Home>Furniture>What To Do With An Old Lamp Shades

What To Do With An Old Lamp Shades What To Do With An Old Lamp Shades


What To Do With An Old Lamp Shades

Written by: Amelia Brooks

Discover creative ways to repurpose old lamp shades and give them new life as unique furniture pieces. From lampshade ottomans to lampshade side tables, get inspired and transform your home decor today.

(Many of the links in this article redirect to a specific reviewed product. Your purchase of these products through affiliate links helps to generate commission for Storables.com, at no extra cost. Learn more)


Have you ever found yourself with an old lampshade that you no longer have a use for? Instead of tossing it into the trash, why not get creative and find new ways to repurpose or transform it? With a little imagination and some DIY skills, you can turn that old lampshade into a stunning piece of decor that adds a unique touch to your home.

In this article, we will explore some innovative ideas on what to do with an old lampshade. Whether you’re looking to upcycle it, give it a makeover, or find eco-friendly ways to dispose of it, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in and discover the endless possibilities that await your old lampshade.

Key Takeaways:

  • Repurpose old lampshades into plant holders, candle holders, or pendant lights for a unique and eco-friendly decor. Get creative and breathe new life into your old lampshades with these innovative ideas.
  • Give old lampshades a fresh look with DIY makeovers using painting, fabric, or embellishments. Explore endless possibilities to transform your old lampshades into stunning focal points for your home.

Repurposing Ideas

If you’re looking to give your old lampshade a new lease on life, repurposing it is a fantastic option. Here are three creative ways to repurpose your old lampshade:

  1. Upcycling into a plant holder: Turn your old lampshade into a unique plant holder by removing the fabric or paper covering and attaching a small pot or planter. You can hang it from the ceiling or place it on a table or shelf to add a touch of greenery to your space. Fill it with succulents or small indoor plants for a stylish and eco-friendly display.

  2. Turning it into a candle holder: Transform your old lampshade into a charming candle holder by removing the electrical components and placing a pillar candle or a set of tea lights inside. This creates a soft, warm glow and adds a cozy ambiance to any room. You can also spray paint the lampshade to match your decor or add decorative elements like ribbon or beads for a personalized touch.

  3. Transforming it into a pendant light: If you have a lampshade with an interesting shape or design, you can repurpose it into a pendant light. Remove the electrical components, attach a pendant light kit, and hang it from the ceiling. This creates a unique and eye-catching focal point in any room. Consider using Edison bulbs for a vintage or industrial look, or opt for LED bulbs for energy efficiency.

These repurposing ideas not only breathe new life into your old lampshade but also provide functional and decorative pieces for your home. Get creative and think outside the box to transform your old lampshade into something truly extraordinary.

DIY Lampshade Makeovers

If you’re feeling crafty and want to give your old lampshade a fresh new look, consider these DIY lampshade makeover ideas:

  1. Painting and stenciling techniques: One of the simplest ways to transform your old lampshade is by painting it. Choose a color that complements your decor and carefully paint the lampshade using acrylic or fabric paint. You can also get creative with stencils to add patterns or designs. Experiment with different techniques like ombre, sponge painting, or freehand abstract designs to create a one-of-a-kind piece.

  2. Adding fabric or wallpaper: Give your lampshade a cozy and stylish makeover by covering it with fabric or wallpaper. Measure the lampshade and cut a piece of fabric or wallpaper that fits its dimensions. Use fabric glue or double-sided tape to secure the material to the lampshade, smoothing out any wrinkles or air bubbles as you go. This instantly transforms the lampshade and allows you to customize it to match your decor.

  3. Embellishing with beads or trim: Add a touch of elegance and texture to your old lampshade by embellishing it with beads, trim, or lace. Using a hot glue gun, carefully attach the beads or trim to the edges or along the seams of the lampshade. This adds visual interest and gives your lampshade a unique and personalized look. Consider using contrasting colors or textures to create a striking visual impact.

These DIY lampshade makeover ideas offer endless possibilities for transforming your old lampshade into a stunning focal point in your space. Let your creativity shine as you experiment with different techniques and materials to achieve the desired aesthetic. Remember, the only limit is your imagination!

Consider repurposing your old lamp shade by turning it into a unique hanging planter. Simply remove the fabric and hardware, then add a hook and some soil for a creative and eco-friendly way to display your favorite plants.

Donation and Recycling Options

When you’re ready to part ways with your old lampshade, there are several donation and recycling options available. Here are some eco-friendly ways to dispose of your old lampshade:

  1. Donating to local thrift stores or charities: One great option is to donate your old lampshade to a local thrift store or charity. Many organizations accept gently used items and sell them to support their causes. By donating your lampshade, you not only help reduce waste but also contribute to the community and support those in need. Call ahead to ensure they accept lampshades and inquire about any specific guidelines they may have.

  2. Recycling at specialized recycling centers: Lampshades are made from various materials, including fabric, paper, and metal. Some recycling centers accept these materials for recycling. Do some research to find specialized recycling centers in your area that accept lampshades. Check if they have specific drop-off locations or collection events for lampshade recycling. This ensures that the materials are properly recycled and do not end up in landfills.

