Get Ready to DIY: Create a Pleated Lampshade Without Sewing

Tired of basic, boring lampshades? Want to spruce up your lighting without a lot of fuss? In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to create a beautiful pleated lampshade without sewing a single stitch.

A pleated lampshade adds instant texture, depth and visual interest to any room. However, many pre-made styles can be expensive, and making your own from scratch requires advanced sewing skills. This no-sew method that allows you to craft a custom pleated shade in just a few easy steps.

All you need is a lampshade, ribbon (or fabric), a hot glue gun, scissors and a little patience. By carefully folding and gluing the material around cardboard forms, you can achieve that gathered, layered look we all love about pleated designs – without ever threading a needle.

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Let’s get started on our no-sew pleated lampshade! I used an old lampshade I found at a thrift store for a few bucks. Reusing items is an easy way to be kind to the environment while saving money. The first step is to gather your supplies. In addition to your lampshade, you’ll need scissors, hot glue, and ribbon. Make sure to cue up some of your favorite podcasts or TV shows too – you’ll want some entertainment for while you work!

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Take your ribbon and cut a piece to the same approximate height as your lampshade. Then fold it in half lengthwise and crease it with your fingernail. This will create a neat, crisp fold line to glue. Apply a thin line of hot glue along the top inner edge of your lampshade. Then press the folded edge of the ribbon down firmly. Add a little dab of glue inside the fold to hold it in place as it dries.

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Continue working your way around, gluing down ribbon strips side by side. I overlapped the edges very slightly for a neater finish. Take your time and don’t worry about perfection – the imperfections will add to the relaxed aesthetic.

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Once complete, fold another long strip of ribbon in half and glue it along the top and bottom outer edges for a polished look. You and also add a few more layers on the lampshade to add even more customized flair. Feel free to decorate the outside further if inspired! In no time you’ll have a one-of-a-kind pleated lamp accent. Just add your favorite lightbulb, I always recommend warm white bulbs, and you’re done! Let me know if you have any other questions.


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