How to fix wobbly lamp shade
A wobbly lampshade is an annoyance. It drives you insane every time you walk past it, and the light bulb inside the lampshade shakes. Or maybe a family member or guest can even get hurt from a lamp that’s too shaky, so it’s a safety hazard as well.
So how does one fix a wobbly lampshade? First, of course, if it has screws on top, you tighten them up. But what if there aren’t any visible screws? Here are a few ways to fix a wobbly lampshade without visible hardware.
The Knot Method
Tie at least three knots around the post of your lampshade where it meets with the harp. These loops should all line up in a row, vertically. Make sure each loop is pulled tightly around the post. The horizontal threads on your lampshade should mesh with the vertical threads of the harp when you do this.
You can also wrap a piece of tape around the post and then pull each loop of thread through that. This will give you brand new, clean loops to work with. Just make sure it’s wrapped tightly so there are no creases in the tape; otherwise, it may come undone when you start pulling the knots tight.
For a lamp with an odd number of loops, tie the odd one into the center. Next, fold every other horizontal thread toward the middle, then weave it into that center loop. This will hold all your loops together and tighten your sagging lampshade back up again.
The following three methods for fixing an uneven lampshade are variations of tying knots around the post or tape-wrapping it to make sure you don’t have any creases or bumps in your tape. Once you’ve tried these two simple solutions, you’ll never go back to using scotch tape (or worse!) to fix wobbly lampshades again!
Simple Knot Method
You can use this same method as above; just follow these steps instead.
Lay one loop of thread over the top of the post and directly under where you pulled all your loops. Next, lay another loop parallel to that first one about 1/2 an inch below it. If your lamp is sagging, do this with two more parallel threads on each side of that second loop spaced out evenly. You can weave these in once you get to that step.
Once they’re laid out, grab them by the bottom bar of the thread (where they all meet at the top) and start wrapping them around the post tightly in even intervals. When you reach a good stopping point, make three tight knots with each horizontal piece of thread right next to each other vertically – same as before – except keep them all on the same side of the post.
The Miracle Knot Method
This is another variation of tying or taping knots around the post to keep your lampshade from wobbling. The only difference is that instead of tying three evenly-spaced knots, you tie one big knot around the whole top part of the harp and lampshade right where they meet and pull it down tightly. This knot (the ‘miracle’ part) allows for more give than normal knots. It will loosen up as you adjust your sagging shade back into position and then tighten up again after you’ve finished adjusting it, but not as much as regular tight knots would.
If you want to be sure your lampshades aren’t going to start wobbling again, you can tape the post underneath where they meet with some sturdy electrical or masking tape. This will ensure they won’t move, but remember that it’s not always safe to be messing around with electricity unless you’re an electrician – so if you’re not sure what you’re doing, call a professional instead of taking matters into your own hands.
The Second Miracle Method
Make another ‘miracle’ knot right on top of the original one after you tighten it up nice and snug. This is only necessary if your lampshade is super wobbly – otherwise, don’t bother. You have to decide how much effort you want to put into fixing this problem!
The Tape Method
This is similar to wrapping a few pieces of duct or electrical tape around your lampshade pole. You’ll want to take off any existing harp and shade while doing this since they need to be pulled extremely tight for this method to work. It can damage them if done incorrectly, and we don’t want that! So instead, we need to be exposed to the knobby part at the top (the ‘pole’ of the lamp).
Wrap a few pieces of duct or electrical tape around the top of your lampshade pole, with each piece about two inches apart from the other. Remember to overlap the edges of your tape as you go. You may need to stick a couple of pieces together so they’ll stay tight at crucial places, like where it meets with the harp if you have one.
Once all of the tape is wrapped tightly around your shade’s length, place a flat head screwdriver under one end and pry it apart from the other end very slightly, just enough to slip on either another piece of tape or some string/rope/yarn/twine.
Pull this loop up alongside your shade and pull it as tight as you can. Please do the same with another piece of string/rope/yarn/twine, and then repeat this step until you’ve pulled all the slack out of the tape, and it’s nice and taut.
The Knot Method is typically more reliable, but be sure to pull it extremely tight – tighter than what feels comfortable for you – because your lamp shade could still wiggle around if it’s not pulled enough. The Tape Method may need a little adjusting after each time of turning on your lamp, but it won’t fall apart like knots have been known to do in some cases.
Wobbly lampshades are easily fixed by either knotting or taping around where they meet with their harp or pole. It may take a little work, but it will make your lamp shade stay firm and steady.
Lampshade Repair Tape Pros And Cons
When repairing a torn or damaged lampshade, your best bet is usually to replace it with a new one. However, if you are on a tight budget or simply don’t want to deal with the hassle of shopping for a new shade, you may want to consider using lampshade repair tape.
There are a few reasons why you might want to use lampshade repair tape instead of throwing out your old shade and buying a new one. For starters, lampshade repair tape is very inexpensive. A roll of this type of tape can cost as little as a few pounds, whereas a new lampshade can cost upwards of £20 or more. Additionally, lampshade repair tape is straightforward to use. You simply need to measure and cut the tape to the desired length and then apply it to the seam that needs to be repaired. The whole process takes just a few minutes and does not require any special skills or tools.
While there are some advantages to using lampshade repair tape, there are also some drawbacks that you should be aware of before making your purchase. One of the biggest drawbacks is that lampshade repair tape is not always very attractive. This type of tape is usually made from white plastic and can be quite visible if not applied carefully. Additionally, because it is made from plastic, lampshade repair tape can discolour some types of fabric over time. Another downside to using this type of tape is that it is not always durable. In some cases, the adhesive will lose its stickiness after just a few months, meaning that you will need to reapply the tape on a regular basis.
