This Post May Contain Affiliate Links. Please Read Our Disclosure Policy.
Tuesday, October 29, 2019


There's nothing I like better than a quick DIY project, especially if it's improving a good thrifted find!  I recently bought an old blue and white lamp from Facebook Marketplace.  When I looked at the listing I fully intended to replace the shade, but upon getting it home it was a nice silk shade and the shape really grew on me!  I shared a photo on my Instagram stories and my super colorful friend Camila suggested that I dye the shade pink... brilliant!  So, I've never done that before but I gave it a try and here's my dyed pink lamp shade tutorial.

Here's the lamp in it's original condition.  Not bad, but in real life the shade was a tad dingy and just felt a little dated even though I liked the shape.

I picked up a variety of dyes from Hobby Lobby.  The "Flamingo Pink" seemed closest in color to what I wanted, but that little packet was only for about 4 cups of water and I was going to need gallons and gallons to dip the shade.  So, I decided to try these larger bottles of dye as well and just play with mixing them together.

Supplies Needed: 
(*This post contains affiliate links, read my full disclosure policy here.)

Rit Fuchsia Dye
Rit Cherry Red Dye
Dylon Flamingo Pink Dye
Disposable Gloves
Container large enough to immerse shade
Bleach for clean-up

I'll add a little disclaimer...  I felt as if I had nothing to lose with this project.  The shade wasn't precious or super expensive so I felt I could take a chance.  If you have a shade that IS precious or super expensive and you don't have a "let's see what happens" attitude, this project might not be for you.  :)

I found a plastic tub that would be deep enough to cover the entire lampshade and put it in the bathtub.  You'll want to do this somewhere that is easy to clean up afterward and convenient to dump out a large amount of dyed water.   And fair warning... wear disposable gloves if you don't want your hands stained, and something different than your brand new Stella & Dot top because no matter how careful you are there's a very good chance that you'll get a splatter or two of dye on your clothes!  #askmehowIknow  Be sure to protect the area around where you're working as well if it's not a surface that can be wiped down with bleach when you're finished.

Following the directions, I started by dissolving the powdered dyes from the packet in hot water that I had boiled on the stove.  I was filling the majority of the tub with the hottest water from the faucet but mixing in the pot of super heated water raised the temp a little more (hot water activates and sets the dye the best).   I followed the basic directions on the package, but also experimented a little with my colors and probably didn't have as much dye for my amount of water that was recommended, but it was fine.

In the photo above I showed a container of salt- I've used it before when dying darker, saturated colors because it helps set the color bring out it's intensity.  However, when I read the instructions I realized that adding salt is for certain fabrics like cotton, but for other fabrics like silk (my shade) you actually add vinegar instead.  So, I added vinegar, my dissolved dye packets, the entire bottle of fuschia dye, and since I wasn't sure if that would be a deep enough color I mixed in the bottle of red too.  Stir with a long stainless steel spoon or something that is either disposable or won't stain.

Then, I held my breath and dunked the shade!  It needs to sit in the dye solution for a period of time, I just experimented with that.  The longer it sits the more intense the color should be.  I had to weight the shade down with some bricks so the entire thing would stay immersed at once, I wanted the color to be even on the whole thing.

I think I let it stay in there for around an hour or a little longer.  I carefully pulled it out of the water and put it in a trash bag so I wouldn't drip dye through my house, then took it outside.  Normally you would rinse your item, but this wasn't going to be getting wet or washed in the future like a shirt might so I didn't need to worry about the dye bleeding.  I just laid it in the grass and let it dry.  The top looks a little darker here just because that part wasn't completely dry yet.

I did hit one snag and I'm not sure why... the inside lining completely tore apart.  I'm not sure if the hot water compromised the fabric or if it was just old and the heat and water did it in, but it was unrepairable.

I ended up just trimming it out so that there's not a liner on the inside at all.  I might add a pretty ribbon or something inside to cover the raw edges at some point, but honestly it's not noticeable from the outside and doesn't bother me.

After I was finished with the dye water in the tub, I slowly and carefully dumped it out.  It did stain the bathtub, but I filled it with warm water, poured in some bleach and let it sit for a while and it was perfectly fine.

So, there she is!  I spent about $10 on supplies and a little bit of time and I'd say this was a successful experiment!  Now I have my eye out for other unsuspecting lampshade candidates around the house...  ;)

Pink lampshade, Rit Dye, Dyed Shade

Rit Dye, Pink Lampshade, Dyed Shade

I'd love for you to join my email list! You'll receive a notification straight to your inbox any time there's a new post on Dimples and Tangles. Simply enter your address below.

Would you like to comment?

  1. Only you! ha I have had trouble trying to refabric a light shade (now there's a topic you could possibly address!), and here you are dying lamp shades. Looks beeeutiful Jen!

    1. Thank you! Do you mean completely putting new fabric on it? I've covered shades that have a simple shape with new fabric, but I don't think I'd tackle taking one down to the frame and redoing! ;)

  2. this is brilliant! love it. thanks for sharing.

  3. What a score! Your color palette is wonderful and I really am glad you posted this DIY trick. Most helpful


Thanks so much for leaving a comment, they make my day! If you have a specific question, please make sure to check back here as I will respond in the thread, or leave your e-mail so that I can respond personally. Or, email me directly to address in "Contact" section at top.