Refresh Your Room with a Stenciled Lamp Shade

One of my favorite things about Fall is that—every year—I fall back in love with my house. The cooler temperatures, without fail, put me in the mood to rediscover the joys of home ownership. I find myself once again eager to spend the weekend at home with the hubs snuggled up on the couch, drinking hot tea and reading a book. It also makes me excited to tackle a few small home improvement projects. You know, those little changes that you can make pretty easily, but somehow also instantly give your room an updated look. Well, I found myself wanting to give our master bedroom a room refresh. So I pondered… and pondered… and then, like the rest of the world, I hopped on Pinterest for some Pin-spiration.

Lately, on Pinterest, I’ve been ridiculously delighted by all of the gorgeous lamps I’ve seen. Let me show you just a few of the ones that have inspired me. There’s this to-die-for nature inspired floor lamp that is just about the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen.

 Ana White


One lump or two? Why, I think I’ll enjoy the whole lamp myself. I cannot get enough of this Anthropologie tea cup lamp!! It is utterly fabulous.


Like, you know, $200 worth of fabulous.

And let me introduce you to these two precious peas in a pod… I adore these stunning mercury glass bedside lamps from Pottery Barn. The contrast of the antique glass and the raw texture of the burlap shade is pure perfection. Honestly, I couldn’t possibly choose just one of them. I would need both. And alas, my nightstand is just not big enough for both.

Pottery Barn

And, last but certainly not least, I discovered this black and white beauty. It’s a masterpiece.


That got my wheels started a-turning… Maybe I didn’t have to buy a whole new lamp to achieve the updated look I wanted for my bedroom nightstand. Maybe, just maybe, I could find my inner DIY-er and update my lamp with a new stenciled shade. Beautiful lamps can be fairly expensive, and I wouldn’t mind saving a few of my pennies right now with the holidays coming up.

Guess what, y’all?! I did it… and you can, too!

Here’s what you’ll need:
Lamp shade
Fabric paint
Small foam paint roller
Masking tape
Small foam paint brush

Okay. Put your DIY-hat on and let me walk you through how I did it. First things first, you have to choose your stencil pattern and fabric paint. As you can see I’m partial to the whole organic look and feel, so I went with that sort of earthy-burlapy-looking (yes, that’s the technical, designer name for it) shade. I choose a paint color that I felt would contrast well with the shade… in this case, I felt darker would work best.

Now, as luck would have it, I made this whole little DIY project harder on myself than I should have. The shade I
picked— while fabulous— gets wider at the bottom. That made it a teeny (okay, a lot, actually) bit harder to keep the stencil even when painting the shade. My advice for you is to use a drum-shaped shade. You know, the ones with the walls that are straight up and down. That way, keeping your stencil and patterning even isn’t too difficult.

Okay. Grab yourself some of the masking tape and use it to tape the stencil on to the shade. It should look like this…



Once you’ve taped the stencil to the shade, use the small foam roller to apply the fabric paint. It’s important to apply the paint evenly, which is why I liked rolling it on.



Anyone who knows me will tell you I am not a patient person… I kind of hate that about myself, but I’ve just learned to embrace it. That’s what happens when you turn 30, right? That said—you have to be patient during this project. It’s so, so important to allow each painted section to dry for a few minutes before you move the stencil to the next section of the shade. (Yes, sadly, I learned this piece of advice the hard way…. don’t laugh.)

Now, you just continue around the shade until your meet your starting point. Patience is key… but other than that, it’s not hard at all to stencil your own shade. Oh, and one more piece of advice. If you find that a couple areas of the paint are too light on portions of the shade… whip out your small foam brush and use it for touch-ups.


What do you think? Do you like my new lamp shade? I have to admit, I’m pretty well-pleased. What about you– have you ever used a stencil before on a DIY project? Link up your blog post in the comments if you have…  I want to see your handiwork! I very well may become a crazy, stenciling fool, y’all…  :)




This Post Has 1 Comment

  1. Jordan says:

    WOW Rachel! If you didn’t have pictures of the process as proof, I’d swear you just went out and bought this lamp shade. It’s amazing! And it’s the exact answer to my current lamp shade dilemma, (we have these awful stone mosaic shades that are slowly falling apart, but I haven’t found another patterned shade yet that compliments the room’s colors.) Can’t wait to try this out! Thank you!