October 5, 2011

DIY Drum Shade from Metal Flashing

Do you recall the DIY Greek Key fabric I made? 
{if you missed the post head over for the tutorial and for a free printable pattern!}
The fabric belongs to this! My new drum shade. 
Here's how my project started.
One day I stumbled across this post from Classic Casual Home. Remodelaholic was featuring Mary Ann's loft makeover, which is an obviously gorgeous creative getaway. But what caught my eye was the chain of the lighting fixture.
It looks good, right? Not at all like an old brass light fixture with an old brass chain.
Incidentally, there's an old brass light fixture with an old brass chain right here in my living/dining room. 
Oh yeah, and it's even broken. If it were mine I could've fixed it and then painted it with green, high gloss enamel until I replaced it entirely. But since it's not... I decided to purchase a cheap drum shade with plans to either recover or paint it. After shopping around I realized 18 inches not not a cheap or easy size to find.

On to plan B, or C, I looked up ways to DIY a lampshade.
The Keylors, from The Keylor Family, have a awesome tutorial about making a 23 inch drum shade from embroidery hoops! Awesome, right? I have seen a few of these tuts, but they do a great job of explaining how to make the shade. Their version cost them around 20 bucks and it looks like they spent way more!

 I went out to buy supplies and hit a few road blocks, then, that very day, I found this post from Kimbo at A Girl and a Glue Gun
{Stay with me, now-I'm getting there!}
Do you ever have those moments when you see something that someone has made and for a second you think, "No! That was my idea!" Well of course I didn't think that. Not like two people can't have the idea to hide an existing out dated light the same way, right?!
Kimbo used aluminum flashing to create the drum shape and wrapped her own fabric around that. Super smart!

I did the same. This was perfect for me because:
*it is super fast to make
*it is re-adjustable and reusable
*it can be sized {most precisely} to any circumference
*it is easier to get around the existing light fixture

*Aluminum Flashing {comes in different heights and 10 feet long, from Home Improvement Store}-$10
*Tin Snips {from Home Improvement Store}-$6
*Spray Adhesive {from craft store or Walmart}-$5

I purchased my supplies from Lowe's. I picked up two heights because I really wanted to use 10 in  high aluminum but was worried it wouldn't be high enough to cover the old light. Luckily it was, so that's what I used. I thought I had tin snips, but wasn't sure- so picked those up too, just in case! Of course I have spray adhesive, since I use it for everything, but I would run you about 5 dollars. A bonus, you have enough flashing to make several shades if you wanted to.
OK, the directions are super easy. Just measure the aluminum and use the tin snips to cut it to size.
I did two coats of spray adhesive, then applied the fabric on the metal. Make sure all the bubbles are out right from the beginning. Nothing like bubbles to make your new project look homemade instead of purchased.
Here's the view of the underneath. Looks exactly the same as before, white enamel. You have to get right up underneath it to see the bulb.

I only used a piece of electrical tape on the inside of the shade to hold it together.

 I overlapped the aluminum flashing  5-6 inches beyond what was needed to create the shade. That way I could remove the tape and reuse this shade making up to a 23 inch shade without changing a thing. 

You can see fabric on the inside of the shade because the fabric can be removed from the metal. I'm not sure how it will hold up over time, but I thought I'd save the extra, by folding over at the end. Just in case I wanted to remove the fabric and put it on some of the left over aluminum flashing. I could do a 28 inch drum shade in that case. Who knows what lighting our next home will have, but we're looking at older homes, so I imagine we'll need all the lighting we can get.

I love the aluminum flashing for a lampshade. It's stiff and holds a shape without looking a bit wobbly or flimsy. When you're holding 10 feet it's kind of heavy, but when you cut it to size it isn't at all. 
I have the same amount of light as I did before the shade. It looks really pretty shining above and below the light.

My total cost to make the fabric and the shade was $15-16. Though it may cost you more if you don't have tin snips or if you buy a more expensive fabric.

You can see the new drum shade pendent & in the background the mercury glass pendent I made last week. Love the contrast between modern and worn, vintage pieces.
So there you guys go. Two tutorials to make your own drum shade, a printable to grab. two homemade light fixtures for you guys to check out and {hopefully} some DIY inspiration!

Wanna print me?


  1. Yes, this is absolutely perfect! What a great way to dress up a light fixture. You did an excellent job!

  2. You are just AMAZING. It looks much more custom and unique than mine. Great job.

  3. Love the lightshade! What a great idea fot the aluminium flashing!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  4. This looks AWESOME! I say the fabric featured somewhere last week. You are so talented. Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. Looks great! I wonder if I could somehow make a shade for a regular lamp one of these ways?


  6. luv luv it.
    I would love to have you join us at our linking party this week at
    Have a great week,

  7. amazing! i love the pattern. so pretty. great job!

    i would love for you to come link up this or any other amazing project at my creativity party going on right now!


    thanks so much for sharing!

