gallery wall of mirrors. lampshade tutorial

Back in April, my best girls of Club Project came over to fulfill their day of service to me.  It's really better than Christmas, and it comes twice a year!  Among some of the projects we tackled was a gallery wall of mirrors.  I hauled my collection up from the basement storage room so we had plenty to choose from.  Some of them are new, some are really old, but I love them all!

I love the way it turned out, and I love seeing the mirrors hung, instead of collecting dust in a dark, neglected room downstairs.  The oversize German buffet is one of my best ever finds on Craigslist, and Mia has the slightly smaller twin. The hold-up of this post was due to the back wall needing paint, and the two lamps needing a serious make-over.
I mixed 7 gallons worth of oops paint from Lowes and came up with our new interior color.  It's a different color than anything I have ever used, but I like it and was ready for a change.  And for the total price of $37.50 that will paint the entire first floor, I'm going to learn to LOVE it!

As for the lamps, I've had them for years, and they just needed a little tweaking.  They were really gold once upon a time.  I took some light gray paint, watered it down a bit, and used a small paintbrush to transform the bases.  The original shades were really skinny and flared, so I found a pair at Goodwill for a dollar each and came up with a plan.  Of course, my plan changed as I went, but I have totally come to expect that at this point in my life!

I started with some very lightweight, slightly sheer, gray fabric and cut it as tall as my shade, plus 8 extra inches at the bottom.  Using my glue gun, I started gluing along the top edge.  I glued 2 inches down, then folded the fabric over on top of what I just glued down so the folded edge was even with my starting edge.

Holding the folded fabric, I glued another 2 inches along the top edge.

Now you have a piece of loose folded fabric.....what to do?  Center it and glue both edges down so that you have an outside pleat.  I worked on the top and bottom of my shade at the same time, so that my pleats were (somewhat) even.  I wish I could tell you that I kept on measuring so everything would be exact, but that would be a lie.  And I don't lie.

Just keep gluing and pleating, gluing and pleating.  Mine are far from being the same size.  Don't fret, I have a remedy just around the corner.

Meet up in the back of your shade as best as you can.  Remember, it's the back and hopefully no one will want to examine it.  I had high hopes of leaving my shade with pretty pleats, but alas, I was far too careless and it looked like crap!  Plan B:  Measure 3 inches down from the top, and take a little stitch through your pleat, gathering it up and making it cute.  No one will ever know that they aren't all exactly the same size now.

I cut my fabric 8 inches longer than my shade because I didn't know what I wanted to do at the bottom when I started, and I wanted to leave my options open.  Once I got my needle and thread out, I couldn't stop myself from more gathering!  At the center of each pleat, I gathered the fabric up with my fingers and just started taking some small stitches, making sure the raw edge was tucked up inside and not exposed.  This created a scalloped look at the bottom, and closely resembles the sleeves of my Homecoming dress in 1990.  Gosh I loved that dress.

Hopefully by looking at the pictures you can see what I did, and you can do it too.  If some of your scallops get a little poofy and unruly, use a dot or two of hot glue to tame them.  Hot glue some gimp or trim to the top edge of your shade to finish it off.

Custom lampshades for under $2 each are such a treat! 


  1. l-o-v-e the wall of mirrors! the lampshade turned out ah-ma-zing:)

  2. That new lampshade is WONDERFUL! You are very creative and the rest of your redo is great! Love the paint stratagy!

    Visiting from Restore Interiors Linky Party this week,
    ~Suzanne in IL

  3. What a fabulous lampshade!! And you make it look so easy.....if only I had your skills.

  4. The set up looks Amazing!! I Adore the mirrors :)

  5. These shades look really great! Thanks for a great tutorial.

  6. Wow! I love the idea of mixing oops paints! And that lamp is gorgeous! Thank you for linking to Wicked Awesome Wednesday!

  7. Jilly, I LOVE your work!

    EXTRAORDINARY... I think you just inspired me to make a new STICKER ;)

  8. hi,

    thank you so much for your sweet comment over at my blog! I love your lampshade. I could never pull that off... fabric hates me! Seriously... I'm much more a paint & nails kinda girl :)


  9. WOW--this lampshade is amazing!!! Thank you for linking up to Sew Woodsy last week. We hope you will join us again!

  10. How darling! These turned out wonderful! Thanks for sharing them at Feathered Nest Friday! :)

  11. Jilly,

    I just featured your lamp on my blog...

    Thank You for sharing!

  12. What a fabulous job. I love them.I am going to give this a try.


  13. Oh my goodness I just absolutely LOVE your lampshade!!! I think I am going to have to visit goodwill soon and try to find one to play with ~
    Thank you for sharing the awesome tutorial with us :)



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Mia & Jilly

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