DIY Upcycled Vintage Playing Card Lampshade




02-DSC_1225A while back I made a lamp shade out of old photo slides. It continues to be one of my favorite lamps ever! Back when I made it, I thought it would be a lot of fun to use the same technique using playing cards. I collect vintage playing cards. I love to use them when wrapping gifts, or sometimes I may frame one. The artwork on them captivates me! This lampshade is pretty simple to make and it only takes a few supplies. I made mine in a little over an hour while I was watching tv with the hubby. It may take longer or not as much time depending on the size lampshade you have. Here’s how I made mine:

Here’s What You Need:

*Vintage Playing Cards (You can find some great ones on Etsy Here)

*Old Lampshade

*1/8″ hole punch

*Ruler and Pencil

*Large Jump rings

*Jewelry Pliers



The first thing you need to do is measure your circumference of your lamp shade and measure your cards and decide how many rows and columns you need. Mine fit three rows of 10 cards. Lay your cards out in a design that you like. Then stack them by row.


Find the middle of your side lengths and top and bottom. Mark in about an 1/8th to a 1/4 inch in the middle of each side.


Punch a hole in each of your marks on your card.


Then use the first card as a template to mark all your other cards. Then punch out the holes on all the rest of your marked cards.



Now you are ready to start joining your cards. Open up a jump ring and load one of your cards on it at the side hole. Then add another card at the other side hole and close your jump ring. You want to make sure your cards end up facing the same way when laid flat. Then add another card to the side of the first two, and so on until you have your first horizontal row.

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Make your other rows. Then very carefully join them together matching up the bottom holes from the top row to the top holes on the bottom row. Join all the rows together.


Next, strip your lampshade of the fabric and plastic so all you have left is the rings. You can use both rings if the shade was a cylinder, or you can use just the top ring if the shade was tapered. Very carefully join your cards at the top to the top ring of your shade with the jump rings. Once you get it on at the top join the cards together at the sides where the ends meet. To finish, add your lamp shade to your lamp and enjoy.




01-DSC_1226I LOVE my new lamp! The whole thing is thrifted, which makes me super happy! The lamp shade and lamp I picked up at the thrift store near me. The playing cards I picked up here and there, and got a bunch on Etsy as well. This lampshade was really simple to make and I really loved laying out my cards to patterns I liked. The finished lamp is sitting on my vintage tv in my living room and I think it is perfect there! I hope some of you will give this one a try sometime. I think you’d love it too! I’ll be back soon with another fun DIY. Until then…

Happy Crafting!

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7 Responses

  1. Adorable. Really fits the style of the base. Clicked thru to the Etsy shop, thinking some of those cards would make cute earring cards.

  2. […] DIY Upcycled Vintage Playing Card Lampshade – 1 freebie(s)? […]

  3. Great way to display the cute graphics of vintage cards..I have a small collection & will give it a go. :)

  4. Love the lamp!!!!