Handy Ways To Repurpose Old Lampshades Around The House

Lamps are essential if you want to create a cozy and relaxing environment free from harsh overhead lighting, but even the most simple lampshades can start to feel outdated after a while. Luckily, switching them out is as about as easy as changing up your throw pillows or going for a different color curtain as you don't have to replace the entire lamp in most cases, but you may end up with a leftover stash of lampshades from years past. It might seem like your only option is to store them away for when you're in need of a change yet again or donate them to the thrift store, but there are plenty of other creative ways to reuse lampshades around your house that you might not have considered. When the average person spends upwards of $2,500 a year on home furnishings (via Statista), it's worth it to repurpose and reuse old pieces whenever possible.

If you're willing to get a bit crafty or switch up your perspective, the simple design of a lampshade can act as a convenient starting point for quite a few DIY projects, whether they're purely for decorative purposes or used for something more functional. After trying out a few of these, you'll be able to clear out unwanted clutter while also saving some money on things you might have otherwise purchased around the house — win-win!

Plant stand

If you have a plant that's shorter than the rest of your collection but you're lacking space on your tables or counters, consider making a plant stand to help boost it up and make it look less awkward sitting on the floor. Find a lampshade with an opening about the same circumference as your planter, or repot your plant if necessary. Remove the fabric covering, then simply place the pot inside the top opening of the lampshade to give it a boost. You can also add a coat of paint over the metal frame if it looks a bit dingy or doesn't match your décor.


Canopies are a great way to add a bit of whimsy and comfort to a bedroom setup, but they're often quite expensive despite how simple they are to make. If you want to DIY your own, all you need is an old lampshade with the fabric removed, a hook to suspend it from the ceiling, and several yards of your fabric of choice. Secure the fabric to your lampshade, making sure you cut pieces long enough to drape over the bed without dragging on the floor. Hang your creation on the ceiling, and you have a canopy that's just as good as one that you'd buy at a store.

Bird bath

If you have a glass, Tiffany-style lampshade that you want to find another purpose for, consider turning it into a birdbath. Most of these glass lamps don't have a hole at the top so there's not much work required to make it hold water, and the color and detail in the glass is perfect for adding a vibrant accent to your yard. Simply attach the lampshade with the wide side up to a metal pole or other sturdy base, then secure it with a powerful adhesive like E6000. After it sets, fill it with water, and you'll likely start seeing a few more visitors to your garden.


Climbing plants like morning glory, jasmine, and pole beans require some sort of structure to wrap themselves around, and if one isn't provided, they'll quickly spiral out of control and make their way onto the nearby walls, fences, and trees. To prevent this and keep everything contained, consider using a lampshade with the fabric removed as a trellis. Simply place it over your pot or over the plant to give it a bit of structure. A lampshade is smaller than most trellises, but it's a good option if you need something in a pinch or want to try and keep your vining plant relatively small.

Protect fruit

Whether you're fighting off flies outside or dealing with an unwelcome population indoors, it's important to protect your food from pests. Sweet fruit sitting on the counter or picnic table can act as a magnet for bugs, but a lampshade can help to reduce this problem. Remove the fabric from the metal frame, then replace it with a layer of fine mesh. After covering your snacks with this protective layer, consider setting out a trap right next to it. Bugs will still be attracted to the sweet smell, but they won't be able to feast on your fruit under this covering, meaning you're more likely to trap them.

Wind chime

The stripped-down metal frame of a smaller lampshade can act as the perfect base for your very own custom wind chime if you're willing to try out a new craft. Secure some strings to the top of the shade to attach to a hook from the ceiling, then attach string to the bottom part of the frame to hold your noisemaking wooden or metal pieces. Cut pieces of thin metal pipe or pieces of bamboo are your best bet for a classic design, but you can experiment with different shapes and materials until you find something that you like both the look and the sound of.


Having a baby is expensive, but DIYs can offer a great opportunity to save some money on nursery décor as well as create something handmade that your child will see as special for years to come. A mobile is the perfect example of this, and the frame of an old lampshade can perform well as a base. Remove the fabric from your shade, then attach small decorations to the bottom with string — think felt animals, wooden stars, or paper shapes. After you're done, secure it to the ceiling with some string attached to the top of the lampshade and a hook.

Fabric bowl

If you enjoy sewing or upcycling clothing, it's likely that you have a sizeable pile of fabric scraps lying around. If that's the case, this is the perfect DIY for you. Remove the fabric from your lampshade (or keep it on if you'd rather your end product have a bit more structural integrity) and start to cover the frame in strips of fabric. You can sew these pieces to the metal or use glue depending on your skill level. Cover up the small hole on the bottom, and you have a custom fabric bowl to store fruit, washcloths, or even more scraps of fabric from other projects.

Wreath form

If you're willing to snip down the wires on your lampshade's frame, the individual pieces of metal can be repurposed in even more ways. The larger metal hoop is especially helpful if you like to make your own seasonal wreaths. Use this metal piece as a base to wrap around garland, faux vines, or tinsel to bring some shape to your idea and prevent it from sagging when hung from the door. Just make sure you use something with some volume to it — a thin wire won't bring much heft to the final product, but it will provide the necessary structure.

Hanging garden

With a bit of time and some simple materials, you can use a lampshade frame as a base for your own DIY hanging planter. Grab a couple of lampshades, then remove the fabric from the outside. Attach them to one another with thin chains or rope and hang them from the ceiling, then give everything a coat of paint if your pieces don't match. Your plant pots will be able to rest on the metal wire that would normally be used to secure the shade to a lightbulb. Use smaller, sconce-style lampshades for herbs or flowerpots, or use regular floor or table lampshades for something more substantial.

Cake stand

When you spend hours decorating a cake, nothing is more disappointing than having to display it on a boring plate that takes away from the overall look and effort you put in. Investing in a cake stand can help you avoid this fate if you frequently host, but if none of the options on the market tickle your fancy, consider making your own. The frame of an old lampshade can act as a perfect base to add some elevation when paired with a decorative plate, whether it's fine china, scalloped glass, or even a slice of wood for a more rustic look.