Craft – Lace doilie lampshade

Inject new life into a tired lamp with old doilies.

Lace doilies aren’t just for the coffee table –  use different sizes to revamp an old lampshade. Mix them together on any style of shade and lampstand, and transform your living space from drab to fab.

Even with a fair amount of hand-stitching, this project is still easy.


  • Wire lampshade

  • Lamp base

  • Good supply of lace doilies-large, medium and  small

  • Iron

  • Pins

  • Needle and thread

  • Scissors

Strip your lampshade of its existing fabric. If there is binding tape on the wire that still looks white(ish!), there’s no problem leaving it on. Otherwise, remove it.

2 Sort through the doilies, discarding any that are stained. Press the remainder with a cool iron. A mix of whites and creams works well together, or you could stay with the one colour.

3 Starting with the largest of your doilies, pin one on the top of the frame, folding over just enough to secure with a pin. Pull down to the bottom of the frame and fold over to pin in place. If your doilies are much larger than the frame, you can sometimes use them diagonally. Repeat all the way around the frame. There will be large gaps, but don’t worry – you can fill these in with smaller doilies. Once the large doilies are pinned in place, whipstitch them onto the top of the frame first, then the bottom.

4 Pin the medium-sized doilies to the upright struts of the frame, as well as to the large doilies underneath them. Sew them into place, attaching to the frame wherever possible. Finish with the smallest doilies, filling in the few remaining gaps there will inevitably be. Replace the shade on your lamp base.

Extracted with permission from Junk Genius by Juliette Goggin and Stacy Sirk, photography by Holly Jolliffe (Cico Books, $54.99). Available from

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