How to make a drum shade

Do you like everything about your apartment, except for that unsightly ceiling light fixture? No need to replace it, just cover it up with a DIY drum shade - it will instantly give your room a more sophisticated and personalized look. See how easy it is to make a customized drum shade that will fit any d├ęcor, all with inexpensive and easily sourced materials: embroidery hoops, poster board and brads. This is do it yourself lighting on a budget that's perfect for renters and anyone looking for a quick upgrade to their lighting fixtures.


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  1. Bea Tobias

    I’ve been looking for a solution to my ugly shade and these instructions are so perfect.
    If I can’t find a plastic mat big enough, do you think plastic mesh canvas, like you used in your earring holder, would be firm enough? Not sure if my old hands could cut the rigid stuff.

    • Isabelle LaRue

      Hi Bea, Glad to hear my drum shade project will help! The mesh canvas could work but it might not sit perfectly flat – using a glue gun to tack into place might help to keep it taut (heavy duty scissors should cut through the material easily enough I would think).

  2. It’s so difficult to find flush mount drum shades – regardless of budget requirements, and you can forget about finding wide, low profile cylinders.

    Discovering I could build my own using these techniques was a very lucky find, and little things like using embroidery hoops will ease the assembly and offer a chance to end up with something that actually looks decent.

    Many thanks for all the work you’ve put into this informative post. I’ll definitely be back.

  3. It’s difficult to find cylindrical drum shades to use in flush mount applications – anywhere, at any cost. It’s even harder to find flush mount lighting like this – very limited modern/clean designs exist online, and there’s always something about each design that I find lacking.

    I consider myself very lucky to have found this page and website at all. I was actually not even looking to DIY my own shade, rather I was shopping for a “straight cylinder drum shade” for a few hours, which eventually led me here.

    I can’t wait to see what I can do with this project guide – especially fond of the idea of using embroidery hoops, as I can imagine they will ensure the drum surface stays parallel, and offer plenty of surface area for gluing. I may try something with earth magnets to make it easy to mount/dismount the shade, but really, this is one of those rare DIY guides that I could literally follow blindly without deviation and still love the results.

    Anyone looking to create their own flush mount drum or barrel cylinder lamp shades should find this information very useful. I hope you get lots of traffic and interest as a result. There’s too much fluff in the DIY community online, so this was a great find for me. Thank you so much! I’ll be following this site – and the EYS amazon store from now on. : )

    • Isabelle LaRue

      Thanks so much Allen! I also couldn’t find what I wanted out there so I was really happy when I figured out a way to make my own and wanted to share with others how to do the same. Hope you’ll share pictures of you make, would love to see! All the best, Isabelle

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