Nate’s 12 Days of Holiday DIYs {Day 1}

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

Hey there! We hope you all got to see our Nate Show episode yesterday.  If not, no sweat, we’ve posted them here on the blog! Okay, now get ready for Day 1 of our 12 days!!  We’re super excited to share today’s project with you because it didn’t get much face time on the show, but is an awesome project that you’ll want to try!
Holiday Handwritten Lamp Shade
We love this DIY project because it’s adorable, BUT it’s also removable! No need to ruin a perfect lampshade just for the holidays. Come January 1st, you can say adios!
  Here’s how I (Monica) did it…
While shopping through Jess’ house, I found these great lamps that Jess had thrifted and added IKEA shades to.  I immediately thought they would look awesome in her Christmas basement!
The best thing about these IKEA shades is that the completely unroll! Score! (If your lamp doesn’t unroll, don’t fret, just wrap the fabric around it and then cut.  A tiny bit more tricky, but good news! You have more than 48 hours to do it! I was in a bit of a rush!) For this project I actually used a khaki sheet from our first Nate Crate Challenge, but you can use any fabric or kraft paper for that matter.  You want to trim your fabric so that there is about 1/4 inch excess on all sides.
 Once the fabric is cut, use a glue gun or adhesive to attach the fabric to the inside of the shade. If using a glue gun, I promise you a few blisters.  I think I still have two! Yikers! Do this step as neatly as you can because it will be slightly visible when the light shines through the shade.
The next step is to grab a Sharpie or fabric marker and write on the shade.  I prefer a Sharpie, because the point is a bit sharper (duh, it’s called a Sharpie! Sorry..cheesy, I know)  For Jess’ shade I wrote the first verse to Joy to the World, but you could write anything.  A poem, quote, story etc…  The only tip here is to stagger your words.  I started the first line with “Joy to the World”… and the second line with wherever the first left off, unless it was too similar.  And, If you’re like me, you might hate seeing your own handwriting, but other people probably think it looks fine.
(Sorry about the frumpy shirt I borrowed from Jess’ husband’s dresser.  It was about midnight at this point!)
 Once the writing is done, just reassemble your shade and admire your handiwork! It makes a cool impact, with a modern touch.  If you like a more traditional feel, you could write in a more script fashion.
So what do you think?  I pretty much love it! (and I think Jess does too!)
So, there you have it a simple Holiday Handwritten Lampshade!
Now, how many of you are going to search through
your house for just the right lamp??
Thanks again Nate for letting us share all the inside scoop of our Nate’s Crate DIYs! Check back Monday for the fabulous accent branch Jess created for me!

The comments +

  1. Anonymous says:

    Where do you guys come up with all your Nate show ideas? So many good ones! I think i may have seen something like this on Pinterest… Do you like that as an inspiration or source? Really great job!

  2. Courtney says:

    LOVE this! Now I need to try it!

  3. Mike H says:

    My wife did this too after seeing the same idea on this website this past summer:

    I saw the show yesterday, Loved the shade and the silhouette artwork. Is that spraypaint? If so, where did you find the stencil used for it?

  4. Mike H says:

    It’s me again. I guess the link didnt work. The shade my wife copied came from a blog called ALittleGlassBox. Also, On the ‘wood wall’ did you put anything over the wood like a clear coat or did you just leave it natural? I’ve read varying opinions online regarding the use of pallet wood indoors and formaldehyde. Any issue with off-gassing do you think? Keep up the great work, and Happy Holidays!

  5. I loved this project! it totally caught my eye on the commercial. so smart, and great effect!

  6. Tanya says:

    Amazing idea! Love it

  7. Anonymous says:

    Yes Mike H, you are correct…it did come from alittleglassbox. It’s pretty sad to steal an idea and not give proper credit. Shame on you guys for this.

  8. Lisa says:


    I was wondering where you get inspiration from too? You guys always do such amazing things. I love you on NATE!

  9. ncostyle says:

    You guys are awesome! I work at home and watch the Nate show for a break and whenever he has you ladies on, it’s a special treat! Thank you for sharing your talent with the world. I hope there is more Real Housewives of Bucks County in my viewing future.

  10. I got a few kind questions about the lampshade from today’s post. I went back and tried to track down my inspiration for the shade. In the midst of a 48 hour challenge it’s just insane and we don’t have time to look online for any ideas, we just have to go on ideas we have in our heads. I did track down the original post I saw ages ago that got my juices flowing. There was also one I posted on Pinterest from They both have some ideas that are a little different than mine if you’re looking for more inspiration.

  11. @Anonymous Hi! Nope, no stealing going on here… we’re not those kinds of girls! I actually forgot that I’d pinned that idea because I had seen one just like it on another blog back in 2010. That’s where my inspiration came from. You should check it out because she does some other cool shades. Thanks for the reminder though, I was sure to contact Little Glass Box and shared her version on Facebook. We’re pretty confident that our readers know that our intentions are pure and that we’re just plain human and sometimes forget things.

    Monica (and Jess)

  12. Olly's mama says:

    Hi ladies! Thanks so much for the shout out! I just heart sharpie shades & I just love how pinterest connects all of us bloggers ;.) Thanks again and have a happy holiday season! Happy crafting!
    -Courtney from

  13. I Love it! So cute… I know what you mean about not liking your own handwriting though, I would feel the same!
    Great work!
    Leanne @ because (i think) i can

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