Instructions

Get inspired and find illumination with these creative lampshade projects suggested by Mother Nature.

1. Organic Inspiration

Refresh an existing lamp by simply covering the shade. Cut leaf shapes from sheer fabric and attach them using spray adhesive. Cut organza or other transparent fabric to fit around the shade, attaching with double-sided tape at the edges. Iron the joining seam, and tape velvet ribbon or any other trim of your choice around the edges.

DIY Tip: When decorating a lampshade, make sure all materials you use are noncombustible. If in doubt, ask at your local hardware or craft store.

2. Tree of Light

A turned-wood base gives this lamp a handsome finish. Cut colored burlap to go around the shade, leaving a 3/4-inch overlap, with about half an inch at both the top and bottom for fringing the edges.

Cut a tree shape from felt and attach it to the shade using adhesive applied with an old paintbrush. Cut circles from felt and glue together. When the adhesive is dry, sew on the circles and tree by hand. Attach the burlap to the old shade with spray adhesive, using double-sided tape at the joint.

3. Say “Ooh” to Bamboo

Wire lengths of bamboo together to make a shade that either hangs from the ceiling using a pendant system or sits on a table. Buy bamboo from a hardware store and cut it to size with a handsaw. Drill holes through the tops and bottoms of the pieces and thread wire through. You’ll need about 60 pieces to go around a shade that measures about 10 inches in diameter.

4. Sushi Surprise

Kick a boring shade to the curb by outfitting it with Asian flair. Remove the fabric from the shade, wrap an inexpensive sushi mat around the shade frame, and secure it with adhesive electrical tape. Stitch or staple the ends together.

5. Cotton Chic

Find a wire accent similar to the base of this lamp at a garden center or housewares store. Have it wired by an electrician, and add a rough-weave cotton shade. Or make a shade with colored burlap and use a low-wattage bulb.

DIY Tip: Spend the money to hire an electrician for any hardwiring that’s required.

6. Get Twiggy With It

Buy a small, inexpensive lamp with a steel base. Wire together twigs or small sticks to fit over the existing shade.

DIY Tip: Old lamps were built for incandescent bulbs, but they’ll also take the new energy-saving, longer-lasting compact fluorescent bulbs, which don’t get anywhere near as hot.

7. Post with the Most

If you’re handy on a lathe, turn an old hardwood fence post or similar piece of wood, and sink a hole through the center for the lamp cord. Stain it, and have an electrician wire it for a bulb. Add a pleated fabric shade for a neat, classic look.