Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fiberglass Lampshade Repairs

This is a response to a post by Space Commander over at Atomic Living about the possibilities of restoring damaged or dirty fiberglass lampshades. The plastic or leather lacing on vintage lampshades often becomes brittle and breaks off. The shade in the photo above was missing a lot of the lacing. This is the lampshade after it's been re-laced. I didn't have a blog way back when I repaired this lampshade, so I didn't take a "before" photo. 
Replacement lacing can be found in most craft stores. It's very inexpensive. I think it costs a dollar or two. This is the same stuff we used at summer camp to make bracelets and keychains. It's plastic and stretchy and has a matte finish with a little texture. It looks sort of like leather. I bought the lacing at either Michael's or Hobby Lobby. It looks nearly identical to the vintage lacing on my lampshade.
I took the old lacing off one piece at a time so I would have an example to follow for restringing the shade. The new lacing looks just like the old, except it's not falling apart. For very little money my vintage lampshade looks as good as new!
Here's another lamp that I tried to spiffy up. The shade on the left hasn't been cleaned and the shade on the right has. I followed the cleaning instructions here. I whipped up some dish detergent in a bowl, rubbed the thick suds into the shade, and gently wiped it clean with a damp cloth. 
Dirty lampshade

There is a noticeable difference in the shades, but the shade didn't brighten up as much as I'd hoped. I don't know if the result is worth the trouble and time it took to clean. 

Clean lampshade

7 comments:

Melzaelf said...

Lovely job on re-vamping the lamps they look GREAT!

Space Commander said...

Great advice and a great post!!! I'll be looking for this lacing at Hobby Lobby. Thanks for sharing Jennie... Your lamp is absolutely stunning!

Vintage Christine said...

I have a fiberglass shade with a split and I've been told that it's nearly impossible to fix a split unless it's done professionally. Since I got the shade for a couple of dollars I'm not sure I want to invest alot of money into it. I'm sure there's a way to do it and I'll bet it's on the internet. Now if I can just remember to do it . . . I LOVE that double lamp, by the way. Very unique!

Darlene said...

Nothing at all important to say except great lampshade! :)

1950's_atomic_ranch_house said...

Excellent advice!

I'm also going to try to gently iron some wrinkles out of a fiberglass/parchment shade at your suggestion. Will let you know how it goes!

Jennie@Wedgwood Tulsa said...

Thanks, everyone! Good luck on your future projects.

Traci @ The Bakery said...

I just got one yesterday....I am going to have to try your cleaning technique. I am soooo excited!!

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