How To Replace A Permanent Lamp Shade and Make a Finial


I absolutely LOVE going to thrift stores! When I go it's like a treasure hunt. While many people go in the hopes of finding hidden gems in usable shape, I go to find old castoffs that I can give new life. Recently I found a lamp in a Charleston, SC thrift store just begging for my love. It was priced at $10 but on the day I went all lamps were half off so I snagged it for only $5!

thrift store lamp makeover built in permanent lamp shade upcycle how to diy tutorial

Looks pretty good, right? However, upon closer inspection, I knew the lampshade would have to be replaced.  Not only was it really warped, it was dingy, brittle and horribly cracked. Here it is once I got it home turned it on in a dark room.  

How to replace a cracked permanently attached lamp shade.

How to replace a built in lamp shade diy home decor tutorial upcycled

However what I did not notice (until I got home) was the REAL reason why someone gave up on it. When I tried to unscrew the finial from the top, I noticed it would not move. The shade and finial was permanently attached and "irreplaceable!" 


What kind of evil sorcery is this?? 

I scoured the internet to see if I could find a replacement shade with finial and came up empty.  At first I just tore the lampshade from the frame with the intention of making a new shade for the permanently fixed frame.  Then I got to thinking, what if one of my kids or cats knocks it off and destroys it? In my crazy house, I could easily find myself in the same boat once again.  I decided the best route would be to see if I can convert it to a (more sane) replaceable-shade, lamp.  So off to the hardware store I went and snagged just what I needed to attach a new shade.


I picked up pack of 6" threaded pipe nipples and couplings.  I found both in the lamp section of the hardware store.

Next I had to figure out what I needed for a new finial.  When browsing standard finials to see if I could possibly convert one to use with it, I found myself disappointed with the limited selection of designs. However I did see this really cool drawer pull (with a completely removable screw) that I really liked for half off in a craft store.  I decided to repurpose it into a finial instead.


To get started on the conversion, I spray painted one the pipes and both the couplings to better match the inside of the lamp.  I didn't want you to be able to look inside of it and see what was obviously replacement parts.


After the paint dried, I screwed the replacement pipe into the base.  I added one of the couplings and screwed it into the position where I wanted the shade to stop.  I then added a standard lampshade.

How to convert a lamp with a built in permanent shade finial diy tutorial

To make the finial I replaced the original drawer pull (or knob) screw with a flat head machine screw to hold it together.  I do not know if drawer pulls come with a standard sized screw but a size #10-24, 1/4 inch screw did the trick for mine.  I then glued the other painted coupling to the bottom using "Amazing Goop" according to manufacturer directions.   I'm not affiliated with this product. I just LOVE it.  It's inexpensive and my go-to glue for a permanent fix.  I picked it up at the hardware store too and highly recommend it.

how to make a lamp finial from a drawer pull knob


I allowed the glue to cure overnight, screwed it on the top and I was all done.  I used a shade that I already had on hand for a picture.  I liked the size and shape of the original better but this looks way better than the cracks! The great part is now I have the opportunity to buy whatever shade I choose! 

DIY Thrift Store Lamp Makeover Tutorial How To Replace Permanent Shade Make Finial

The bowl vase in the pic is also another diy of mine. See: For The Love of Kate Spade! A DIY Rose Bowl Tutorial.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and until next time, happy upcycling!


Topics: #how #to #make #convert #permanent #lamp #shade #replace #finial #repurposed #upcycled #diy #thrift #store #makeover #home #decor


  1. How great! I need to keep this in mind!

  2. This was such an interesting post! Thank you for sharing :)

  3. I am always impressed with your DIY projects! You make it look so easy. I love thrift shopping and will give this project a try as well :)

  4. Great tips indeed. Love it.

  5. I love DIY projects. This one is so handy!

  6. I think you should sell these because thats a good creation ♥

  7. Such a fun and incredible DIY! Def gonna try this out to uplift my room a little

  8. Elizabeth O.11/21/2016

    I would love to make my own lampshade! It's always awesome to upcycle furniture especially when they're a bit plain.

  9. Se manifique! Love the photo journal and descriptions. I've always wanted a lamp in my room. Great DIY for me

  10. Carol Cassara11/22/2016

    Upcycling is awesome especially since you can choose your own design to match the decor in the house! I love easy projects like lamp shades. Thanks for the tips!

  11. I definitely need to remember this! I love crafty diy projects for the home!


  12. Wow, you did a wonderful job :)

  13. I love upcycle diy projects!!! I haven't done a project on a lamp before, this turned out great!

  14. It seams it is not difficult to do it! Still, I think I would let my husband do it instead of me! :)

  15. wow. good job. and i love old fashion lampshades.

  16. That's wonderful diy project. Mostly when items are broken over here they were left to collect dust in a corner since it is difficult to find parts.

  17. Simple elegance. I think it looks very pretty.

  18. Clever fix. I'll have to keep this in mind as I've had to replace a few lamp finials in the past.

  19. Good trick. I will give it a try.


Your comments and feedback is very much appreciated!