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Made With a Shade

You need light but you don't need that tired, outdated lamp. On the other hand, why shell out money for a new one? Here are some easy lamp shade renovation ideas that will shed light on your dilemma, as recently revealed in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine.

Give your old lamp a new lease on life by replacing the shade with a new, self-adhesive lamp shade, covered with a material and design of your own choosing. Available at fabric stores, they come in several sizes and are easy to use. When you're ready to cover the shade, you can select from wall coverings, fabrics or even decorative papers for the right pattern or design to suit your room's decorating theme.

When selecting a covering, remember to consider the geometry of the lamp shade--it's curved and larger at the bottom. Flat patterns won't match at the back, nor will a pattern that has a right-side-up. You're better off going with a smaller geometric design or a mini-print.

Covering the shade is a snap. Remove the peel-off protective wrapper but don't throw it away! You'll use the wrapper as your cutting pattern. Trace the pattern on the reverse side of your material and add one inch all around. Carefully press the paper to the shade. There's no need for glue until you get to seams. At the back seam, turn the edges under and glue with fabric glue or hot glue. Bend the top edge to the inside and glue.

Another technique we suggest, short of replacing the shade, is adding decorative touches to your existing one. Hang tassels from the top. Or for a southwestern look, weave a strip of rawhide around the top and bottom edges. Fabric stores have metal buttons or other decorations to complete your motif.