How to Turn Your Old T-Shirt into a Lampshade

 

How to Turn Your Old T-Shirt into a Lampshade
 

 

Do you have a favourite shirt that you adore, but never wear? 

You can easily turn your beloved t-shirt into a custom lampshade, using our DIY Lampshade Making Supplies. It's an easy project that typically takes less than an hour to complete.

On this page, you'll find video tutorials that take you through the process step-by-step, as well as worksheets to help you plan out the sizing of your lampshade.

 

PART ONE: MATERIALS AND PLANNING

Turn Your Old T-Shirt into a Lampshade with Our DIY Lampshade Kit - Check out more great DIY lamp tutorials at http://www.ilikethatlamp.com !

 

Do you have a favourite shirt that you adore, but never wear? 

 

You can easily turn your beloved t-shirt into a custom lampshade, using our DIY Lampshade Making Supplies. It's an easy project that typically takes less than an hour to complete.

On this page, you'll find video tutorials that take you through the process step-by-step, as well as worksheets to help you plan out the sizing of your lampshade.

 

PART ONE: MATERIALS AND PLANNING

 

 

 

MATERIALS NEEDED

  • Cotton t-shirt
  • Adhesive, pressure-sensitive styrene
  • Top & bottom spider lampshade rings
  • Tacky white glue
  • Lots of binder clips 
  • A molding stick or other glue spreading tool 

 

LAMPSHADE MATH 101 

First you'll need to figure out what size of a lampshade you can make from your t-shirt. Remember back in high school math when you learned about the rule of Pi? Here's your chance to put it to practice! Don't worry . . . we've made the process really easy for you!

 

Turn Your Old T-Shirt into a Lampshade with Our DIY Lampshade Kit - Check out more great DIY lamp tutorials at http://www.ilikethatlamp.com !
Turn Your Old T-Shirt into a Lampshade with Our DIY Lampshade Kit - Check out more great DIY lamp tutorials at http://www.ilikethatlamp.com !
Turn Your Old T-Shirt into a Lampshade with Our DIY Lampshade Kit - Check out more great DIY lamp tutorials at http://www.ilikethatlamp.com !

 

A drum lampshade is basically a cylinder, so the key measurements here are diameter and height. Diameter is the circumference of the circle divided by Pi, or 3.14. Height is top-to-bottom measurement. 

 

To figure out the maximum diameter that your lampshade can be, first measure the width of the printed part of your t-shirt. Now multiply that number by 2, then divide it by 3.5. Dividing by pi, or 3.14 will give you the exact dimension, but 3.5 will give you enough of a fabric allowance so that you have some wiggle room.

 

The height of your lampshade is a lot easier to figure out. Simply measure our shirt from top to bottom and decide how much of your shirt's print you want on your finished shade.

 

PART TWO: HOW TO MAKE IT

 

MATERIALS NEEDED

  • Cotton t-shirt

  • Adhesive, pressure-sensitive styrene

  • Top & bottom spider lampshade rings

  • Tacky white glue

  • Lots of binder clips 

  • A molding stick or other glue spreading tool 

LAMPSHADE MATH 101 

First you'll need to figure out what size of a lampshade you can make from your t-shirt. Remember back in high school math when you learned about the rule of Pi? Here's your chance to put it to practice! Don't worry . . . we've made the process really easy for you!

 

 

A drum lampshade is basically a cylinder, so the key measurements here are diameter and height. Diameter is the circumference of the circle divided by Pi, or 3.14. Height is top-to-bottom measurement. 

 

 

CHOOSING THE RIGHT ASSEMBLY METHOD

Once you have selected a t-shirt to upcycle, you'll need to figure out the best way to showcase the print on your t-shirt. The Assembly Method you choose depends where the print on the t-shirt is positioned - with the print starting above the bottom of the sleeves (where the armpit would be), or if the print starts below the bottom of the sleeves.

 

METHOD 1: WHEN THE PRINT STARTS ABOVE THE SLEEVES 

 

 

T-shirts like this one where the print starts well above the sleeves require you to create 3 pieces of fabric from the t-shirt and apply them to the styrene separately.

 

">Click here
Turn Your Old T-Shirt into a Lampshade with Our DIY Lampshade Kit - Check out more great DIY lamp tutorials at http://www.ilikethatlamp.com !

 

 

 

METHOD 2: WHEN THE PRINT STARTS IN LINE WITH OR BELOW THE SLEEVES 

 

If you have a t-shirt where the top of the print starts below the sleeves, or you’re happy with a portion of the print being trimmed - you can create a single strip of fabric from the t-shirt and apply it to the styrene.

Do this by trimming down the t-shirt and then making a vertical cut up the back of the t-shirt. This creates one long pieces of t-shirt fabric with the print right in the middle.

Apply the styrene to the fabric by peeling back a section and smoothing it onto the reverse side of the fabric. Continue applying the styrene to the fabric in sections. Then follow the same steps as in Method 1 to create your band t-shirt lampshade.

