Custom Lamp Shades DIY Guide

Discover original ideas to create custom lamp shades for a table lamp, pendant lamp, wall lamp, through detailed tutorials. In fabric, paper, or made from a retrieved object, these patterns are easy to replicate yourself.

You do not have to be an expert handyman to create a handmade shade. A little time in front of you, a few simple accessories and a small dose of creativity will be enough to make a unique model, personalized and requiring only a small financial investment.

Custom Lamp Shades Full DIY Guide

There are many ways to create custom lamp shades, to give a second life to an old lampshade or even to make a decorative light garland.

Good to know: the polyphane is a plastic sheet, adhesive, more or less thick and rigid, which is used to protect the coating of the shade from the heat emitted by the bulb. It also allows a better diffusion of light. Generally sold in rolls in creative leisure shops, the polyphane is easily cut with a cutter or scissors. The sheet is covered with a thin film which is removed manually to deposit the fabric, paper and decorative cardboard on the sticky surface.

I Like That Lamp Styrene Sheet for Lampshade (12" Height x 64" Length) - Adhesive Roll for DIY Round...
  • DIY LAMPSHADE STYRENE: Pressure sensitive adhesive styrene for lampshades is a thin polystyrene sheet with a sticky adhesive backing. It's the most commonly used lampshade liner in professionally...

Our practical tips

  • You will find many decorative supplies and accessories in stores and sites devoted to creative leisure activities (shade carcasses, manufacturing kits, glue, stencils, heat-adhesive or adhesive decorations …).
  • Check that the shade frame is compatible with the lamp base or ceiling bead. For a suspension, the location for the bulb is at the top of the frame while it is in the lower part for a table lamp.
  • Be sure to choose a coating that allows a minimum of light to pass through. Take a test under a light bulb to check its opacifying power. You can also create decorative holes in the lampshade to increase lighting and create light effects.
  • To avoid fire, use fireproof paper or cardboard (heat-resistant). You can also place between the bulb and the paper, a polyphane insulating sheet. Another alternative is to opt for low energy bulbs that generate little heat.

1. How to make fabric custom lamp shades

How to make fabric custom lamp shades

You can order different metal fittings to be clad (cylindrical, rectangular, height adjustable) to make a wall lampshade, renovate a former lampshade or create a lampshade with recovery equipment.


  • Metal frame
  • Polyphane sheet
  • Pair of scissors
  • Meter
  • Pencil
  • Scotch tape or tape
  • Rule
  • Linen canvas
  • Decorative stencil
  • Swarovski Rhinestones to stick
  • White paint for textile
  • Brush
  • Decofix Universal Adhesive
  • Clothespins


  1. Cut the polyphane to the dimensions of the shade
  2. Remove the protective film from the polyphane sheet
  3. Glue the linen cloth to the polyphane sheet by stretching the fabric
  4. Cut the excess fabric over the entire contour leaving an overflow of about 1 cm
  5. Cut the corners and create scissor notches around the entire periphery of the fabric
  6. Paint the decorative designs on the outer surface with the stencil (thin coat of paint)
  7. Allow the paint to dry for 30 minutes
  8. Carry out the gluing of the shade covering the metal frame
  9. Put the clothespins at the adhesive points until they are completely dry

2. How to create custom lamp shades from your own photos

How to create custom lamp shades from your own photos

The shade is made from a printed photo and then cut to the format of the luminaire support (panoramic image). To make your customized model, simply use the technique presented in the first video and replace the linen fabric by a paper enlargement of the photo of your choice.

The difficulty lies in the fact that the dimensions of the photo must correspond perfectly to the dimensions of the shade contour (slightly larger in length and height than the semi-rigid polyphane sheet in order to be able to fold down and glue the periphery of the shade The image inside the lampshade).

To create a custom lampshade from your photos, drawings, fabrics, the site Bags of Love offers complete kits to facilitate the task.

3. How to make a globe-shaped custom lamp shade for suspension

How to make a globe-shaped custom lamp shade for suspension

This DIY video presents a handmade chandelier realized from a decorative globe. Cut into two, the globe is covered with painted cardboard in its inner part.

The power cord (suspension kit) is disassembled to slide through the hole in the center of the globe. Then you just have to reassemble the power cord to fix the bulb and then connect the suspension to the ceiling electrical box.

Or simply buy it!

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4. How to create paper custom lamp shades

In this video, students from the Ecole Bleue design school explain how to make a ceiling light fixture entirely made from paper and cardboard.


  • Sheet gray cardboard (grape-thickness 4mm)
  • 3 rolls of drawing paper 500cm x 50 cm
  • Sheet of paper bristol format grapes
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors or cutter
  • Compass
  • White glue


  1. Draw the marks on the strips on the paper
  2. Cut strips of different lengths
  3. Draw the circles in the carton (diameters: 56cm-52cm-33.5cm-29.5cm-26cm-11.5cm-7.5cm)
  4. Cut out the portions of the circles as shown
  5. Draw and cut the 4 cm strips in the card stock
  6. Glue the strips to the end of the circles to achieve the top structure
  7. Curl the remaining strips with the scissors blade
  8. Glue the ends of the strips to the different circles starting from the inside out (the longest strips in the center and the shortest on the outside)

Our selection of original lampshades found on iDLights:

Custom Lamp Shades DIY Guide 1 - iD Lights

DIY Recycled Basket Lampshade Tutorial

Custom Lamp Shades DIY Guide 2 - iD Lights

Lampshades Chandelier

Rainbow Sugar Skulls Lamp Shade

Rainbow Sugar Skulls Table Lamp

Vintage and Romantic Table Lamp

Dark Antique Table Lamp

Wooden Rectangular Lamp Shade

Wooden Rectangular Pendant Lighting Shade


Snare Drum Pendant Lighting

Open Drum Stick Chandelier

Open Drum Stick Chandelier

Last update on 2022-05-30 / Images from Amazon API