DIY: Paint Sample Lampshade

Today I bring you one of my favorite DIY projects I’ve done to date. This project was quite time consuming, but it was inexpensive and the outcome was so worth it.


  • A LOT of paint tester samples – get a variety of colors
  • A lampshade – I went to Target and found the entire lamp for under $20, shade included.
  • Hot glue gun (or a strong adhesive)
  • Card stock
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • A knife/object to push the triangles into the glue
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon

Step by Step:

1. Using the card stock and ruler, draw out a triangle that is going to be your stock image to trace from. I found making a slightly longer triangle worked best. Then take your scissors and cut out the triangle. It’s best to use card stock, as you’ll be getting a lot of use out of the triangle and the more durable the better.

2. Start tracing! I started off with a pile of paint color samples and on the opposite side of the color I traced triangle after triangle. I tried to fit as many triangles on one sample as possible. Usually getting around 12 in.

3. Cut all the triangles out. By the end I had an entire sandwich baggy filled with triangles. Believe me, you can’t over do it with how many you cut out. Especially if your triangles are smaller and take up less surface area.

4. Next, take all your triangles and arrange them according to color. Or hue and saturation how ever you’d like to do it. Having piles of colors to choose from makes it much easier when you start gluing them to the shade.

5. Start gluing! I used a hot glue gun, which left glue like spider webs all over the triangles. The next shade I make, I’ll be sure to use a more user friendly adhesive. If you use a hot glue gun, you may want to use a butter knife or another object to put the triangles in place and not burn your fingers. You want to glue the first layer of triangles along the bottom of the lampshade, with the longer triangle points facing downwards. Have each points on the side touching the next triangles points. Use whatever color pattern you like. Keep going until you reach the beginning of your triangles.

6. Now on the next layer: repeat.Place the triangles so the longer pointed end comes in between the two triangles beneath it. Angle it just right to cover up any of the lampshade fabric showing beneath it.

7. Repeat. And repeat.. and repeat.

8. After you’ve covered your entire lampshade in triangles, leave a little room at the very top and use your ribbon as trim. Voila. Done! These pictures show tape roping off the top section. My ribbon needs to be ironed, and glued on once all the triangles have finished drying.

If you used a hot glue gun you may want to take a minute and clean up all the glue spider webs that’s sure to be draped all over the lampshade. I took these photos right after I finished, so there’s still some glue webs to be cleaned up.




Filed under crafts, DIY

16 responses to “DIY: Paint Sample Lampshade

  1. Brandilynn

    Thank you so much for this awesome idea. I am going to try it this weekend. Super excited!

  2. The tracing&cutting part, especially, sounds like something to do while watching Downton abbey, or whatever you watch on TV.

  3. Anonymous

    A great idea and a great job.

  4. Pingback: DIY Framed Paint Sample Heart-work | Marie, Oh Marie

  5. KJ

    Way easier to just use a Cricut or Cameo, but still love this!

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  7. Leona

    Great idea. I think I will try a wide braid which might work better or maybe some short fringe braid. Lots of different things to try. Thanks for the directions.

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  10. Hi Stephanie,

    What a cute project! I love it so much that I decided to feature it in our roundup of lampshade crafts! Check it out here:

    Have a great day!

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