diy Stenciled Lampshade

Posted on Feb 26, 2013 in DIY, Home Decor, Slider Image | 11 comments


Recently I had been on the hunt for a lamp to add to my living room. It sounds simple enough, right? Wrong! You know when you have that certain idea of what you are looking for but you just can’t seem to find it. Yep, that was me. {I also have the problem of *forgetting* what I’m looking for when I go from one room to another but that’s a completely different problem!} I finally found a lamp that had potential. Right size, color and brightness but it was lacking something. So I did what any decent DIY’er would do… turned it into what you want it to be.

I started out with this uplight from Target. But the darn lampshade was just so plain it looked like an empty canvas to me. And what do you do with canvas? Paint it, of course! Who doesn’t like an excuse to get out some paints and get crafty? Now let me explain here, I consider myself crafty but not necessarily artistic. So stenciling was the best route for me.
DIY Quatrefoil Stenciled Lampshade

I had tried freezer paper stenciling on a pillow for the holidays and it worked really well. Since then I have been itching to stencil something else. For this project, however, I decided to use self-adhesive vinyl since ironing the lampshade didn’t seem too do-able. Using my Silhouette Cameo, I cut out this geometric background pattern and weeded out (removed) the parts that I wanted to paint so that it looked something like this…


Using transfer tape, I then applied the sticky side of it to the lampshade.

DIY Stenciled Lampshade

At this point I put a quick layer of Beacon Fast Finish Decoupage to seal the edges and help reduce bleeding. After letting that dry, I started to stencil the design using Martha Stewart Auburn Copper Paint and a stenciling brush.

DIY Stenciled Lampshade

It’s hard to resist the urge to pile on the paint but when dealing with stencils it’s important to remember that less is more. Each time you load your brush make sure to dab off the excess paint on a paper towel before you begin to stencil again.

Next came the hardest part for me- waiting for the paint to dry!

DIY Stenciled Lampshade

I managed to hold off until the paint was dry to the touch and then began the most fun part of peeling off the vinyl.

DIY Stenciled Lampshade

I left the vinyl pieces along the edge to help line up the next side.

DIY Stenciled Lampshade

I did this on each side until I ended up with this…

DIY Stenciled Lampshade

Although there was some slight paint seepage that I couldn’t seem to avoid, overall I am thrilled with how this turned out. I am not the most patient person so this was a project that I thought would have tested my limits. But with its success I am even more hooked on the idea of stenciling. First a pillow, then a lampshade- next I may just tackle my bedroom wall that I have been eyeing up!

I know I’m not the first person to stencil a lampshade and I’m sure I’m not the last but as with all my posts I hope you found some inspiration in my little project to incorporate into your own life!


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  1. I love this!!! I need to buy a lamp & pay you to do it for me, lol ;)

    • Thanks Tracy! If this blog thing doesn’t work out maybe I’ll start my own custom lampshade business-lol!

  2. This is gorgeous! I love the design and the copper paint you used! Great job Therese!

    • Thanks- I initially was going to do gold but then changed my mind when I saw all the other pretty options!

  3. This is awesome! I have a lampshade that drives me nuts because it seems so boring I had wondered if it would be possible to stencil it but I wasn’t sure if it would work now seeing yours I’m not so afraid to take this on! You did a fantastic job!

    • I was hesitant at first too but I decided to try it out now because I knew they still had this lamp in stock in case I messed it up! Good luck with your lampshade.

  4. It is really beautiful. After such a great success your head must be buzzing with all kinds of ideas. You make it look so doable.

    • Thanks! Yes, paint + stencils open up a world of possibilities :)

  5. This looks awesome…I want to stencil something on the roller shades in Maeve’s room, but haven’t thought of the right motif yet.

    • Thanks Kim! You should check out Cutting Edge Stencils… they have some great patterns to choose from. You’ll have to post pics when you get them done :)

  6. What a beautiful creation! Thanks for sharing.


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