  3. Reusing components for other projects: If your lampshade is beyond repair or not suitable for donation or recycling, consider salvaging and reusing its components for other projects. The metal frame can be repurposed as a base for a DIY wreath or a structure for a craft project. The fabric or paper can be used for collage artwork or other creative endeavors. Get creative and find ways to give your old lampshade a second life in different projects.

Remember, when donating or recycling your old lampshade, it’s essential to prepare it for disposal properly. Remove any electrical wires or bulbs and clean the lampshade thoroughly. This ensures the item is ready for reuse or recycling and makes the process easier for donation centers and recycling facilities.

By choosing donation or recycling options, you can make a positive impact on the environment and help reduce waste. Consider these options for responsibly disposing of your old lampshade and embrace a more sustainable approach to home decor.

Creative Uses for Lampshade Frames

If you have the lampshade frame but no longer need the actual shade, don’t despair! Lampshade frames can be repurposed in various creative ways. Here are some ideas to inspire you:

  1. Crafting a photo or card display: Use the lampshade frame as a unique and eye-catching display for your favorite photos or cards. Simply attach strings or wires across the frame and use clothespins to hang your photos or cards. This creates a charming and personalized photo display that adds a touch of nostalgia and warmth to any room. Hang it on a wall or prop it up on a shelf to showcase your cherished memories.

  2. Designing a unique decorative wall art: Turn your lampshade frame into a stunning piece of wall art by getting creative with materials and design. Wrap the frame with colorful yarn, twine, or ribbon to create interesting patterns or designs. You can also attach fabric or wallpaper to the frame to match your decor and create a cohesive look. Hang the decorated frame on a wall as a focal point or create a gallery wall by combining multiple frames.

  3. Creating a rustic chandelier: If you have multiple lampshade frames, you can repurpose them to create a rustic and unique chandelier. Paint the frames in a color of your choice or keep them in their natural state for a more organic look. Attach the frames together using wire or sturdy rope, and then suspend the chandelier from the ceiling using chains or ropes. Add lightbulbs or LED candles to the frames to create a soft and warm glow that adds charm and character to your space.

The versatility of lampshade frames allows you to unleash your creativity and transform them into beautiful and functional pieces. Don’t let those empty frames go to waste – repurpose them into something extraordinary!


When faced with an old lampshade that seems no longer useful, remember that there are countless ways to repurpose, transform, and responsibly dispose of it. From repurposing it into a plant holder or candle holder to transforming it into a pendant light, there are plenty of options to give your old lampshade a new lease on life.

If you’re feeling creative, consider giving your lampshade a DIY makeover by painting it, adding fabric or wallpaper, or embellishing it with beads or trim. These simple techniques can completely change the look and feel of your lampshade, making it a unique and customized piece for your home.

But don’t forget the eco-friendly options too! Donating your old lampshade to thrift stores or charities not only reduces waste but also helps support good causes. If recycling is available in your area, take advantage of specialized recycling centers that can properly handle the materials of your lampshade. And if all else fails, get creative and repurpose the lampshade frame for other craft projects.

By exploring these diverse options, you can find new and imaginative uses for your old lampshade, reducing waste and adding a personal touch to your home decor. So, the next time you find yourself with an old lampshade, get creative, think outside the box, and give it a second life!

Frequently Asked Questions about What To Do With An Old Lamp Shades

Can old lamp shades be recycled?

Yes, old lamp shades can be recycled. Many recycling centers accept lamp shades made of fabric, plastic, or metal. Be sure to remove any non-recyclable parts, such as the light bulb socket and wiring, before taking them to be recycled.
What are some creative ways to repurpose old lamp shades?

There are plenty of creative ways to repurpose old lamp shades! You can turn them into hanging planters, decorative baskets, or even unique wall art. With a little imagination, old lamp shades can be transformed into stylish and functional pieces for your home.
How can I update the look of an old lamp shade?

Updating the look of an old lamp shade is easy and fun! You can paint the fabric or add decorative trim to give it a fresh new look. If the shade is made of metal or plastic, consider using spray paint to completely change its color. Adding a new patterned fabric or even decoupage can also breathe new life into an old lamp shade.
Can old lamp shades be donated?

Yes, old lamp shades can be donated to thrift stores, second-hand shops, or charitable organizations. As long as the lamp shades are in good condition, they can be a valuable donation for someone in need of affordable home decor.
How do I properly dispose of old lamp shades?

If your old lamp shades are no longer usable or recyclable, you can dispose of them in your regular household trash. However, if the lamp shades contain hazardous materials, such as lead or mercury, it’s important to check with your local waste management facility for proper disposal instructions.

Was this page helpful?

At Storables.com, we guarantee accurate and reliable information. Our content, validated by Expert Board Contributors, is crafted following stringent Editorial Policies. We're committed to providing you with well-researched, expert-backed insights for all your informational needs.

Related Post