 

Turn Your Old T-Shirt into a Lampshade with Our DIY Lampshade Kit - Check out more great DIY lamp tutorials at http://www.ilikethatlamp.com !

 

Ready to Make Your Own T-Shirt Lampshade? 

 

To figure out the maximum diameter that your lampshade can be, first measure the width of the printed part of your t-shirt. Now multiply that number by 2, then divide it by 3.5. Dividing by pi, or 3.14 will give you the exact dimension, but 3.5 will give you enough of a fabric allowance so that you have some wiggle room.

 

Turn Your Old T-Shirt into a Lampshade with Our DIY Lampshade Kit - Check out more great DIY lamp tutorials at http://www.ilikethatlamp.com !

 

The height of your lampshade is a lot easier to figure out. Simply measure our shirt from top to bottom and decide how much of your shirt's print you want on your finished shade.

 

PART TWO: HOW TO MAKE IT

 

CHOOSING THE RIGHT ASSEMBLY METHOD

Once you have selected a t-shirt to upcycle, you'll need to figure out the best way to showcase the print on your t-shirt. The Assembly Method you choose depends where the print on the t-shirt is positioned - with the print starting above the bottom of the sleeves (where the armpit would be), or if the print starts below the bottom of the sleeves.

 

METHOD 1: WHEN THE PRINT STARTS ABOVE THE SLEEVES 

Click Me!">Download a step-by-step guide

 

T-shirts like this one where the print starts well above the sleeves require you to create 3 pieces of fabric from the t-shirt and apply them to the styrene separately. This is the first Assembly Method, which is covered in the video tutorial above as well as in PDF Instructions.

Download PDF Instructions

 

METHOD 2: WHEN THE PRINT STARTS IN LINE WITH OR BELOW THE SLEEVES 

 

If you have a t-shirt where the top of the print starts below the sleeves, or you’re happy with a portion of the print being trimmed - you can create a single strip of fabric from the t-shirt and apply it to the styrene.

Do this by trimming down the t-shirt and then making a vertical cut up the back of the t-shirt. This creates one long pieces of t-shirt fabric with the print right in the middle.

Apply the styrene to the fabric by peeling back a section and smoothing it onto the reverse side of the fabric. Continue applying the styrene to the fabric in sections. Then follow the same steps as in Method 1 to create your band t-shirt lampshade.

 

Ready to Make Your Own T-Shirt Lampshade? 

 

 

PART 3: TIPS AND TRICKS

 

  1. While the tacky glue does dry clear, it’s important to remove as much excess flue as possible before it dries. Otherwise it can stain the finished shade.

  2. If using a long strip of t-shirt fabric, tape it down to your working surface before attempting to apply the styrene. Make sure you lay it down with the reverse side up.

  3. Make sure you identify which ring goes on the top and which one goes on the bottom.

  4. The top ring has a spider or washer fitting, and you need to ensure that the top ring is placed with the spokes facing down into the shade.

...​​​​​​​And that’s how you turn an old shirt into a striking new lampshade! ​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​

Turn Your Old T-Shirt into a Lampshade with Our DIY Lampshade Kit - Check out more great DIY lamp tutorials at http://www.ilikethatlamp.com !
Turn Your Old T-Shirt into a Lampshade with Our DIY Lampshade Kit - Check out more great DIY lamp tutorials at http://www.ilikethatlamp.com !

 

Fun T-Shirt Lampshade Ideas:

  • Choose a t-shirt of your favorite sports team, band, or vacation spot

  • Turn t-shirts with quirky prints or funny sayings into cool dorm room decor

  • Make a super-personal gift for a friend by using a t-shirt of their favorite college sports team, band, or fictional character

 

Ready to make your own?

Visit our shop for more information and to buy your own DIY lampshade making supplies.

 

PART 3: TIPS AND TRICKS

 

  1. While the tacky glue does dry clear, it’s important to remove as much excess flue as possible before it dries. Otherwise it can stain the finished shade.

  2. If using a long strip of t-shirt fabric, tape it down to your working surface before attempting to apply the styrene. Make sure you lay it down with the reverse side up.

  3. Make sure you identify which ring goes on the top and which one goes on the bottom.

  4. The top ring has a spider or washer fitting, and you need to ensure that the top ring is placed with the spokes facing down into the shade.

...And that’s how you turn your old shirt into a striking new lampshade! 

 

 

Fun T-Shirt Lampshade Ideas:

  • Choose a t-shirt of your favorite sports team, band, or vacation spot

  • Turn t-shirts with quirky prints or funny sayings into cool dorm room decor

  • Make a super-personal gift for a friend by using a t-shirt of their favorite college sports team, band, or fictional character

 

Ready to make your own?

Visit our shop for more information and to buy your own DIY lampshade making supplies.