Friday, September 2, 2011

Ruffled Lamp DIY Tutorial - Pinterest Challenge!

Have you heard of the Pinterest Challenge? If you love Pinterest, and creating new things, it's a great way to get you motivated! I decided to take the challenge myself, and turn a boring simple lamp into a beautiful ruffled lampshade.

Using this inspiration:

 I will show you how to turn this:

Into this!

For under $15!

It takes under an hour, and is so simple! I promise :)

See how to do it after the jump!

Materials needed:
-A lampshade ( I got my lamp at a consignment store for $10)
-Fabric (I used white cotton I had)
-Sewing machine OR needle and thread (I did my ruffles by hand)
-Fray check
-Glue gun
-Pearl beads (optional)

Start out with picking your fabric. I used a white cotton that did not fray too much when cut.
Cut it into strips. To figure out the width of the strips, measure your lampshade from top to bottom, and divide by 3 (Or how many rows of ruffles you want). (Ex. Mine was 6 inches tall and I wanted 3 rows of ruffles, so each strip is 2 inches wide. If you wanted 2 rows, each strip would be 3 inches) 
Add one inch to that measurement because when it is ruffled it will shrink some in width. (Ex. Mine was 6 inches tall, so each strip is 2 inches + 1 Inch = each strip is 3 inches wide)

For the length of the strips, I went as long as my scrap fabric was. Remember they will shrink considerably depending on how tight you want the ruffles. But don't worry if your ruffles are not long enough, you can simply make another strip and add it. I will show that in a minute. 

To make the ruffle, you can use a sewing machine or do it by hand. My machine is broken at the moment, so I did it by hand. It is very easy to sew it by hand! Just do a basic stich in and out like the picture above. See how the pink thread goes in and out of the fabric? A more spaced out stich will give you looser ruffles, a tighter and close together stich will give you a tighter ruffled look. 

Once sewn, hold onto the end of the thread with the needle, and push the fabric down, creating instant ruffles! Remember to tie the string when you first begin sewing so the fabric does not come off the thread. When you like the ruffle texture, sew a button loop to tie and secure. 

One IMPORTANT step is to pin the ruffles around the shade. This will show you how it looks, and help you decide how ruffly you want it. Also, it will allow you to see how many strips you need to make, and shows you gaps you may have.

See how there is a gap because the ruffled piece is not long enough? That is easy to fix! Simple cut another 3 inch strip, and ruffle it. Pin this piece in the gap and fluff the ruffle so it fits in with the piece beside it. Because it has so much volume, you won't notice that there are multiple pieces of fabric.

See? All fixed! Continue pining the ruffles until you like the way it looks.

Next, hot glue, or use sticky tac to glue the ruffle down to the lampshade. All you need is a dot every few inches, you don't need a ton of glue to hold it.
(Ignore my messy hot glue gun haha it has been through a rough life)

Once the ruffles are glued to the lamp shade you can add pearls, or anything you would like! To add the pearls, I just took plastic beads and glued them around the ruffles randomly. 

I kept my edges slightly frayed, I liked the shabby look of it. But you can easily use fray check to secure the edges and prevent it from fraying. It's all up to personal preference! 

There she is, all finished!

See? So easy, and simple! I hope my instructions were easy to read, I'm new at writing how to DIY!

If you have any questions, I would love to help :)

Also, if you make one, I would love to see it!


  1. I love this and DIY projects! Look at you all fun and I love how the light glows through the ruffles at night! So pretty and such easy step by steps...perfect first DIY post from you...keep them coming! :) Thank you for this and I hope you have a fun-filled Labor Day weekend ahead, Adrienna!

    Liesl :)

  2. That looks beautiful!!! I love how it turned out!

  3. Just darling!!! Sweet simplicity and girly times 5! :)

  4. wow, this looks GREAT! especially when the lamp is turned on, the effect is GORGEOUS! :) thanks for sharing.... so cheap and cheerful! i have been having a nose around ur blog - absolutely LOVE it! keep up the great work! I will be following u now, look forward to plenty more! x

    i enjoyed reading all your entries :)

    i'll definitely be following youu
    hope yo see ya around my blog

    have a great weekend!


  6. It is wonderful! Great tutorial! I am following you for more!

  7. This looks fab!!Lovely blog..

  8. this is awesome, great job.

  9. this is sooo cute! Great job your so creative!

    hope you'll follow back


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