Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Burlap Covered Lampshade Tutorial

Beachy Burlap Lampshade

I am working on decorating our living room to have a beach cottage feel despite our dry dusty climate. I had my eye on a beautiful seagrass lampshade from a major retailer which is not really unreasonably priced until you start figuring in shipping and handling. I came up with idea to recover my current lampshade for less than $5 and give it a beach feeling (I hope you agree).


-natural colored burlap ( I bought a yard but it really depends on the size of your lampshade, remember the piece will be curved)

-thick hemp cord that has been waxed or finished (I found mine in the jewelry making section at Wal-Mart)

-fabric glue that dries clear

-1 inch wide twill tape or ribbon color of choice. In this tutorial it gets covered.


1. I forgot to take pictures of wrapping the lampshade with burlap. Lay your burlap out flat and lay the lampshade on its side. With a marker trace along the bottom edge while rolling it along. Make sure you go both directions so you have a semi circle looking piece. Trace the top edge as well. Cut the piece out and apply fabric glue to the lampshade adhering the burlap to the shade matching the edges. Where the burlap meets you can fold one edge under or just leave it raw. It is a personal preference. Let that dry.

2. Measure how much twill tape you will need (including 1 inch overlap) for the top and bottom of shade. Fold in half and iron.

3. Using fabric glue attach the twill tape to the top and bottom of the lamp to cover the raw edges of burlap. Use clothespins to hold in place.

4. Measure once around the bottom edge of lampshade and then add half of that measurement on. So if your lampshade was 14 inches on the bottom....14+7=21 inches. Cut 6 pieces of hemp cord to that length. Secure the ends of the hemp with a piece of tape. Braid the hemp together using 2 strands together. Keep the braid flat as you go so it will be easier to attach to the lampshade.

(Great clothespins from Japan, fun and colorful but they also expand at the back)

5. Attach the braid along the bottom of the shade with fabric glue.

When you get to the end cut the braid off so it is even with the other end you started with.

It is going to be a little messy but put a big glob of the fabric glue on and arrange the cords so they look as continuous as possible. Once it dries you won't see the glue.

6. For the top repeat the process. I chose to use 3 strands for the braid but this can be determined by you. Secure it the same way.

The finished product!


  1. Great job, Laura! I love the tutorial!

  2. So cute and I love how you made the braid yourself. Very cleaver, I might have to borrow this idea!

  3. Great tutorial Laura, it turned out beautiful. Did you have it at the house when we came to visit? I don't remember seeing it.