How to make a no-sew pleated lampshade

I failed several times before finding a no-sew pleated lampshade method that worked. Turns out, there’s a reason why fold-out lampshades come with a hefty price tag. 😉 But I’m saving you trial and error. If you’ve ever wanted to make one, I’ve got you covered. Pun intended. And no sewing skills are required. If you can work an iron and a hot glue gun, you’re golden. here we are!

I don’t actually recommend using striped fabric for your first run, but for the purpose of my experiment, I used a striped fabric that I had on hand. Keeping the lines straight on the cone lampshade was a little tedious, so I’d recommend basically any pattern other than stripes for this project just to keep it simple and easy.

DIY details

You’ll start by cutting the fabric into 3-inch strips. (Because I was using scrap fabric, my strips were about 2 feet long. But the longer the strip the better, so that you can cover more lampshade before starting a new strip.)

Directions for Making a No-Sew Pleated Lamp Shade

Then you will iron the raw edge to hide the frayed edges.

No stitching lamp shade

Then using a small bead of hot glue, fold it over the top edge of the fabric strip before gluing it to the lampshade for a clean finished edge.

How to make a pleated lampshade without sewing

Attach the tape with a piece of hot glue to the inside top of the shade and wrap the tape around the shade overlapping about 1/8 of an inch to create the illusion of folds. Continue doing this until the shade is completely encased, taking care to start and/or stop a new strip of fabric only at the top or bottom of the shade so that the light when the lamp is on is evenly distributed. (See the process in the video here)

How to make a pleated lampshade without sewing

And that’s it! I really like the finished look, and it took me just over an hour from start to finish… Of course, that was after hours of experimentation that ended in complete failure. 😉 Thank God this method worked! I’m definitely going to be making more “pleated” lampshades now that I’ve figured it out because I just love the custom look. And looking at a fraction of the price is definitely my jam!

Updating a lampshade is the easiest way to breathe new life into a space!

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