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How To Make a Fluted Paper Lampshade

Fluted lampshades can be expensive. Let me guide you through the process of making a simple, budget-friendly version.

I got the lamp on the left from a nearby thrift shop for seven bucks. The lampshade on the right is an expensive one from Anthropologie that costs over a hundred dollars.

Let’s see if I can take my thrifted lamp and create a lampshade similar to the one on the right for less than twenty dollars.

Watch the full step-by-step DIY Paper Lampshade Tutorial:

Tools & Supplies

Step 1: Paint the Lamp Base

I didn’t want any of the electrical components to be painted, so I shielded them from the spray paint with foil and painter’s tape. I used a painting turn table to make painting the lamp easier.

TIP: Foil is a simple and effective way to protect unusually shaped items from getting covered in paint.

I used Rustoleum’s Pure Gold metallic spray paint for the lamp base, and it required two coats.

NOTE: Whenever you use spray paint, I’d recommend applying multiple light coats instead of one thick layer. This will help you avoid drips.

Step 2: Removing the Old Lampshade

I used a pair of scissors to cut away the existing lampshade. It’s important to completely remove all of the old lampshade before painting the lamp rings.

Instead of spray painting the lamp rings, I used my go-to, Rub N Buff. I applied it with a clean cloth, and it only took me a few minutes to make the lamp rings a beautiful gold hue like the lamp base.

Step 3: Adding Bias Tape to Cardstock

Now it was time to make the lampshade.

I took a 12×12-inch piece of cardstock and applied a strip of double-sided tape to the bottom. Then, I added some blue bias tape over the double-sided tape.

NOTE: It’s essential to line the double-sided tape and bias tape up with the edge of the paper. So take your time.

I repeated these steps for the top of the paper as well.

I used a total of four pieces of cardstock for my lamp. The circumference of my lamp was about sixteen inches. You may need more or less pieces of cardstock according to the size of your lamp rings.

Step 4: Cutting the Cardstock

Since the circumference of my lamp rings was sixteen inches, I knew I wanted a gap of two inches between each flute. I cut my twelve-by-twelve cardstock in half. So I would have eight flutes that were 6 inches wide.

Cardstock with bias tape

Step 5: Putting the Lampshade Together

After I cut the cardstock, I put a strip of double-sided tape along the sides of the paper. Then I placed another piece of paper face down on the original paper, and I made sure the edges of one side lined up perfectly.

NOTE: You only want to attach one side together.

Cardstock with bias tape
Cardstock with bias tape

To create the finished product, I repeated the same procedure of adding an extra sheet of paper onto the existing one using double-sided tape. Keep going with this until all the strips of paper have been connected.

Cardstock with bias tape

Step 6: Lampshade Ring Holes

Once all the strips of cardstock were in place, I needed to create openings for the lamp rings. To do this, I employed a hole punch and made two holes on either end of each of the seams, and each hole was located about half an inch away from the lampshade’s top and bottom.

Step 7: Lampshade Ring Slits

Once the holes were punched, I took some scissors and cut a small channel in the center of each opening so that I could fit the lamp rings in the holes.

Step 8: Insert Lampshade Rings

After the slits were cut, it was time to insert the lamp rings into the lampshade. It was easy to do. Simply insert the bottom and top rings into the slits and then adjust the flutes around the rings.

The Final Results

And here is the BEFORE and AFTER of my thrifted lamp. What do you think? I’m in love with the results.

Thrifted Lamp
Thrifted Lamp

Things I Would Do Differently

  1. I would use a different color of cardstock or maybe a patterned cardstock, and I would love to try to make it on a larger scale.
  2. I wonder what would happen if I used a liner and some fabric. I will need to test this out and let you know the results.
Fluted Paper Lampshade

FAQ About DIY Lampshades

What materials can you use for lampshades?

The most popular materials for lampshades are fabric and paper. Each material has its benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to research each material before deciding which is best for your needs.

Fabric lampshades are a popular choice due to their durability and ability to be made in various colors, patterns, and textures. This material is excellent for blocking out the light and providing a cozy atmosphere. However, fabric lampshades are prone to fading and staining over time, so they may require frequent cleaning.

Paper lampshades are also a great option for anyone looking for a more traditional look. Paper lampshades also come in a variety of colors, patterns, and textures and can be made to fit any space. However, paper lampshades are less durable than other materials, so they may not last as long.

No matter what type of lampshade material you choose, make sure it is the right choice for your needs. Do some research and find the material that best suits your style and needs. Whether you choose fabric or paper, you can be sure that your lampshade will look great and provide the perfect amount of light for your space.

Making a DIY fluted lampshade wasn’t difficult. I will definitely be trying this project again.


Make It Easy – is the perfect DIY guide for busy women like you. All the projects can be done with minimal supplies in less than an hour.

Beginners DIY Tool Guide – will teach you about the tools you’ll need to get started on your DIY journey.

Paint Your Space Guide – if you’re overwhelmed by all the paint choices at the home improvement stores? Then this guide is for you.

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