How-to: Repair a Torn Lamp Shade

repair a torn lamp shade

Paper lamp shades can tear so easily, but you don’t necessarily have to replace them. Here’s how to repair a torn lamp shade instead!

Dave and I have a super cute floor lamp with a paper shade. We’ve had this thing for years, but for some reason a few weeks ago was when the cats finally noticed that they hadn’t gotten around to destroying it yet. This tutorial is to repair a torn lamp shade shade that’s torn on the bottom, but! I’ve got some variations at the end, in case the tear on your paper lamp shade is in a different place.

I’m not sure how they managed to be so precise, but a kitty seems to have torn the bottom right off of the shade!

torn lamp shade

This is the torn shade turned upside down after I pulled it off of the lamp.

I’d been staring at it for a couple of weeks when my pal Liz came over to hang out and gab, and we got to talking about how I could repair the lamp. Liz suggested ribbon. Genius! Here’s how to repair a torn paper lantern with just a length of ribbon and some fabric scraps for embellishment.

How to Repair a Torn Lamp Shade


  • Torn lamp shade
  • Measuring tape
  • Ribbon
  • Fabric scraps, vintage button, and whatever else you like to make a little embellishment.


1. Remove the shade from the lamp and use your scissors to trim off the damaged part.

damaged lamp

2. Measure around the lamp to see how much ribbon you’ll need. My lamp was 10″ on each side, so I used 40″ of ribbon.

3. Hot glue the ribbon around the edge of the lamp. You’ll want to glue in sections, since hot glue dries so fast.

4. It’s time to make your embellishment! You can really make whatever you want. To make mine, I cut some felt and burlap circles, making sure that the largest circle was tall and wide enough to cover the spot where my ribbon met up. Stitch or glue your embellishment together.


5. Hot glue your embellishment right over the spot where the ribbon meets up. Replace the lampshade, and you’re all done!

lamp shade

Project Variations

  • I used this method to repair a lamp that was torn on the bottom, but you could really use this to cover tears wherever. If your lampshade is torn somewhere in between, you don’t need to trim off the damaged parts – just measure, cut the ribbon, and get gluey!
  • If you don’t want to make an embellishment, you can cut the ribbon 2″ longer than the circumference of your lamp, fold the unfinished edges under by 1/2″, and sew or glue them before you wrap it around. Overlap the ends by 1″ for a finished look.
3 comments on “How-to: Repair a Torn Lamp Shade
    • Mine was in my living room. :) You might check thrift stores! I’m hesitant to recommend buying a new one, since the idea with this tute is to reuse instead of buying new. :)

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