crisp design with a stencil. I brainstormed a fabulous alternative to create a modern design with appliquéd fabric. I love, love, love the way this turned out. The pattern and color are so crisp.
- Drum Shade (circumference at the top and bottom of the shade is the same)
- Fabric (I used solid-color quilting cotton)
- Fusible web
- Mini Craft Iron (with a 50% off coupon you can get one for less than $20)
- Sharp scissors
Step 1: Prepare Fusible Web
Measure your shade height and circumference. If the shade has a binding at the top and bottom, measure the height from the inside edge of the bottom binding to the inside edge of the top binding. Using this measurement cut out a rectangle piece of fusible web.
Step 2: Create Your Design
Create your design. Geometric designs work great for this project. I decided on a quatrefoil design, which I designed to fit evenly within the size of my rectangle. Learn more about how I chose my fabric and created my design.
Trace your design onto the paper side of the fusible web. Tip: For a complicated design, shade in the areas to be cut away to aide with next step.
Step 4: Create the Applique
To create the appliqué design, iron the fusible web onto the wrong side of your fabric. Then, trim fabric to same size as fusible web rectangle. Lastly, cut out your design to remove all the shaded areas. I also split my design into three sections to make it more manageable.
Step 5: Test the Design Fit
“Dry fit” your design by lining up each section around the drum shade with the fusible web side against the shade. Use clips or clothespins to hold the fabric in place. Once you have the fit just right, starting with one section peel the paper backing off the fusible webbing and repin the fabric to the shade. Line the fabric up very carefully.
Step 6: Iron Design Onto Shade
Use the mini craft iron on medium heat to fuse the fabric design to the lamp shade. Use light pressure and keep the iron moving to avoid denting or warping the lamp shade.
The finished lampshade is beautiful! You would never know it didn’t come this way. The thin cotton fabric fused so smoothly, it looks like part of the fabric on the shade.