Button Crafts and Collectibles: How to Make a Button Lampshade

This is a very easy project, but does take a little time to make. A button lampshade is a fun and unique way to display a button collection or just to have as a conversation piece.

Buttons are easily collected. They can be found in tubs at hobby and craft stores, in fabric stores, in thrift shops, garage sales, flea markets and online. Period buttons from any era, can be found at antique and collectable stores.

It is easy to pick a colour theme with buttons. You can match any room or style depending on the buttons you choose. It takes awhile to collect enough buttons, so unless you go buy a bunch at once, it might be better to collect quiet a few before you begin this craft project. There are also painted and shaped buttons that may feature some item in the room in which you are going to be using the lamp. Some examples are tiny cars, Beatrix Potter or flowers.

Supplies Needed:

1 flat surfaced sturdy lampshade, any size, any colour, for any lamp. It needs to be a non pleated flat surface lampshade so the buttons will stay in place well. It displays the buttons nicely on a flat surface lampshade too. ( I used an off white, lampshade to make the dark blue and the gold or brass buttons stand out more. I also had a few buttons in odd shapes, like tiny blue keys for instance.)

Bias tape ( Measure the top and bottom rims of the lampshade you are decorating, so you will know how much you will need. Allow for a small amount of overlap at the ends. Get enough to go around the top and bottom rims of the lampshade. I used a narrow bias tape, but a wider one is fine too, depending on what look you are going for. )

Hot glue gun

Glue sticks

Tacky white glue ( I used Aleene’s.)

Buttons (How many you will need depends on how thickly you want the lampshade covered with buttons, what size and shape the buttons are, and how large or small the lampshade you are decorating is. This is up to personal taste.)


Start adding the bias tape from the back seam of the lampshade.

Begin by carefully spreading white glue along the rim of the lampshade. Don’t use too much so that it doesn’t run down onto the surface of the lampshade. Don’t put it on all at once or it could dry too quickly depending on how fast you apply it.

Bend the bias tape in half lengthwise as you go., wrong side in. Add white glue to the inside surface of the bias tape. Try to cover the inside surface as well as you can with either your fingertips or a glue brush.

Press the bias tape in place firmly. If any glue does escape from under the bias tape, quickly wipe it off and use a wet clean cloth or sponge to gently clean it off.

Over lap the ends of the bias tape slightly and end it by either making sure you have a clean straight cut or by bending a tiny bit back on itself so there are no loose ends, Glue it down and press it in place.

Start gluing the buttons in place, all around the surface of the lampshade. ( I found it better to put them on all over then slowly fill in the areas that needed them, rather than just concentrating on one area at a time. That way the buttons were dispersed more evenly over the surface of the button lampshade.

Stop every once in awhile and look at the whole piece to see where buttons are needed. Use the hot glue gun sparingly, but use enough to keep the buttons in place.

Make sure you pull off the webs of glue, hot glue guns leave behind when working with them.

Put as many or as few buttons as you prefer on the lampshade.

Tip: The buttons look different when the lampshade is on or off. Keep that in mind when choosing your buttons for the button lampshade craft project.

Put the shade on your lamp base and enjoy your handiwork.

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