Thursday, April 17, 2014


DIY Rope Lampshade

This was another fun project for my friend Heather's little boy's room...

The lampshade was donated by our friend Barbara.  It came with a lamp purchased for her master bedroom re-decorating project and needless to say - she was not interested in using it.  It was replaced with a MUCH cuter woven shade from Pottery Barn.


Since the lamp shade had a pattern - I wanted to spray paint it a dark color to make sure the pattern and light parts of the shade would not show through between the rope.  Before spray painting the shade, to prevent overspray - I taped a plastic bag to the inside top of the shade.



I used whatever dark spray paint I had on hand, in this case it was a dark brown.  I have tons of spray paint leftover from projects.

I found rope at Lowe's. It is one of their basic packages of twisted sisal rope...
Sisal Rope for lampshade

So here is the lampshade painted and ready to go.  The brown spray paint did not cover the pattern completely, but I felt this was good enough.

DIY Rope Lampshade

I was concerned about the rope ending up lopsided, so I drew some level lines all the way around the shade as a reference point to keep the rope level as I wrapped and glued the rope.  I marked the lines with a permanent maker taped to a ruler, marking the shade by spinning the shade, while I held the marker against the shade.

DIY Rope Lampshade - draw level lines on shade

I started with the end of the rope at the seam on the back.  Note - Put some extra hot glue on the end of the rope to keep it from unraveling.

DIY Rope Lampshade - start at seam

I proceeded to wrap and hot glue the rope all the way to the top of the shade.  With this thin rope, it took awhile.  It is important to keep pushing down on the rope to minimize the gaps.  I'm glad I spray painted the shade first - I think it is a must do step as, despite my efforts, you can still see small gaps between the rope.

DIY Rope Lampshade - hot glue rope

Once you are done, I would recommend giving the lamp a "hair-cut" as the extra strands sticking out of the rope make it look a bit messy.  Just make a quick pass with scissors to minimize the "furriness" of the shade.

Here is the completed shade on one of my own lamps.  I think it turned out well and is going to look super cute in the nautical/sea creature themed room we have planned...

DIY Rope Lampshade

Update: 6-13-2014
Here are a couple photos of the lamp shade in its final spot in the room.  I think it looks good on the orange lamp. 
In the photo below, the stained-wood school of fish on the wall behind the lamp was another fun project for this space.  See that post here.

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