some things don’t always go as planned…

{warning: picture heavy post!!!}
i wanted needed a light above the girls’ window seat in their room, 
and have been on the hunt for the perfect chandelier for way too long.
a few weeks ago i found a lamp shade frame that called out to me.
it said, “bring me home!”
so i did.

and here’s a little tutorial on taking a lamp shade frame naked to pretty to very questionable.

i used some scrap silk shantung.
isn’t it so pretty?
it frays like crazy and i wasn’t planning on finishing the edges,
so i planned to go the distressed beauty route.

first i measured the circumference of the top of the shade.

then i measured the height.
i knew i wanted 4 layers of ruffles (oh, did i tell you i was adding ruffles?), so i cut my fabric to be double the circumference in length and the height divided by 3 plus 2 inches for overlap (have i confused you yet?).

make sense?  so my strips of fabric were 64 x 6, since 64 is twice of 32 – my top circumference – and the height was 12, which divided by 3 equals 4, plus 2 = 6.

then i had to sew the 2 ends of each ruffle to itself to make a huge circle/tube thing.
then i loosened the tension all the way on my machine and used my largest stitch to ruffle the tube (?), 
starting at one side of the seam i just sewed and ending on the other side of it.

then i pulled one of the 2 threads left by that loose stitch (don’t trim your threads!) and gently made the tube ruffle at the top.

then i had to have something to attach the ruffles to, other than the top ring and bottom ring of the shade.
i wanted 2 more tiers so i divided the height (12) by 3, leaving me 4 inches between sections.
so every 4 inches i marked the shade verticals with a sharpie.

then i got out my glue gun/finger burner and started with a long scrap strip of ribbon.  i glued just a touch to the tip and wrapped that around the vertical piece.

then i moved to the next vertical piece with the ribbon, 
added a touch of glue where i marked with the sharpie, 
and continued to wrap the ribbon around the shade.
then i did that again, 4 inches down at my next sharpie marks.

then i took my first ruffled tube and glued it to the outside of the bottom ring of the frame.

then i did the next row of ribbon up.

and then (did you guess it?) i did the next row!

and finally, all 4 rows done!
pretty right?
i wasn’t really sure i was going for “pretty”.
in a late night (no pictures) crafting frenzy,
my notions threw up on those poor pretty ruffles and turned into something that would be more appropriate for a fiesta!

and i ended up with this.
my advice: don’t craft too late at night when you don’t have any accountability, nobody to stop you.
we haven’t hung it yet since i’m just not so sure i can even handle it in there, but just for you, this is how i had to position myself for this picture.
can you tell how much i love you?
that i would risk my life on top of a dresser just to get you a good shot of a project gone bad!  
have fun doing this on your own, or maybe coming up with something so much more brilliant!  
do share!


  1. 1

    HA! I love it.

  2. 2
    Celeste says:

    Love this! I'm thinking maybe somehow mix in some burlap or something – with the pom-pom fringe/fabric…. love the ruffliness!

    p.s. you obviously put a ton of time into this post… adding all those pics takes forever! but – it's much appreciated :)

  3. 3

    I love it- so fun!

  4. 4
    Sandy a la Mode says:

    awwww i think it's cute!! you should totally hang it up!

  5. 5

    I think it's adorable. You should embrace the quirkiness!


  6. 6
    Out in the Fields says:

    Why not use it ? I bet the girls will love looking at it while they lay in bed!

  7. 7
    Craftify It! says:

    I can see where you are going with the "fiesta" thought, but I think it will look CUTE in your girls room! Thanks for the tutorial, I think I might use this idea somewhere in my house…

    and the pic of you holding it up…made me laugh:)

  8. 8

    I did not see that coming. You are so funny.

    But you know, being the trendsetter that you are, if you had phrased it differently, we all would be notioning up our lampshades even as we speak.

  9. 9
    Between You and Me says:

    so, so pretty. I love it. I'm glad that no one stopped you….just fabulous!!

    Hang it!

