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No Sew: Lamp Shade with Cover Buttons

I gotta tell ya……..there’s something about a simple project that really makes me happy.  And yes, my sweet friends, even when a sewing machine is not included.  We are finally getting to the point in our home renovations that I can start hanging things and enjoying our surroundings without those ugly extension cords, drop cloths, power tools, and construction dust.  (Oh, that dust.  He and I have had words……and let’s just say, our relationship is almost over.  See-ya!)


Now that we are nearing the completion of several rooms (meaning… paint, new doors, window/door trim, baseboards, caulking, sanding, and touch-up paint), I’ve gotten hungry to fill our spaces with a little more love.


And something quick, that I put together last night, to accompany this lamp base……was this Lamp Shade. 





And, well, the simplicity of it makes me REALLY happy.




And, oh gosh, those little covered buttons really make this simple shade pop.  Yum.  (Who says “yum” about inedible items?  That’s just weird!)




I was tired of that empty table…..and we really needed extra light in this room.  So, 2 wins.







Now, don’t you worry…….not a single stitch of thread was sewn into this shade.  So you don’t even need to plug that ol’ sewing machine in. 


And even if someone stands above the shade and peeks in, they’ll only see clean lines and edges.





And for those of you who know I have three little ones, you’re probably wondering about that breakable ceramic bird sitting on those books.  Haha!  Yeah, that bird doesn’t stand a chance (have I told you about my mischievous 2 year old yet??) and actually normally sits up on a higher shelf.  I just just haven’t decided what to add to that table……so the bird and books are helping me out for the moment.  I’ll keep you posted if I come up with something fun.




Oh, sweet lamp.  Thanks for sitting there so pretty.  And with minimal effort.  Yay!!!!!!



Would you like to make your own Lamp Shade with Cover Buttons?



To begin with, decide on what fabric you’d like to use.  (The amount of fabric varies, depending on your shade size.)   Something with a print can be fun, but keep in mind that if your shade shape flares out, fabric like stripes won’t stay uniform and straight all the way around the shade.  Also, a smooth and flat shade is a lot easier to work with than an ornate curved one.


And, I covered this lamp shade over a year ago (in our last house) and decided to change it up.  My lamp shade is slightly larger at the bottom, than the top……so the stripes never lined up correctly and always kind of bothered me.  So, I peeled this fabric off and re-used the same shade.  So ignore the old glue……I’m just going to cover it right up.



Then, wrap your fabric around your lamp shade overlapping the ends by several inches.



Also, be sure that you have at least an inch (or more) hanging off the top and bottom edges.



Now, hot glue one end of your fabric down, right to the shade.




Smooth the fabric nice and flat and taut, all the way around the shade.  Trim off the excess overlapping fabric from this second edge……letting them overlap by about 3 inches.



Then, fold this second edge under about 1.5 inches and clip in place.  Just be sure that the vertical fold is straight and exactly perpendicular to the bottom/top edges of the shade.



Place a line of hot glue under the fold of the fabric, securing it in place.



Then, lay your shade on its side and add some glue to the inner bottom edge of the shade.



Fold the fabric up, making sure to keep it smooth and even…….and press firmly in place with your fingers.



Trim off the excess fabric.



Then, hot glue some 1/2 inch grosgrain ribbon over the raw edge of the fabric.



Glue all the way around the inside of the lamp, continuing to cover the raw edge of fabric.  Once you reach the end, overlap the end by about 2 inches.



Then, fold your end under an inch and hot glue it down in place  (If you notice, I made the fold of the ribbon match up with the fold of the fabric along that one side.  It’s up to you but I just like the consistency.)



Along the top (if you have those metal pieces attached to the upper edge), cut a slit into the fabric, straight towards the metal piece.  Be sure and stop about an 1/8 of an inch before the edge of the lamp shade (so that you can’t see the slit after it’s folded over).



Then, add glue the same way as above and fold your fabric up and around the metal piece. 



Trim off any excess fabric and then add ribbon the same way as well.



Now, cover some Cover Buttons with the same fabric.  (Check out my Cover Button tutorial if you need a few more pictures.  Also, my cover buttons are 7/8″ in size, but yours may vary, depending on the lamp shade size that you’re covering.)




Then, hot glue your first Cover Button down to the bottom edge of your shade, about a 1/4 inch from the bottom edge.



Then, use a ruler and measure the distance that you’d like between each button.  (Measuring all the way around and dividing will help you decide the distance between each button.)  Make a mark to show you where to place your next button and glue it down in place.



Continue all the way around the lamp shade.



And that’s it.



 Now, go and enjoy your shade! :)




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Featured Sponsor:


Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. Chatty says:


  2. Sandra says:

    Thank you for that great tutorail!

