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 dΓ©cor, 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. Savanna

    is there a way to do something like this to a kitchen light? One of those big ugly rectangle ones.

    • Isabelle

      I’m working on a rectangular fixture so stay tuned!

      • Jodi

        Just wondering if you have tackled this yet? πŸ™‚

        • Isabelle

          Not yet!

          • Dani H

            Oh, do please work on a solution for this! I love my rental kitchen except for the really ugly plastic-covered, rectangular fluorescent ceiling light fixture. I’ve added under cabinet lighting for task lights, but the ceiling fixture is not only seen in the kitchen, but from the dining room and living room as well.

            I love your drum shade project and your site!

          • Isabelle

            Those rectangular fluorescent fixtures can definitely be an eye sore!! I’ll keep working on some ideas and hopefully one works out so I can share with everyone πŸ™‚ Thank you!

  2. Tyler

    Hi! I really want to do this, but I don’t have the fixture up there… it’s just the lightbulb and a small base with 2 holes on either side. Are there any other ways to hang it?

    • Isabelle

      Hi Tyler, You could install eye screws into the ceiling and use the s-hooks to hang the drum shade from the eye hooks. Hope that helps, Thanks! Isabelle

  3. B Koepke

    Video won’t load for me. Can you verify it’s still published and viewable please?

  4. P Patel

    I like to create larger diameter 36″ drum shades. What material will you use to create 36″ diameter ring?


  5. Laura-Lee

    Hi, I have an ugly sort of see through drop light fixture that is on a low ceiling. Any suggestions on how to make this shade work?

    I can’t seem to pay this with the picture attached.

    • Isabelle

      Hi Laura-lee – I don’t see the picture you attached showing the fixture you mentioned. Can you try to post it again? Thanks! Isabelle

  6. Clara

    Hi Isabelle,

    I loved this and your pendant lamp tutorial! I’m tweaking a couple things to make my lampshade and I would like to know, does Weldbond Glue tack up quickly or is it runny?


    • Isabelle

      Hi Clara, Weldbond glue is fairly easy to work with and would say it has a medium consistency and does tack up fairly quickly. Hope you’ll share pics of you project! Thanks for watching! Isabelle

  7. Maria

    Hi Isabelle,

    I have followed your instructions and made a beautiful drum shade for my entryway, thank you!!

    I used 10″ embroidery hoops and the fixture I am attaching (or trying to!) the shade to is much smaller than that. I am renting so I’d rather avoid eye screws in the ceiling in order to set it up, so I was trying to use paper clips opened like you demonstrate in the part of the video when you show the 2-tiers shade. The paper clip reaches the holes in the fixture, but I am not quite clear as to how to actually attach the shade so that it ends being as flush to the ceiling as possible (like yours is)…?

    Also, a tip: I used ‘Kids Craft Mat’ ( found at Hobby Lobby for $5.99 in sheets of 18″x24″) as light diffuser. It works GREAT and it’s even easier to cut than paper!

    Thanks again for the great projects! On I go, to the next one!


    • Isabelle

      Hi Maria,

      That’s great! It was a lot of trial and error to adjust the paper clip “s-hooks” to make the shade hang straight. It’s the 3rd paper clip that’s the hardest to put in but it is possible to get it hang straight that way. Hope you were able to make it work? Can’t wait to see a pic of your project!

      And thank you for the tip about the Kids Craft Mat – sounds perfect and I will definitely check it out.


  8. Maria

    Done (in the entryway and dining room)!

    18″ and 10″ embroidery hoops. Fun, pretty, and easy to make. The most painful part is hanging them up!

    On to the bedroom!


    • Isabelle

      Beautiful Maria! It complements your dining room just perfectly!! And I love your curtains, jus tthe right amount of color and pattern πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for sharing and I can’t wait to see what you do with your bedroom!

  9. Zainab Rahman

    Hi Isabelle, I love your videos, they are very informative and fun. Waiting for some new uploads of your outstanding ideas.
    Btw I don’t have any ceiling light but I want to hang a pendant light right on top of my dining table without messing up with the wires in my rental home. Any solution for this?

    • Isabelle

      Thanks Zainab! You can do something like I did in my office – you just need a pendant light kit and use a hook in the ceiling to hang the lamp over your table. You can see how I did it in this video: Hope this helps and please send pics of your project – would love to see what you end up doing! Isabelle

  10. Laura

    Hi Isabelle,

    I just finished making the drum shade and it looks great! The problem though is that I have a different set up and my base has holes under it, not on the sides, and I’m afraid of drilling the ceiling and hitting electricity. What would you recommend?

    • Isabelle LaRue

      Hi Laura, That’s great you finished the drum shade! If the 4 holes for the screws are hallow, I would try using paper clics to do something like I did in the 2-tier lamp shade (see pics), or if that’s not long enough, you could use a few of them to make a small chain (or use small chains if you have them.)

    • Isabelle LaRue

      Here are the pics

    • Isabelle LaRue

      Closer view

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