Creative Lampshade Materials: Fun Alternatives to Regular Cotton Fabric

September 18, 2015

Creative Lampshade Materials: Fun Alternatives to Regular Cotton Fabric

Making a drum lampshade with our DIY Lampshade Making Supplies & lightweight cotton fabric is the place most people start when learning how to make their own lamps & lampshades. But some first-time customers & bloggers choose more unusual materials for their handmade lampshade projects, proving that there is a much wider world out there for adventurous souls!

Here are some DIY lamp shades made with non-fabric materials to get your creative juices flowing.


Fabric: Upcycled T-shirts & Clothing 


DIY upcycled t-shirt lampshades are one of our favorite projects because you can immortalize the memory of a favorite concert, vacation, or sports team. Don't banish those band t-shirts to the bottom drawer - turn it into something item you can use every day!








Fabric: Paper 


Paper is another excellent choice for a DIY lampshade, because of the huge range of colors, patterns, and textures that are available.


An Old Map: 





Old Vintage Wallpaper Scraps: 





Faux Bois: 





Wood Veneer: 





The crafty gals at The Merrythought wanted a woodgrain lampshade to match their DIY tripod lamp base, so they opted to make a lampshade with wood veneer instead of the usual adhesive styrene & fabric combo. Winner!


DIY Faux Bois Wrapping Paper Lampshade by Brittany Makes, World Map lampshade, and vintage wallpaper lampshades both by I Like That Lamp customers.



Fabric: Cotton Alternatives 


Heather Lace: 










When all is said and done, fabric brings you plenty of options for DIY lampshades. Although cotton is the easiest fabric to work with, we've seen plenty of projects from customers which use different fabric types.


A word of warning for those eyeing off a burlap shade - this is a very challenging fiber to work with. The customer who made the burlap lampshade says, "...of course I knew it would be a challenge due to its unraveling nature,& believe me it was, but I like a challenge & now that I've done it, I think I would do it again, maybe next time with a glass of wine!"


Burlap lampshade and lacey fabric lampshade were both made by I Like That Lamp customers. 



Other Materials 


Jute Twine (aka: an exercise in patience):  










Make one your own way!


Of course, there are plenty of other wonderful ways to cover a lampshade, especially when you start off with our DIY Lampshade Making Supplies Supplies.


Other non-fabric DIY Lampshade ideas we'd love to see: knitted or crocheted lampshades, hand-stamped lampshades, and lampshades made with kids artwork.


If you try any of these projects yourself, please email us a photo of your project or tag us on social media so we can share it!