  3. Heather says:

    This is so inspiring! I think I will finally tackle the little 13-year old lamp in my bedroom. A nice cover for the shade, then a coat of spray paint on the base. Thank you!

  4. Nancy G. says:

    That lampshade is so beautiful! I love the lamp also, very graceful looking. I was just wondering, does the light shine through pretty good being that the fabric is such a dark shade of grey? I have only tried covering one lampshade, on my step daughters old Strawberry shortcake lamp. It turned out fairly well, but my fabrics were lighter. I love the look though, so much more eye pleasing than just a plain old boring lampshade. Thanks for sharing, I also love the buttons. Have to try that!

  5. Vero Et says:


  6. Katie @ Life Lived Intentionally says:

    Wow. I love the look of that lamp shade! Looks great in your space. You always have such great ideas. That ribbon to cover the edge of the fabric is genius!

  7. Erin says:

    I love this and definitely need to do this project. My house is bare bare bare everywhere. I am paralyzed by the thought of committing to decor and need to just start with something.

  8. maryam from Iran says:

    i love it

  9. cucicucicoo says:

    What a cute idea to add the cover buttons. It really does add that extra touch that makes it special! :) Lisa

  10. Julie says:

    Adorable and so simple!! Win win. :)

  11. Leann says:

    Hi – I am among the people who want (need) you to come and decorate my house. I have a 3.5 yo and can have nothing on my tables either…and am waiting to get new lamps and sofa and chairs when things get a little less messy with little ones. I actually do need a new shade for a lamp (they can be expensive!) so I may try this…good timing :)

  12. Leigh Anne says:

    Very cute idea! The buttons really make it! I was curious about the paint color? It looks like a very light blue/green on my screen. I am redecorating my master bedroom and am looking at a color scheme like this, thx for your inspiration!

  13. Sue says:

    This is GREAT! This truly Pinterest worthy! Im going to copy asap! Thank You!

  14. Kari says:

    So cute!! I have almost the identical lamp sitting in my living room right now. I think it might need a facelift!!

  15. Lynette says:

    I love how this turned out! My son has a lamp in his room…with a purple lampshade I have meant to cover for nearly 2 years! Thanks for the great tutorial. I never have found one that actually explains everything. I love the simplicity of the cover buttons as well. And you totally read my mind about the bird! I thought, “Wow she’s brave! My son would totally have that smashed in 2 seconds!” (He shattered a corelle plate last night in the kitchen while helping with dishes, it was great!) I was laughing when you explained the bird was there for the photo shoot only. :)

  16. SuziQ says:

    Hi Ashley (from Suzi in Glasgow, Scotland) this is a great way to refresh a room – thank you! Can I just check there are no problems with using any type of fabric & glue? Just thinking the light may get hot! X

  17. Michelle L says:

    Oh, man, Ashley, that is absolutely beautiful and chic!!!

  18. Shantel says:

    Would you decorate my house?!! please pretty please! You have such excellent taste!

  19. Mindy says:

    Nice touch with the buttons. And even though you’re not sewing and just using hot glue, you make a clean hem for the fold overs, haha nice! Definitely needs to be simple with the busy chairs, looks great!

  20. Annie says:

    Ahhh! Your house is so freakin adorable I can barely stand it. I so need to do some of your projects around my house.

  21. Darlene says:

    Absolutely gorgeous. And such fantastic attention to detail on the inside and outside. – makes it look professionally redone. I pinned it. Have a wonderful week.

    1. Ashley says:

      Thanks Darlene! You enjoy your week as well! :)

  22. sarah says:

    That is really adorable! And I love the deep gray fabric choice- great texture!! Great job!!

    1. Ashley says:

      Thanks…..I kinda love that grey too! :)

  23. Esperanza says:

    Es realmente hermosa, tu lo haces tan fácil, me gusta!!!!!

    1. Ashley says:

      Gracias Esperanza! Y tambien, gracias por escribir en espanol…..necesito practicarlo mas! :)

  24. Amanda says:

    So cute! I love the addition of the buttons! Also, I love those chairs! Where did you get them?!

    1. Ashley says:

      Thanks Amanda! I found the chairs over a year ago, either on Amazon or Overstock. I think it was Amazon though. They have held up really well! :)

    2. julie marie says:

      Do you happen to remember the brand of the chairs and what place on amazon you got them? I would love to buy some.

    3. stacey says:

      I was searching for a while last night and found the same ones on Overstock. There are similar ones on Amazon but the Overstock ones were cheaper:

      More colors here:,/brand,/2737/subcat.html?sort=Top+Sellers

      I wish you could be my personal decorator, Ashley. I am in a serious rut in a new-to-us house and it is so hard for me for some reason! Lovely lampshade, the addition of the cover buttons is really ingenious!

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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