Lamp Makeover using Highlighter Markers

Yes, you read the title correctly. I used highlighter markers to makeover a lampshade. Who knew?

Yesterday I was at Home Hardware and the guy ahead of me was having trouble with his debit card. While I waited I was browsing the stuff for sale by the cashier and saw these lovely bright highlighters. I grabbed a pack for $1, not knowing what I was going to use them for. They’re always handy to have.



When I got home I took the highlighters to my craft room and there was the lamp under my desk still waiting for its makeover, and it dawned on me. Highlighters on fabric?  Yes… that could work, I thought. It must have been fate because I’ve had this lamp for a couple of months and couldn’t decide what to do with it.

Here’s what my $1 thrift store lamp looked like when I bought it.

Before I used the highlighters on my good shade I did a trial run on a used lampshade that’s seen better days and it worked great. But it does take patience and a steady hand.

To colour the fabric with the highlighters I used short strokes as I filled in, going back over it as I went along until I got an opaque look that I was happy with. I moved slowly so I wouldn’t have any accidents.



First I used the yellow highlighter to colour all the trim. I let it sit for about 30 minutes to make sure it was dry. Because there are six sections to this lampshade I decided to alternate the sections with the pink and green highlighters. I carefully outlined each section first and then slowly filled it in.

One section should be completely done at a time. You can’t walk away from a section when it’s only half done and then finish it later because you’ll have lap lines just like when painting.



I only had one of each colour so after I did a pink section I let that highlighter sit while I did a green one, and vice versa until I was done. This way the highlighters seemed to replenish themselves rather than dry out. Next time I do this I’ll make sure I have two of each colour on hand.



Here’s my finished lamp with the lamp base spray paint with a lovely glossy green. I love the way it turned out. It’s so cheerful!

What do you think? Have you ever coloured fabric with highlighters?


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  1. How creative! I don't need to show my kids this post because they'll be going crazy with the highlighters on every lamp in sight. They love those neon colors so much. Thanks for linking up at Doodles & Stitches!