How to Make a Lamp Shade for a Strip Bar Light

Strip bar lights were common light fixtures in bathrooms during the 70s. This type of light is particularly good for applying makeup since the even spacing of the bulbs reduce shadows. These fixtures frequently have exposed lightbulbs that emerge from a flat bar frame that is usually chrome or brass. Exposed lightbulbs create a stark modernistic appearance that doesn't match well with some modern decor styles. But, because the lightbulbs are often spaced as much as 10 inches apart, these fixtures are a perfect candidate for lampshade makeovers.

Step 1

Cut a piece of grosgrain ribbon the height of the end rib. Run a small bead of lampshade glue along the rib and center the length of the ribbon on the wire.

Step 2

Fold the ribbon around the wire and center it. Open the ends of the ribbon and run a second small bead of glue along the inside of the ribbon. Press the ribbon closed. This should look like the outer wire on the side of the shield, wrapped in ribbon with the ends of the ribbon toward the inside. Use bulldog clamps along the wire to hold the ribbon in position for the glue to dry. Repeat this for the other outside rib wire.

Step 3

Place a drop of glue on the bottom side of the bottom wire close to one of the ends you just covered. Position the end of the grosgrain ribbon in the glue with the sides of the ribbon running vertically up the backside of the lampshade. The ribbon will wrap the top wire and return to cover where it started.

Step 4

Angle the ribbon slightly as it crosses up the back of the lampshade for the second time. Add a drop of glue on the top and bottom wires every three or four wraps just to hold the ribbon in place. Continue till you reach the other already covered end wire and finish at the bottom wire with a little more glue. Place bulldog clips along the wire edges until the glue dries (six to eight hours).

Step 5

Remove the clips and wrap (counter clockwise) the lampshade edges in one continuous grosgrain ribbon starting on the bottom right and at least one inch from the corner. Carefully miter the corners and glue the ribbon to both sides of the frame for a clean look. Overlap where you started and finish at the corner being careful to miter it perfectly. (A miter is the joint that forms the corner. Each corner piece is typically at a 45 degree angle so that together they form a 90 degree corner.)

Step 6

Clip the trim and allow the lampshade to dry overnight. Remove the clips and add additional trim if you wish.