Shannon Berrey

DIY monogram lampshade

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I bought a pair of these for bedside lamps in my room at the Showhouse.  Only when I put them in place, the shades just didn’t feel like the right scale. My headboard was really oversized and the ceilings were vaulted and I just felt that proportionately, my shades had to be bigger. So, I decided to search for larger ones.  And since I thought a large white shade on a white lamp would be pretty blah, I decided that I would monogram the shades (and paint the birds).

   Linen Tapered Drum Lamp Shade

I really had hoped to score some inexpensive shades but I searched and searched. For an embarrassingly long time I searched. So, my back-up—‘Pottery Barn white linen large’ ended up being the (expensive) winner.

I didn’t want to paint the monogram on. I have done this in the past. They work out ok, but when you paint on an open weave fabric such as linen, you have to use about ½ dozen coats of paint so that they look just as good when the lamp is turned on as it does off. 

Here is an example of another painted project. This is with the chandelier off: 


  And this is with it on (and I used A LOT of coats of paint):


 I decided to make my monogram out of felt. Felt comes in a ton of great colors,
 it’s cheap and most importantly--it doesn’t ravel when it’s cut.

My felt came from Foam and Fabrics in Asheville. They are sold in 9x12 rectangles
and I think they cost about 30 cents. (I have also seen them at Michaels)

Then my search began for the style of monogram to use. My daughter was the inspiration for the room so I was using her monogram--MRL. I played with different fonts on the computer.


 They were feeling a bit too mature. So, I went on a google search
to see what other ideas were available.

I loved this idea. This was the one. 

 I started playing with my letters and the sizes. After creating one, I placed it in the copier
and created different sizes. I then placed each one on the lampshade to see how I liked it.
{sorry the trim at the bottom is already attached--I failed to take the pics before it was attached so I am 'recreating'}


After I found the right size for the monogram, I needed to find the correct size circle
for the scalloped border. I searched where I always do for my circles—my kitchen cabinets.

This pottery plate was perfect.

Then I needed to find the ‘scallop’ shape? Where would you look?
 The refrigerator, of course! (who needs expensive Martha tools—not this gal!)



 The lid of my V8 worked perfectly! 

Then, I cut out the paper template.

Because they don't lay down flat, I lightly spray glued the backs and then stuck them to the felt temporarily.

This way, you don't have to trace them--you simply cut out around the paper and the felt. I highly recommend this step, it really allows you to fine tune your cutting AND it doesn't leave any outlines.

  To find the placement of the monogram,  make sure that the seam of the lampshade is in the back. Then measure to find the middle of the lampshade.

 Start with the middle initial. The felt actually ‘sticks’ to the linen, so you can place them and then mark the top, bottom and sides of each letter on the lampshade with a very light pencil mark.  This way, when you remove them to spray them with glue, they get put back in the correct spot. (These can be erased when you are done)

Spray and attach the middle initial first, then the outside initials, and then the scalloped circle.


Look really carefully and you can see the light pencil marks.

The felt has some give to it so you can shape it a little bit if you don’t attach it exactly straight.  

The last thing I did was to glue some sweet trim to the bottom edge. I was so excited when I found this trim (also at Foam and Fabric). It’s a combination of rick-rack and tatting—reminds me of my grandmother!


This is the glue I used to attach the trim: 



These lamp bases are paper mache. I decided to paint the little birds pink and green.


  That’s it! If you try it, please send me a picture of your project!


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Janell Beals commented on 12-Oct-2010 08:20 AM
Love this idea and what a fabulous job you did. The monogram shades adds a lot to the design, which is gorgeous, btw! I'm posting this on my facebook page! Janell
Erika commented on 12-Oct-2010 08:27 AM
I remember seeing this room in photos from the Cashiers Showhouse! Great work on this lamp as well as the entire room! I actually saved the images for my inspiration file.

