Turn Leggings Into A Lampshade!

So the other day I was hanging out at Tj Maxx looking at clothes and wishing that they were just fabric on a roll so that I could make something amazing out of them.  This happens more frequently than I care to admit…


I saw a pair of super cute tribal leggings and thought “Mands, that would be such a cute pillow.  Or maybe a lampshade.”  Then literally light from Heaven shone down on me I was like “WHAT?!?!??  LAMPSHADE!!!  I could use the leggings to cover a lampshade!!  Oh my gosh.  Has anyone done this before?  (insert quick Google search that came up empty) WHY has no one done this before?!”  And then I skipped all the way to the checkout line.

I also rummaged through my underwear drawer for a few pair that I was willing to sacrifice for the sake of project mode.  Because I am motivated like that.

How To Cover A Lampshade with Leggings

You will need:

Small Lampshade (this one from Target is what I used and it is the perfect size!)

Tights or Leggings in the largest size that you can find (because lets be honest, xs is not realistically going to happen.) If you want some really cute on trend ones check out Forever 21, they have some fantastic patterns!

Hot glue gun

Scissors or Rotary Cutter


Colored lampshades are hard to come by.  I mean, you can spray paint one, but have you ever seen what a spray painted lampshade looks like when the light is on?  It is not good friends.

But tights/leggings?  Freaking fantastic!

First cut the top of the leg off from the body (use the highest point possible to get maximum width!) put your tights over the lampshade. 

How To Cover A Lampshade


Glue along the edge.


Trim the excess off the top leaving about 1/2” to work with that you can trim off later.

How To Make A Lampshade

Glue along the edge of your lampshade to attach the leggings

Glue along the edge.

Step back, pat yourself on the back because you my friend, are a genius.

So now that you know the process, let me give you the skinny on the leg huggers.

Nylon Tights work AMAZINGLY well. (You can find the tights that I used for $4.75 here the color is Hot Coral) They will stretch like the day is long.  You might have a little bit of color variation where some is stretched tighter, but I think it looks cool.  To combat it you could run a pencil or something long and skinny between the tights and the shade to loosen the grip up a little bit.  To prevent running you need to cut it with a rotary cutter, so stretch it over your shade and mark where it needs to be cut.  Then take it off the shade and cut it with a rotary cutter.

Nylon tights turned into a lampshade

Lampshade Made From Tights vintagerevivals.com


Cable knit tights work really well too.  They have SO much stretch.  In fact the reason that I decided to use these leggings, is because they get saggy after a few hours of wear, so I knew that there would be zero problem with the stretch.

Cableknit Tights turned into a lampshade

Cableknit Lampshade from tights


Woven leggings are sort of like a Chinese finger trap.  When I did this the first time, I measured the length of the lampshade and added 4” to it.  After putting the bottom on and about 1/2 of the top,  I was having a hard time stretching the rest of it without denting the shade.  It worked so much better the second time around. So learn from my mistakes and put them on the shade, glue the bottom edge down, then cut the excess off and glue the top edge down.

Tribal tights turned into a lampshade!

Lampshade Made From Leggings

A few things that I learned:

Buy the largest size that you can find.  I wouldnt go smaller than at least a medium.

Shop the stuff you already have.  I mean, dont lie.  Everyone has at one time or another bought some funky tights at Forever 21 that you were a little too scared to wear once you got them home and showed your husband.  Those? Perfect for this project.

Lampshades covered in leggings

Can you even believe that this is such an easy fix for a boring/ugly lampshade?  If Billy Mayes were alive and sold blog posts on infomercials he would be lovin this idea. (Did anyone else love that show as much as Court and I did?)

Make sure you check out the other posts in the Mandilicious Christmas series!

How To Make A Giant Pom Pom Throw vintagerevivals

Leather Scrap Triangle Pillow Tutorial vintagerevivals.com


Love Your Guts



  1. What an amazing idea – changes the whole look of the lamps! Thanks for sharing!

  2. freaking genius.

  3. Genius!! Love the coral one!!

  4. Linda Weeks says:

    I think you are outrageously talented! What great ideas!

  5. Oh Mandy these are great!!! I love the tribal one.

  6. Brittany D says:

    Stop it. You’re a genius!

  7. That’s insane in the membrane! Aren’t brains so cool?


  9. great idea! did you just use regular fabric/craft glue? or hot glue? I love fun lampshades so this is an awesome idea.
    — jackie @ jade and oak

  10. That is amazing. I can’t wait to spiff up some old vintage lampshades!

  11. Freaking Brilliant. Love it. Have a pair of too crazy for me herringbone tights upstairs that will be my first victim!

  12. This, my friend, is BRILLIANT! :)

  13. This is the best idea anyone on the internet has ever had. Period.

  14. Oh my gosh!! This is freakin fantastic. Totally in awe and can’t wait to try!

  15. Mandi, I LOVE how you can look at things simply as materials, instead of only as what they were originally intended for – leggings, plastic straws, leather couches… Thanks for the inspiration!