  10. 10

    I think that it's cute and fun…perfect for a little girls' room. Best part is…if you dont' like it, just come up with something else ;)

  11. 11
    Empty Nest Full Life says:

    Funky, cute, and definitely girly! What color is the paint in that room? I am looking for a similar color for my laundry room. I love the shade re-do, go for it. Have a blessed Easter. Jackie

  12. 12

    I LOVE it! Adding the same notions to little pillows for the window seat will bring it all together. Too cute!

  13. 13
    Emily@remodelingthislife says:

    I think it and you are really adorable!

  14. 14
    Simply Live says:

    Yeah, I actually like this a lot. It's definitely a cute, girly shade! I would reconsider :)

  15. 15

    Love it!

  16. 16
    twolittletots says:

    i love it and think it was be so much fun in a little girls room.

  17. 17
    Jeannett says:

    I think it's great. For that room. Although I'm loving the non-throw up version for somewhere in my house. Not sure where, but somewhere.

    keep the throw up one there.

    and you weren't risking life and limb…you weigh all of 80 pounds girl!

  18. 18
    DeAndra says:

    Beautiful! I'd love to try this!

  19. 19
    Amber DeYoung says:

    Can I tell you how great this is? Its in my crafts to do list and I hope I remember it in a few years when I have children, lol. by then you will have so many other good things…yikes.

  20. 20

    are you kidding me??? that lamp shade is awesome! what a beautiful piece of art! nice work!

  21. 21

    Awww it's cute. Although I admit, I would look at it and think "What did I do?" every time I saw it, so I'd be taking it apart.

  22. 22
    Melanie says:

    I think that it is adorable!

  23. 23
    blue corduroy says:

    it's adorable! i bet the girls love it too! do it.

  24. 24


  25. 25
    Stacey @ The Blessed Nest says:

    You are so funny! Loved the pic of you on top of the dresser! :) I think for a kids' room it's actually kind of funky & fun! I decided long ago that I have to stop being crafty when I get tired — things always turn out badly if I don't! LOL!!

  26. 26
    rachelizabeth says:

    Girl, you crack me up! I would have done something like this, though. It seems all of my craft projects go bad. I'm just not sure I would have taken pictures and blogged about it, though. :)

  27. 27
    krystina says:

    It's adorable Linds! Thanks for doing all that hard work to share it with us!

  28. 28
    Lee Laurie says:

    I think it turned out so cute! I love it. Great idea!

  29. 29
    Rosita Designs says:

    i think it's WAY cute. if you don't want it, you can send it to me ;)

  30. 30
    Stepping On Cheerios says:

    At least you tried and I bet they will love it even if you don't!

  31. 31
    Lisa Leonard says:

    i like it better plain, but i tend to like things super simple. i think it's darling, especially for a sweet little girls room. those girls are definitely spunky enough to have a whimsical shade like that. xxoo

  32. 32
    Kristen Borland says:

    i love the ruffles!!! (okay, before the notions, i have to admit!) because i have so much extra time and energy, i must put something like this on my list of things to do. i'm totally inspired to hang something pretty above lola's window seat, which doesn't need an actual light (but what girl doesn't need more pretty in their room?!)

  33. 33
    Sprittibee says:

    My daughter would totally love that lamp in her room. ;)

  34. 34

    i love it! the ruffles are sweet and fun! thanks for sharing!

  35. 35

    You are SO cute even if your lampshade cover came out a little sassier than you planned!

  36. 36

    I love it! I also loved it plain. Have you seen the giant ruffles hanging at The Cotton Ball? They have nothin' on you girlie!!

  37. 37
    mandiegirl says:

    super cute! :)

  38. 38
    PS~Erin says:

    How flipping cute! I love it… Sure wish I could sew :-)

  39. 39
    Debilou~Mississippi Mama says:

    love it ,, but liked it better just white, no trim.

  40. 40
    Aimee K. says:

    I think it's adorable! Your projects are all sooo cute:)

  41. 41

    what i like best is that you showed everyone that not all projects turn out the way you plan! everything you do is so cute, i think it shows how great you are to share this project…most would have never mentioned it. and i am not saying it is bad it just isn't as perfect as all of your other adorable crafts…love your blog!

  42. 42
    homesteader says:

    I love this post, love the idea and that you made me laugh before my coffee has done it's job.

Speak Your Mind