If you don't have sconces and want to light up your mantle, all you need is a pair of lamps!

Mantles are not usually very deep, so you'll need to come up with half shades instead of full size lamp shades. Custom half lamp shades can be ridiculously expensive so I'll show you how to make a couple.

I happened to have an extra lamp shade that I used for this project. You can usually pick up an inexpensive shade at Target, Cost Plus, or Lamps Plus.

First cut the shade in half using either bolt cutters or a hacksaw to cut through the top and bottom frame.

Then cut one of the spokes off the center finial ring. You can then cut the fabric of the shade with regular scissors.

You will end up with 2 half shades. One of the halves will have 2 spokes and the ring (we'll start with this half), the other half will have 1 spoke (no ring).

Decide on the fabric you will use to cover the shade and cut out a rectangle that is large enough to cover the front and fold over the edges by about 1/2". Iron the fabric to remove any wrinkles.


Next apply fabric glue to either the top or bottom front edge of the shade and roll your shade onto the fabric slowly so that it sticks to the shade. I only attach one side to the shade so that I can then stretch the fabric over to the other side once the glue has dried. You can glue the fabric on all at once but you may get a few wrinkles or saggy material that you will not be able to correct after the glue is dry. By gluing one side and waiting for it to dry prior to gluing the opposite side, you will have an anchor enabling you to stretch the fabric over the frame while concealing any blemishes or dents in the original shade.

After waiting 1-2 hours for the glue to completely dry, get out your hot glue gun to attach the rest. Place your already glued and dry side down on a flat surface and stretch your fabric up and over the opposite side (working from one edge over to the other).

Next pull the extra fabric over the right and left side of your shade and glue it down.

Now you're ready for trim. Use your hot glue to trim both the top and bottom of your shade. I used a poly silk cord but there are so many options available to you that you'll find in the fabric store. 

Voila! You're done with your first shade. It's all ready to place on your lamp. Now just follow the same steps with your second shade and then you will need to add a piece of frame and ring to attach it to your second lamp. This is how you proceed.

You will need a piece of wood (I used balsa wood because it is light, super easy to work with, and I had it in my bag of tricks) about 1/4" thick and the length of the diameter of your shade (mine was 13"). You will also need a washer which will fit over the threaded piece at the top of your lamp harp.

First glue (with hot glue) the edges of your wood to both sides of your lamp shade just under the frame at the top.


Next turn your shade over and glue the edge of your washer to the edge of the wood at the center. I used my E6000 glue for this. It's much stronger than hot glue. I first tried this with the hot glue and after placing it on my lamp, it popped off in a few minutes (I guess hot glue doesn't work so well with metal). You'll need to let the glued washer set for 24 hours and then you're all done! Whew!