Ever want to redo a DIY project? Give it an update when you just need a visual change? I discovered you could cover a lamp shade with pieces of edge banding, and just couldn’t wait to share the transformation with you all! Our living room lamp shade was originally simple, plain white. It didn’t look great next to our cream colored sofa, so I ended up recovering it with grey fabric a few years ago. The grey actually diffused too much light, so while it looked fine, it wasn’t as functional as I had hoped. If you’re like me and complete a DIY project, you learn to appreciate all the blood, sweat and tears you put into your creation (ok, maybe just burnt fingers from a hot glue gun), and enjoy it!

I recently was looking to refresh the lamp shade and loved the idea of bringing in a natural look (like wood!). Edge banding is typically used to cover the unfinished edges of particle board, or plywood. It gives the impression that the wood is one solid piece. I used it on a bedroom shelving project for one of the kids and liked how it turned out. It’s basically a roll of wood with iron on adhesive on the back.

– Edge Banding
You can find rolls of edge banding at Menards or Home Depot. They come in different sizes and colors, so you’ll have to look at the selection to see what would look good for your project. I settled on this 7/8” white birch color.

– Iron
You can use a regular clothing iron, but I used a very small, Cricut EasyPress Mini for better control.

– Lamp Shade

– Scissors

– Tape measure

1. Measure the circumference and height of your lamp shade to determine how many rolls of edge banding your project will require. Remember that you will need to do a slight overlap of your pieces, so you’ll need to add a bit more material to your final number. (You can also choose to not overlap your pieces, it’s up to you!)

2. Plug in your iron and heat to the appropriate temperature as indicated on your edge band package. Cut out your first piece and line it up on your lamp shade. With direct, even pressure, start on one edge of the cut strip and iron into place.

3. With your next strip, line up one edge vertically with the piece before it. Slightly overlap the piece on top of the previous strip. Iron into place. Keep repeating this process until you get about halfway up the lamp shade.

4. The reason I started working on the opposite end and coming towards the center, was that due to overlapping each strip, it was causing the lamp shade to get bigger and bigger in diameter. I was worried I would run out of edge banding. I was also worried that it would end up wider at one end compared to the other.

5. I finished wrapping the lamp shade by having one piece overlapping the pieces coming from the top half, and pieces coming from the bottom half. You’ll notice not all my pieces meet up at the edge! I made the mistake of cutting all my pieces the same length. I didn’t take into account the fact that as pieces overlap each other, the lamp shade gets thicker. Therefore, your next piece would require a slightly longer strip of edge banding. Have no fear!

6. I used a vertical strip to cover the edges of the strips. It hides all the gaps underneath and gives the lamp shade a clean edge.

– Selecting a wider piece of edge banding would make it easier to layer, instead of working with  thinner pieces (and more of them). It also gives a different look.
– Decide if you want to match up ends of each strip, or if you want to cover over the vertical line with one strip of edge banding (like I did). Overlapping each strip is probably easier in my opinion.
– Measure each piece of edge banding individually to fit around your lamp shade. They will be slightly different lengths due to the slight overlap of each piece as you cover your lamp shade.
– You do have a very short amount of time (we’re talking seconds, not minutes here!) to reposition the adhesive once you’ve warmed it up.
– I found that the two packages I used were slightly different colored. I didn’t notice this toward the end of the project. If it bothers you that the color doesn’t match up perfectly, you might want to alternate strips from different packages so that it isn’t as noticeable.
– I just ironed the part of the edge banding that was touching another piece. I didn’t iron all the adhesive on the back of each strip. My lamp shade is slightly concave (like an hourglass), so I was trying to have less of a concave effect.
– You can also stain your lamp shade when you are finished.

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Carolyn Wieland

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