How to Attach Mini Shades to Update a Chandelier

A simple way to update an old chandelier is by placing mini lamp shades over its light bulbs.

Bring color to a room by adding colored shades to your chandelier.
The shades create a romantic subdued lighting effect that is flattering for a dining room or bedroom. Mini shades come in two different styles. Candle clip shades have a clip that opens up as you press the tops of candle-style bulbs into it. Gimbel style shades have a ring that fits into the chandelier's lamp holder which the "golf ball"-style bulbs are then screwed in over top of. Both styles come in 7-inch shades which are most common for this project. Turn off your chandelier before beginning this project. .

Do any painting or repairing of the chandelier before attaching the shades. Make sure your light bulbs in your chandelier are 40 watts or less and purchase new bulbs if necessary.

Determine what type of shades is needed for the type of bulb you have in your chandelier. Candle or torpedo-style light bulbs are slender narrow bulbs that look like the flame on a candle but have rounded tips. Golf ball-style light bulbs are round. Most light bulbs for chandeliers are going to be 14 mm. Choose candle clip or gimbel shades if you have candle-style light bulbs. Some candle -tyle bulbs have pointed tips that could break if a clip was pushed over it, so use a gimbel-style shade instead for bulbs with pointed tips. Choose gimbel-style shades also if you have golf ball-style light bulbs.

Purchase the number of 7-inch shades needed to cover the bulbs on your chandelier. You can purchase mini shades from lighting suppliers or home improvement centers.

Hold the candle clip shade above the candle-style bulb. Push the candle clip shade's clip gently onto the top of the bulb so the two sides of the clip separate to hold onto the bulb. Adjust the shade so it sets even on the bulb. Repeat until all shades are placed correctly on the bulbs. Remove bulbs from the chandelier's lamp holders if you have purchased gimbel-style shades. Set the gimbel shade over top of the light holder. Set the shade's ring into the light holder. Screw the light bulb into the light holder from above the shade; the bulb will secure the shade in place. Repeat until all shades are placed.


  • Hang colored crystals or glass prisms on to your chandelier for a creative look.


  • Do not use bulbs higher than 40 watts or they could present a fire hazard.
  • Some bulbs may break with candle clip-style shades, so use caution when installing.

About the Author

Rachelle Proulx has been writing since 2000. She co-owns a pet-sitting company, providing her the experience to cover pet care and small business. Proulx is also a flooring specialist who writes about flooring options, preparation, application and maintenance.