Light Me Up Lamp Shade Slip Cover Tutorial

This is so easy you’ll be making these in your sleep!

Lamp Shade Slip Cover Tutorial 18

As part of my Open House preparations I wanted to do a quick reversible makeover of the lamp shades in our bedroom. What better than little slip covers? These were SO easy to make that I’m now tempted to cover all the drab off-white lamp shades in our house. I have not yet tested this on the more squarish lamp shades, but I have a feeling that it will work pretty much the same.

Basically, these are little bands of fabric with elastic at the top and bottom. I went with a slightly unorthodox method of not sewing the side seam until after I made the casings, because trying to fold under the hem for the casings after it was already a circle was way too hard. I’m all for making it easy!

Enjoy!

Light Me Up Lamp Shade Slip Cover Tutorial

Materials
  • One piece of fabric big enough to trace your lamp shade plus about 4 inches. This will depend on how big your lamp shade is, so you’ll just have to test it. My fairly small lamp shade required about 3/4 of a yard.
  • Thread
  • 1/4 inch wide elastic — measure the circumference of both the top and bottom of your lamp and add them together. You’ll need about 2/3 of this length.
Instructions

1. Trace your lamp shade onto the wrong side of your fabric. Start with a point on your shade that you will recognize when you get back to it again — I started at the shade’s seam. Roll the shade over the fabric, tracing the arc that the top of the shade makes as you go. Stop when the point on the shade where you started is back to the fabric again.

Lamp Shade Slip Cover Tutorial 1

2. Then roll the shade back and trace the arc the bottom of the shade makes. Or you can trace them both at the same time by rolling the shade and tracing a few inches at a time of both the top and bottom, then rolling the shade a bit further, tracing some more, etc.

Lamp Shade Slip Cover Tutorial 2

3. Once you have the outline of the shade, draw lines to connect the ends of the top and bottom arcs. In the photo below, this is the inner shape. We need to add some extra for seam allowances and casings, so add 1/2″ to each short end and 2″ to each of the arcs. The outer shape below is your final pattern piece for your slip cover.

Lamp Shade Slip Cover Tutorial 3

4. Cut out your slip cover along the outside lines.

Lamp Shade Slip Cover Tutorial 4

5. Turn up both the top and bottom arcs 3/4 inch.

Lamp Shade Slip Cover Tutorial 5

6. Press.

Lamp Shade Slip Cover Tutorial 6

7. Unfold that 3/4 inch and press under 1/4 inch. If you really wanted to you could press under the 1/4 inch first, followed by pressing another 1/2 inch. I just find pressing the full amount first is more accurate in the end.

Take your time with the turning and pressing. Because of the curves this is kind of fussy, but it’s the only hard part. After this, you’re practically home free!

Lamp Shade Slip Cover Tutorial 7

This is what it looks like when both curves have been turned under twice and pressed.

Lamp Shade Slip Cover Tutorial 8

8. Pin. I recommend pinning here, since the curves and the bias edges make this not want to behave so well.

Lamp Shade Slip Cover Tutorial 9

9. Stitch both of the long curved edges near the folded edge to form the casings for the elastic.

Lamp Shade Slip Cover Tutorial 10

10. Cut two pieces of elastic to 2/3 of the circumference of each circle. If the top of your lamp is 21 inches and the bottom of your lamp is 30 inches, then cut the elastic for the top casing to 14 inches long and the elastic for the bottom casing to 20 inches long. Insert the elastic into the casings. I stick a safety pin through the end of the elastic and feed it through. If you actually own a bodkin, please feel free to use that!

11. When you get the elastic through, line up the end of the elastic with the end of the casing and pin about 3/4 inch from the end.

Lamp Shade Slip Cover Tutorial 11

This is what it looks like when you have all four ends pinned.

Lamp Shade Slip Cover Tutorial 12

12. Fold the slip cover in half with the right sides together so that the two short ends are lined up with each other. It should look like this.

Lamp Shade Slip Cover Tutorial 13

13. Sew a 1/2 inch seam. This seam will also secure the elastic.

Lamp Shade Slip Cover Tutorial 14

14. Finish this seam allowance. I used the seam/overcast stitch on my machine. A zig-zag is good too. This just makes it look neat and keeps it from unraveling when you wash it.

Lamp Shade Slip Cover Tutorial 15

15. Press the seam and turn right side out. Slip onto your lamp shade. Here’s the top view on the lamp shade.

Lamp Shade Slip Cover Tutorial 16

And here’s the front view.

Lamp Shade Slip Cover Tutorial 17

And here it is on the lamp. Pretty cute, eh? And super duper easy!

Lamp Shade Slip Cover Tutorial 18

Please let me know if you need any clarifications.

This was really fun and could easily be customized with all kinds of trims. You could also trace the shade onto paper (tape pieces together to get something big enough if you need to), and sew strips of fabric together until you have something big enough to lay your pattern piece on. Like an improv quilt as a lamp shade! I might have to try that! This time I was aiming for simple and not too attention-grabbing, since I want the focus to be on the quilts!

This tutorial and loads of other free tutorials are indexed at Kostenlose-schnittmuster.de. The site is in German, but you can view the category list in English, and the tutorials are in a variety of languages.

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