  8. looks so good!!!!!


  9. That looks really lovely. Well done, you did a wonderful job!

  10. That looks so fabulous Becca!! I love the fabric and how clever to use the flashing. You did a great job and we are so glad you shared this with us at Inspiration Friday this week! :-)

  11. That is so cool! and EASY ... well, it looks easy. I had thought of the embroidery hoops but couldn't figure out how to hold them together etc. But flashing ... What else can we make with that ? Hmmm

  12. Amazing, you're one talented girl, I could never do this, I'd have to buy one! Lots of hugs and thanks for sharing. FABBY

  13. looks so amazing. Wow! you did such a beautiful job! I wish I had your patience to cut out the stencil the way you did! Well done!

  14. What a creative redo without changing the basics. An easy undo when the time comes. I am following you and putting a link back from my blog under my Creative... links.
    - Joy

  15. What??? That's un-freakin'-believable. I love this idea! I had no idea the original lamp was underneath---never saw that coming. Great job! Love the fabric as well.

  16. So so awesome!
    I love the fabric you chose!
    I'd love fo you to link up to my very first Fresh Friday Link party!

  17. love the change and transformation. you've made me want to try this on one of my lights. thanks!

  18. wow great transformation! keep it up!

  19. this is so great!! thank you so much for sharing! :)

    -Bonnie @ Revolutionaries

  20. That is pretty impressive! What an awesome re-do. Saw you on TT&J

  21. That is amazing! Now I wish I had an ugly ol' hanging light to make a pretty shade for. Honestly one of the best tutorials I've seen in a long time!

    I’m visiting you from Petite Hermine’s Sunday Linky Party. I also have a Weekend Link-Up that I’d love to have you join. You can link anything related to Homemaking: recipes, sewing, decorating, crafts, DIY, a story about what you did today, etc! There’s a button at the top of my sidebar that you can take to help you remember to come back each weekend.

    Hope you have a lovely Sunday!


  22. These transformations are just amazing. It's so great you can use easy to find materials from the hardware and get a modern-looking shade.

  23. What a great way to change up the old light fixture! It looks amazing.

  24. Great job those look awesome!


  25. Maybe I need to make a drum shade for a couple lamps.: ) That was really clear. Thanks so much!

  26. looks great, i'm stopping by from the lovely poppy and would love for you to come by and checkout the huge giveaway going on that ends thursday- http://thelovelypoppy.blogspot.com/2011/10/blog-follower-giveaway.html xoxo nicole

  27. You always have the best ideas! I truly enjoy your blog!

  28. Featured this today! www.johnnyinadress.com

  29. This is exactly what I need!! Thanks for sharing this tutorial and I have felt that way before when you stumble across someone else having the same idea as you....It's funny...

  30. I love the update. I recently featured you http://decoratingcents.blogspot.com/2011/11/trends-drum-chandeliers.html. Please come by and grab a button.

  31. Totally AWESOME! I'm always trying to find ways to create less expensive lamp shades! This is really good!

    Creatively Living Outside the Box

  32. Love this lamp tutorial. Looks great!

  33. Love it! I have a plan to use this is my dining room.

  34. A touch of genius! Who knew 'flashing' would be so cool!! Thanks for sharing!

  35. WOW wish I had seen this a few months ago, I bought mine from Crate & Barrel and way overpaid for it but it was the only one I could find that I really liked at the time, now they seem to be everywhere.

  36. spectacular! No need to for expensive new light fixtures!! Would LOVE it if you linked up over at our party Trash 2 Treasure Tuesdays on Kammy's Korner!

  37. Nice job! I didn't even notice that it was over your old light until you said it! It's that good!

  38. Awesome!!! LOVE it! I'm making one for sure!

    @ Creatively Living

  39. that looks totally awesome! I love the light update and the fact that you totally transformed the light on a very small budget! you rock!!!

  40. Now that is the ultimate DIY project! I love how it turned out and the fabric is beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing at our Uncommonly Yours link party! Hope to see you next week!

    Take care,


  41. It turned out great. I love the fabric, what an awesome project!

  42. Turned out beautifully! Thanks so much for sharing!

  43. Wonderful idea. Not sure I would attempt this project, but I did hear myself say to someone earlier this week how much I love drum shades. So one of these might be in my future. Thanks for sharing!

  44. Great idea! Thanks for linking up. :)


  45. Wonderful! Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!

  46. Thanks for sharing this tutorial with us. Your drum shade looks fantastic. I saw this post as it was featured from the "Sunday Showcase". Hope, you don't mind but I am going to "pin" it for future reference.

  47. The colors are very pretty and match to all the rooms perfectly.

    real estate ph

  48. Wow! Talk about working with what you have! Great job! Visiting from Tatertots & Jello. :)

  49. I have so much flashing and i've been trying to think of what to do with it... I like this idea!


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