How to Make a Lampshade Out of Used Coffee Filters

How to Make a Lampshade Out of Used Coffee Filters

How to Make a Lampshade Out of Used Coffee Filters

Making a lampshade out of used coffee filters is a fun and creative way to give new life to items that would otherwise be discarded. With just a few simple materials and some basic craft skills, you can easily upcycle used filters into a decorative lamp accessory.

Gather Your Materials

To make your coffee filter lampshade, you will need:

  • Used coffee filters – The more the better! Collect at least 50-100 used filters so you have plenty to work with. You can gather these over time from your own coffee making or ask at local coffee shops.

  • X-Acto knife – For cutting and shaping the filters.

  • Ruler – Helps cut straight edges and measure lampshade dimensions.

  • Pencil – For marking cuts and drawing your lampshade pattern.

  • Glue – White craft glue or clear-drying tacky glue both work well.

  • Lampshade frame – You can purchase a basic lampshade frame kit or use one from an old lampshade.

  • Scissors – For cutting materials as needed.

  • Water spray bottle – Helps soften and shape the coffee filters.

Prepare the Coffee Filters

Before assembling your lampshade, you’ll want to prepare the filters:

  • Remove any plastic or paper parts – Take off any paper sleeves, staples, or plastic lids.

  • Separate and unfold each filter – Gently unfold and smooth out each used filter.

  • Group into stacks – Divide filters into stacks of 10 for easier gluing later.

  • Trim to size – Use scissors or an X-Acto knife to trim filters evenly to the desired lampshade height.

Create a Lampshade Pattern

Next, create a pattern for your lampshade shape:

  • Measure lampshade top – Lay frame face down and measure diameter across the top.

  • Draw top shape – On paper, draw a circle with the same diameter measurement.

  • Measure bottom – Measure across the bottom of the flipped frame.

  • Draw bottom shape – Draw a larger circle on the paper with the bottom diameter.

  • Connect shapes – Draw straight lines connecting the top and bottom circles.

  • Cut out pattern – Cut along pattern lines to create a donut-shaped paper template.

Assemble the Lampshade

Now it’s time to assemble your shade using the coffee filters and pattern:

  • Glue first row – Apply glue around the lampshade top and adhere a filter circle. Smooth gently.

  • Add rows – Working downward, overlap and glue filters in rows around the frame, using your paper pattern as a guide.

  • Apply firmly – Press rows firmly onto each other to bond the filters together.

  • Shape edges – Once assembled, trim bottom edges straight and shape sides evenly as needed.

  • Spray gently – Lightly mist the shade with water to soften filters and help them conform to the shape.

  • Let dry completely before installing on a lamp.

Design Variations

Once you get the basics down, try playing around with different design ideas:

  • Mix filter colors – Use both white and brown filters for an ombre look.

  • Create patterns – Arrange filters in stripes, polka dots, or other repeating designs.

  • Layer materials – Add strips or shapes of colored tissue paper, ribbon, lace, or raffia between filter rows.

  • Add embellishments – Glue on beads, buttons, silk flowers, or other embellishments with craft glue.

The options are endless when crafting with used coffee filters! With a little creativity, you can easily transform free recycled materials into beautiful lampshades.