Thanks Janell (Isabella and Max) for introducing me to Shannon!
liz @ designing domesticity commented on 12-Oct-2010 08:32 AM
I love it! I want to see the whole room! Great job!
Deborah Milne commented on 12-Oct-2010 09:51 AM
What a magnificent, fun, children's room. Not your typical girls room & therefor I adore it. Thank you for sharing & with such thorough steps.

maureen commented on 12-Oct-2010 10:41 AM
this is just too adorable...bookmarking it right now!
Shannon Berrey commented on 12-Oct-2010 06:55 PM
Thanks everyone for your kind comments! I am excited about being a 'newbie' blogger. Liz- there will be more shots/projects from the rest of the room. Thanks again for sharing my project, Janell!!
Shannon Caprio commented on 26-Oct-2010 10:52 PM
From one Shannon to another...YOU ARE AMAZING and inspirational. I found you by visiting Stacey (Vintage Jane on etsy) and fell in love with the picture of your daughters room with these lamps and Stacey's head pillows! I am going to to do a set of these for my master bedroom and my nieces room and can't wait! Now, tell me where did you find that lovely peacock that is in the room? Love him!! So happy to have found you - thank you for making this world a more beautiful place through your creativity, art and design! XOXO, Shannon
Rachel commented on 08-Feb-2011 05:24 PM
I am in love with the felt lettering on this lamp. I shared a link to your post on my blog ( because I think it's so fabulous. In fact, I love everything you have in the room:).
cassie {hi sugarplum!{ commented on 14-Feb-2011 10:54 AM
This is absolute genius...I'm totally doing it in my daughter's room!!! I've been searching far and wide to find a way...and you've done it!!
Carrie commented on 20-Feb-2011 04:19 PM
This is an amazing idea! I would love to try this myself, but am having trouble finding a printable monogram like this one. (And the image doesn't seem to work above on the one you found) Is there a particular site you visited?
shannon berrey commented on 20-Feb-2011 08:46 PM
Carrie--I got the monogram idea I used from looking at the different fonts at Laplates {}. But, they don't give you a place to actually insert your own to play around with. But, one gal who tried making her own lampshade used this website for her monogram: and my understanding is, they do allow you to create your own here. Hope this helps!
Carrie commented on 21-Feb-2011 11:56 AM
Shannon, Thank you so much for the quick response! I was actually able to use last night to "freehand" my own monograms (with a small plate and ruler as my tools). I used the felt on white pillow shams and I used Steam-a-Seam to apply them. Worked out beautifully.

Thank you again for the great idea!

shannon berrey commented on 21-Feb-2011 01:33 PM
That's great Carrie! So glad it worked for you. I would love to see pics of your project!
Londen @ Sixty-Fifth Avenue commented on 23-Feb-2011 09:58 AM
Hi, I just found your blog via Cottage and Vine. This is such a fun project and you did a fabulous tutorial. Love your bedroom too!

liz@littlepeaceofhome commented on 23-Feb-2011 03:19 PM
this is one of the best tutorials i've ever seen! i LOVE monograms! and i think i am about to go monogram everything in my house! ha
love this!
shannon berrey commented on 23-Feb-2011 03:35 PM
Thanks Londen and Cottage Vine for the shout out!
Liz--you must send me the pics of your newly monogrammed casa!
Mr. Goodwill Hunting commented on 25-Feb-2011 07:27 AM
i am coming over from Cottage and Vine. I am very inspired by your monogram lampshade. What a great job you've done!

Mr. Goodwill Hunting
Kristy commented on 12-Apr-2011 09:23 AM
Just wanted to let you know I tried the felt monogram and mentioned your gorgeous lamp in my post.
Kristy commented on 12-Apr-2011 10:41 AM
Aww, thanks for your sweet comment. I may try again another time. I still LOVE yours and Cassie's!!
Beaufort Belle commented on 17-May-2011 03:43 PM
Fantastic job The room is amazing and the lamp (shade and birds) are the perfect touch!
shannon berrey commented on 17-May-2011 05:12 PM
Thanks Beaufort!
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Shannon Berrey Bio
I'm an artist, interior designer, wife and mom. Join me here as I share projects, ramblings, and inspirations.
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