  16. Mandy, no one has done this before because only you could think such things. You are so creative girl. You always inspire me

  17. This might be the most genius thing I’ve read, EVER. Life-changingly amazing.

  18. Holy flip! You’ve blown my mind with this one. :)

  19. I love the way your brain works. Brilliant as always!

    xo, amy

  20. Can you say resourceful?! Love them all!

  21. My girlfriend used Christmas stockings on her lamps last year then again for Halloween this year. They are so cute! The possibilities are endless! I thought she was genius too!

  22. Something about this is so Christmas Story :)
    It’s a LEG(ging) LAMP!

  23. I had to take the time to say KUDOS on this idea. I am not a leggings girl, but my lamps can be!

  24. You are amazing!

  25. Love it!

    So now I’m picturing myself trying to stretch my unworn blue cable tights over the shade in the living room… :-)

  26. This is really cute….I will have to try this from my old stash of crazy hose (hope I didn’t throw them all away). Thanks for sharing!

  27. What?! You are rocking it this week. Seriously, blown away every.single.day.

  28. OH, no you didn’t! Dang, girl! I believe that a light from heaven came down when you thought of this idea. God is a creator and there is a piece of that in all of us. Way to follow in His footsteps!

  29. What the WHAT? You have been killing it lately! Wonder how many pair of leggings I can buy without embarrassing myself…

  30. What a fabulous idea, with all the graphic prints that are out there it makes such a statement piece

  31. Awesome! This may be a dumb question: are you putting the shade in the leg or the waist?

  32. As so many others have said before me, you are off the chain this week. Just ridiculously clever and inventive projects. And your photo styling is over the top amazing. Thank you for being you.

  33. You’re flippin brilliant. Why didn’t I think of this?! Leggings will never be the same for me :p

  34. I think you just gave women all over the world a reason to clean our their panty drawers and use those stockings that either has a hole or have never known what to match with anything in their wardrobe. Way to inspire people! :)

    Serena @ Thrift Diving

  35. You are a damn genius.

  36. Mandi, you are a beautiful, beautiful genius. I wish I could hug you. This is AMAZING!

  37. Can you say “Blowing up Pinterest?” Hottest thing being pinned this morning… no lie. Yay! Way to knock it out of the park yet again!

  38. Genius! I have two naked lampshades right now that I have not known what to do with…problem solved! Thanks for the brilliance.

  39. You are brilliant! Really, you inspire me!

  40. You are a freaking genius!!!!! You inspire me to no end!!

  41. This is so freaking amazing!

  42. You are amazing! Love this idea!

  43. Forever 21 has quite a few tights on clearance for $3-5!!

  44. LOVE! How has no one thought of this amazing idea before?? Honestly. Genius my friend. So glad you shared this! :) Just found your blog and may already be addicted…the husband hasn’t been able to pull me away for the last hour…good work on your part :)

  45. what an amazing idea!!!

  46. Mandi, which part of the leggings did u use to cover the lampshades?. Did you use the legs part or the top, the waistband? I tried with the legs and it wouldnt fit. I used nylon leggings and they were XL and my lamshade was same size as yours. Can you please advise, because I do not want to give up.

  47. How does cutting the stockings with a rotary cutter not cause runs, if scissors will?

  48. Mandi. I am doing a “tribalish room” for my 5 year old do you think the well traveled leggins from forever21 would be cute???

  49. You win the genius awards for turning those unwearable tribal tights into an awesome home good. I salute you.

  50. So cool.

  51. It’s like you slipped in just before the Oscar’s of Blogging deadline — guarantee you’re going to win Best Blog Director credit — what a ground shaking idea.
    P.S. I’ve already ordered my tights from Target!

  52. What a fabulous idea! I love that you’re googling while in the store to see if anyone else came up with the same idea!! Its true that lampshades don’t have to only be covered in fabric, I’ve seen some unique lampshade projects in 2013, but this one has top be near the top of the list.

  53. Oh Mandi. This is life changing. I love your creativity!!

  54. First off, this is an awesome project. Second…I laughed so much at the part about buying tights from F21. The moment where my husband would be all…”Yeahhh, where exactly will you wear those???”

  55. Holy cute! what a great idea. I happen to have some tights to try this with.

  56. So wonderful, i like it so much! It´s a great Idea… Thanks for looking

  57. Joyce Anderson says:

    Earlier this year I came up with the same concept except for covering; mini lampshades, ceiling light covers, jars, baskets, planters, trays, chairs seats/backs and, bar soap on a knot. But i didn’t think of leggings, nor for larger lamp shades. Great idea.

    • Joyce Anderson says:

      I forgot, you could also cover; canvas alone or art added for a twist on a canvas, picture board or frame and, even decor plates and vases.


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