Yarn Lamp Shade

Back in this post, I showed you a picture of my living room and my thrift store lamp with a pretty DIY pretty yarn lampshade. What you didn’t know was that it was only half finished! I started working on that project when I was pregnant with Alston and ran out of yarn half-way through. I never had any motivation to finish it because I didn’t have a lamp to put it on. But once I found this lovely mustard yellow beauty, I vowed to finish it after we moved into our new house.

Patrick said I never would… But I did. And it took about 20 minutes.

I originally got the idea from Martha. I found a great barrel style lampshade at my local thrift store. It had a great shape, but the fabric was hiddeous and dirty. So I stripped it down to the wire frame and got busy. I used some wool yarn that I bought for its great texture and color variation. I wanted something with a natural organic look.

I started by tying a tight knot at the top of the frame, closest to one of the vertical wires. Then I pulled the yarn from top to bottom and wrapped it around the outside of the bottom frame. I kept the yarn pretty taunt and made an additional loop around the bottom of the frame. The top of the shade is a bit narrower than the bottom, so I wanted to ensure that wire was covered properly. You can slide the yarn around on the frame to ensure that it is close together and evenly distributed. As I said, I ran out of yarn about half-way though my project. So as soon as I came to the end, I made sure I had enough left to easily tie a tight knot. Whether you stop at the bottom or top, it doesn’t make a difference. Double wrapping the bottom wire was not only time-consuming, but it also used a lot more yarn than I expected. I made another trip to Michaels and bought more yarn. I started at the opposite end from where I tied my last knot and began wrapping again, only this time I didn’t double loop the bottom wire. I couldn’t really tell a difference in the way it looked, but it went much faster and I had more yarn left over at the end. When I finished wrapping the frame, I slid the yarn around so there weren’t any gaps and made sure the vertical wires were well hid. (I bent mine in a bit so they wouldn’t poke through.)

I think its best to use a fairly straight shade when using yarn, but if you used something wider, like ribbon, you could use any type of lamp shade. As long as it has a structured wire frame and you are able to overlap you ribbon/fabric at the top to ensure the bottom would be adequately covered. Although, you could wrap the yarn around the frame horizontally instead of vertically, like I did.

And there you have it! My lovely yarn lamp shade. Wouldn’t you know that Alston knocked that wonderful yellow lamp off the end table and it burst into pieces? My lampshade is currently living on an old brass lamp I also bought at the thrift store, but it just doesn’t look the same. I’ve been searching for a new lamp for my yarn lampshade ever since.


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