Safe Materials for Lamp Shades

With the non-flammable materials, you can easily update the old lamp shade.


Glass offers a vast range of color and texture option. Colored glass can cast a colored right to add a subtle ambiance to the space. Some glass includes bubbles within for visual interest. You can use glass shades from old lamps to create a non-flammable lampshade. You can affix glass pieces in a mosaic pattern to pressure-sensitive styrene shades.


Metal offers several options in terms of color and finish, and it is another non-flammable option for a lamp shade.

At most home improvement stores, you can find punched tin. Punched tin shades are rustic in appearance and offer a range of patterns. Punched tin is flexible enough to bend around a lamp shade frame. If you like, you can punch holes in the tin. So, light shines through to reflect an interesting pattern on your walls.

Copper is another material to make an interesting lamp shade. It develops an attractive patina for an antique look over time.

Paper and Fabric

If you want to use paper and fabric, you need to affix them to a pressure-sensitive non-flammable styrene shade base because they are flammable.

Wallpaper with an adhesive backing offers a wide range of colors, patterns and textures. Shade made of paper can suit almost any décor.

Fabric also offers a range of options. Please use cloth doilies over top of a pressure-sensitive styrene base for an unusual shade.

Shells, Wood and Ribbons

Affixing wood to a pressure-sensitive styrene shade base can create a shade with natural appeal as wood it is warm and natural. Lightweight twigs are ideal for rustic, natural styles while chopsticks create an Asian theme.

Shells offers several options in terms of color and a more modern flair. It is another material that adds natural beauty. Shells can be affixed to the shade base and leave them natural. Of course, you can paint them to match your décor.

Wrapping ribbons around a lamp shade base can create another interesting effect, and lend a softer touch to your decor.

Sizing for Safety

You must keep in mind safety if you want to create lamp shades with unusual lamp shade materials. The higher wattage the bulb, the more heat it will generate. The bulb needs more space around it to ventilate the heat and prevent fire.

To prevent overheating and fire, please look at the critical radius, a standardized measurement.

For instance, there should be at least 2 to 2-7/8 inches of space between the filament and the inside edge of the shade for 26- to 60-watt bulbs.

If the top of the shade becomes hot after turning the lamp on for about five minutes, you need a lager shade.