So, should you use lampshade repair tape? Ultimately, this is a decision that you’ll need to make based on your needs and preferences. If you’re looking for an inexpensive and easy solution, then repair tape might be right for you. However, if you’re concerned about aesthetics or longevity, then you might want to consider other options, such as reupholstering or buying a new shade altogether.
The Rubber Band Method
All lamps with a harp (that metal, spider-web looking bottom part) have some rubber band on them. Sometimes it’s located near the top of the harp where you can see it and frequently tighten it. Other times it’s underneath or hidden somewhere so that you can’t easily reach it without moving everything around on your lamp.
If the rubber band is located above your hand’s access level, use a pair of pliers to grab onto the rubber band as close as possible to its location on the harp. This will prevent you from accidentally pinching some other part of your lamp by using just your fingers.
Pull as hard as you can until the tension loosens off the rubber band. If your lamp isn’t wobbling because it has a loose harp or an unleveled base, then this should fix it. If you can see the rubber band and don’t need to use pliers, here’s what to do:
Hold your lampshade with one hand and put your other hand underneath where you believe the rubber band is located on the metal part of your lamp. Then, gently pull down on the bottom of your shade so that you have enough slack in its cord to pull out whatever rubber band is there.
Tighten up whatever rubbery thing you find below by turning it clockwise so that it feels firm while pushing down harder on whatever part of you’re holding on to with your fingers. If you need more slack, gently pull it out further until you can tighten the rubber band.
Once you have pulled it as far out as possible, turn the rubber band clockwise again so that it’s taut and isn’t wobbly anymore. Push your lamp shade back up into place over the top of the harp by pushing down where you think its hole is located. It may take a little bit of light pressure before the new rubber band tightens everything enough for your lamp to feel sturdy again.
If there are no visible screws on top of your lampshade or its post, then this method should fix things up just fine–and quickly too!
The Ruler or Book Method
Get a ruler or book that’s thick enough to cover the area where your light bulb goes into its socket inside your lampshade. Stack these items on top of each other, then place them over the area where your harp fits into your lampshade and push down firmly for about 30 seconds.
This method is best used with smaller lamps, but larger rulers and books can also be used. Be cautious not to stack more than one item under your harp because the added pressure could crack your light bulb base.
To avoid a wobbly lampshade from happening again, routinely tighten the screws on top of your harp. You should also check for loose or missing bolts where the harp meets with the lampshade itself. A wobbly lampshade can be fixed within a minute or two and doesn’t require any tools.
The Scotch Tape Method
Grab out some scotch tape (or masking tape) and cut long strips that are an inch or two in width. This will prevent your scotch tape from ripping when you try to make a knot with it, which can happen if you take a shortcut and use smaller pieces of scotch tape together.
Wrap the scotch tape around where your harp meets with your lampshade until it’s covered up completely in the tape that’s held together securely. You should add extra pieces of scotch tape to areas that look like they need more support than other parts do. If you use scotch tape that isn’t strong enough to hold up your lampshade by itself, then add a few pieces of string around where your harp meets with your shade. It’s best to use 100% cotton string because it’s free from the chemicals and oils found in synthetic materials like nylon strings.
Wrap the string around and around until you get to the very top and secure it by making two or three knots at the base of your harp on top of where it meets with your lampshade. You can do this for more support by adding additional pieces of string between each knot if needed.
This method is best used for small lamps, but larger ones can also benefit from scotch tape. Use a stronger tape if you’re planning on using this method for a bigger lamp.
How To Fix A Wobbly Lamp Base
A wobbly lamp base is not only unsightly but can also be dangerous. Fortunately, there is an easy fix for this problem! With just a few simple tools and a little know-how, you can have that wobbly lamp base fixed in no time!
Before we get started, there are a few things you’ll need. First, you’ll need a Phillips head screwdriver. Next, you’ll need a small hammer. Finally, you’ll need a piece of cardboard or another thin material that you can use to shim the base of the lamp. Once you have these items, you’re ready to start!
The first thing you’ll need to do is remove the baseplate from the bottom of the lamp. To do this, simply unscrew the two screws holding the baseplate in place. Once the screws are removed, the baseplate should come right off. Set it aside for now; we’ll be putting it back on later.
With the baseplate removed, take a look at the inside of the base. Chances are, you’ll see that one of the legs is shorter than the others. This is what’s causing your lamp to wobble!
Now it’s time to shim your lamp base. Take your piece of cardboard or thin material and place it underneath the short leg of the base. Make sure that the shim is snug against both the leg and the bottom of the base so that it doesn’t move around too much. Finally, screw the baseplate back into place using your Phillips head screwdriver. Make sure the screws are tight so that your shim doesn’t move around. That’s it! Your lamp should now be nice and sturdy!
Please note that this series is not intended as a how-to guide for making repairs to lamps. Please be aware that even if you follow these instructions strictly, there is still a chance that you could damage the light beyond repair. Always consult an adult before attempting to repair items around the home. For larger projects such as furniture or appliances, always consult a professional.
This series is designed specifically for beginning readers who want to learn how to fix common household problems on their own, so please keep this in mind when offering feedback. We appreciate all comments and suggestions!
Thank you for reading our articles! Happy Fixing!