Custom Shade Pulls DIY

Do you have any shades with regular cord pulls?

Plastic Cord Pulls

Are they these plastic pulls that break?

Broken Plastic Cord Pull

After replacing cord pull after cord pull, I finally had enough.



All you need is a package of one-inch candle cups.

One-inch Candle Cups

Paint them inside and out – two coats.  I used Annie Slow Arles yellow.  And then the real fun begins.

Painting Cord Pulls

Since my shade fabric has cotton bolls on it, I thought it would be fun to mimic those.

Custom Cord Pull DIY

Y’all know I’m not the artist.  That’s PAM, not me.  I rummaged through my Project Studio drawers for some helpful painting tools.  I had no regular pencil eraser (my usual paint dotting tool), so I substituted this plastic thumb tack instead.  Ha!  Magical,  right?

Thumb Tack Paint Helper

Even with unsteady hands, I was able to dot three little paint dabs in a triangle.  I promise anyone can do this.  Don’t stress over making this perfect.  You can see mine isn’t, but that’s part of the fun and whimsy.

Three Paint Dobs

Holding top and bottom with finger and thumb, twirl the cup around to make a few more dot formations.  Scatter the locations so they’re not all in a perfect row.  Randomly scattered is best.

Scattering Cotton Bolls

I love dots, so I  touched the very tip of the thumb tack edge here and there for random tiny dots.  Are you having fun yet?

Cut a short piece of dental floss.  Hey – I said I used random stuff from my stash!  Dental floss is my fancy shmancy gathering tool for ruffling, remember (Gathered Bed Skirt DIY)?

Dental Floss Painting Tool

Dip the floss end into a bottle of green craft paint.

Green Craft Paint

Drag the painted floss from the dot collections off to the edge.

Painting Cotton Stems

With a tiny-point-art brush, connect any skipped areas and add little stems sticking out here and there.  I know.  This is where I need video rolling.  I was so tempted to jump onto Periscope and show everyone what I was doing.

I hope to soon have the video thing figured out so I can show  you stuff rather than using a thousand words and pictures to do it.  Although, I hate being in front of a camera.  I’ll have to get over my self-consciousness.  You got any tips on that?

Anyway, to make leaves, I tried a new special tool from my drawer.  This eraser is so short, it gives you lots of control.

Pencil Eraser Leaf Painting Tool

I recommend dabbing a little of the paint off first before making a dark mark between the cotton bolls.  Connect those to the stems for a base.

Painting Cotton Boll Sections

Again, DON’T go for perfection.  It’s supposed to be fun, remember?  Continue around your cord pull to dress out all the cotton bolls.  Each one should look a little different.

Cotton Boll Details

See how imperfect my painting is?  You can do this, too!  Perfection ruins  these whimsical little shade pulls.  Please don’t ruin yours by making it too perfect!

Now for the not-so-fun part.  Insert the shade cords through the top candle cup hole one a a time.  My fourth one was snug, so a little shove with tweezers into the hole…and then a little pull through from the under side gets the job done.

Threading Cord Pull

Pull through until all the cords are smooth and the same length.  Tie a knot, but don’t pull the cord tails all the way through.  The loop helps secure everything better…and prettier.  Snip the cord ends.

Snipping Cord Ends

Slide your new cord pull down  over the knot so it hides nicely inside the bell.

Completed Bell Cord Pull

See?  Wasn’t that fun?  You’ll be happy to know you’ll never have to replace your cord pull again!

What motif does your shade fabric have?  Would you like to mimic it or do something simple?  Random dots – or just plain paint?  ANYTHING is better than plastic, right?


125 px Signature


  1. KarenG says

    Love it! Years ago I found some great 5in long jewel and gold Christmas ornaments on clearance at Hobby Lobby. I bought all they had. It took me a while to find their home but they look great as my faux wood blind pulls. Since I can’t paint a lick I figure I made out like a bandit! Besides you are way too modest, talent genes ooze from you! ?

    • says

      Thanks for sharing that, Karen! I know others will like to do the same if they find something similar. Me, too, in fact! You did make out like a bandit, and I appreciate the gene pool compliment. I figure PAM is laughing at my frail attempt at artistry. Haha!

    • says

      Wow! I’m not comfortable in an “amazing” category. I just solve problems creatively. Sometimes it looks more like a creative mess, but it meets the need. 🙂