Using old doilies to make beautiful lampshades: here's 6 ideas you can try out

by Mark Bennett

May 18, 2024


Your grandma's old doilies may no longer be fashionable and, in fact, are rarely seen on display these days. That said, the beauty and grace of the fine lace used to make these intricately woven doilies, is undeniable timeless. So, can we recycle "unfashionable" doilies? Well, they can be used for a range of light fittings! Read on to find out more:


1. A spherical lampshade

A fun and easy project to do is to make a spherical lampshade from doilies. The result will be stunning when the light projects the intricate lace patterns around the room.

To make this lampshade, you only need a large balloon (as big as you want the lampshade to be), enough doilies (or lace) to cover the entire surface of the balloon, a mixture of PVA glue (diluted with water) to stick the doilies to the balloon (and turn them rigid), and a brush to spread the glue.

First, inflate the balloon, then you cover it with the doilies using the diluted glue to stick them down (ensuring you soak each doily thoroughly in the glue). After 24 hours, the glue will have dried completely, and it will be possible for you to pop the balloon, leaving only your "new" lampshade.

An important note: when covering the balloon with the doilies, don't forget to leave space for the bulb and power cable to pass through!


2. A table lamp lampshade

A Beautiful Mess

Do you have a beautiful table lamp that you want to "spruce up"? How about making a doilie/lace lampshade for it? It's actually quite easy to do this: just use the metal frame of any lampshade (in a shape you like, obviously) and cover it with doilies instead of regular fabric.

3. Shabby-chic lampshades

And the same idea (see above) can be used for hanging light fittings. It's very easy to hang the doilies from the circular frame of a typical hanging light fitting. And just check out the example shown here to see how beautiful and elegant these lampshades can look!

4. Colorful chandelier

Here's yet another type of lampshade made with crocheted doilies: this time, however, each one is colored and the shape of the lampshade a hemisphere. Making this lampshade follows the same method used for the spherical lampshade (see above), but only half the balloon is covered. And, of course, remember to leave space for the powe cable and light bulb.

5. Strings of fairy lights

Using the strings of fairy lights - whether connected to the mains or to batteries - not just for Christmastime. There are a thousand ways to decorate fairy lights, and nothing stops you from using doilies (as shown in this example)! 


6. A rigid lantern

In this example, a rigid doilie (thanks to PVA glue) could take the shape of a bowl with a battery-operated light are candle placed. To shape the bowl, you need to inflate a smaller balloon and also make sure to compress the bottom a bit to provide a stable, flattened base.

Which of these projects would you like to try with your old doilies?