Makeover — Lamp with Decorative Paper Shade

by Diana Durkes

Get your DIY on as furniture makeover and upcycler specialist, Contributor Diana Durkes joins us again today. Diana gives “New Life to the Tossed and Found” at her blog, Fine Diving in Chicago.


This month’s makeover is a favorite of mine for adding fresh color or a new layer of pattern to a room. It’s also a great way to use the beautiful printed papers offered by art supply and specialty paper stores. So many patterns, so little time is my feeling when I browse through the amazing prints.

While walking the dog last week, I salvaged a plain, modern floor lamp from a neighborhood parkway. It worked perfectly; just needed a little polish, so perhaps the previous owner had set it out for anyone whose imagination might be sparked by the item.

Enter HomeWorkshop. With its simple lines, the floor lamp was a perfect partner for a decorative shade and a quick makeover.


For the floor lamp’s shade, I purchased a plain parchment drum from an outlet in Chicago that resells hotel furnishings upon redecoration, Cooper Used Hotel Furniture. Each shade there is $10. Cooper is stocked to the rafters with deals on traditionally styled furniture. For a future project, it might be worth a search to see if there’s a like store near you.


At Paper Source, a specialty paper store, I bought two sheets of flocked salmon paper and two sheets of opaque mesh to layer over it. Together the papers cost $16.75.


To glue the papers onto the shade, I used archival quality glue, which will not yellow over time like white household glue may. I measured and cut the papers to fit the shade. Then, I ran a bead around the top and bottom of the shade and glued two sheets of the salmon floral paper in place, also gluing the paper’s seams. I pressed the mesh sheets of paper on top, dotting with more glue as needed.

On this shade, since the top and bottom binding matched the paper, I chose to leave it bare. A thin grosgrain ribbon or paper binding can also be used to finish the binding, like I did when I made these shades.


In all, the lamp shade cost $27.75, and the lamp was free. I spent about an hour making the shade, time enjoyably spent. Here it is finished. I appreciate how the reborn lamp freshens and brightens my entryway (top).


Diana Durkes

Diana Durkes is a creative recycler and a confessed alley shopper. She gives a makeover to one found item each week, and publishes the before & after on her blog, Fine Diving in Chicago.


How would you use decorative papers in your decor?

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One Comment for “Makeover — Lamp with Decorative Paper Shade”

Great way of making an ordinary lamp looking so much special. Might even see if I have a lamp I can freshen up!

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