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Upcycle an Old Lampshade with Twine and Wood

Upcycling is all about taking something old or useless and giving it a new purpose, like using a lampshade frame and using natural twine or wood to craft an organic lampshade.






Many of us are looking at ways to re-use, re-purpose and recycle, and upcycling something old into something useful is probably one of the best ways to take an item that would otherwise be tossed out and give it a new life. In this feature, we look at how you can take a lampshade frame or an old lamp and transform it using natural materials to create a beautiful piece that would look good in any home.









Lamp Base using Pine Offcuts



There are hundreds of ideas out there for using scrap pieces of wood, and this is another one that uses scrap pieces of PAR pine 32 x 69mm boards. If you don't have any of this size as scrap pieces, you can buy a single 1.8-metre length at your local Builders or hardware store.


The base for the table lamp is created by cutting four pieces of pine to the same length, applying wood glue to butt these against each other and then clamping overnight.



Because the centre of the lamp is hollow, it makes it easy to wire up the lamp, but you do need a lampholder that will cover up the opening or use a scrap piece of wood to fill up the opening if you can't find a lampholder large enough.







Sash Cord Lampshade



Sash cord is another material that you can buy at Builders stores. It is a bit more expensive than twine or rope but it has a softness and thickness that makes it perfect for wrapping around a lampshade frame. Start on the inside of the frame and use a hot glue gun to secure the end before wrapping the sash cord around the top and bottom wire edges. If you need to join the sash cord for a longer piece, use a piece of clear sellotape. End on the inside of the frame and again secure with a hot glue gun.



Upcycle an old Lamp with a Solid Wood Base



Cutting large trees down to size gives you access to raw wood that is usually not used for anything other than firewood. But in this project, you can take a chunk of wood and drill holes to insert wiring to make your own organic lamp. All the accessories you need to make this lamp can be purchased at your nearest Builder store.


If you do attempt this project, keep in mind that the trees grown in an established garden are denser than the woods we use for DIY. You will need to use a quality drill bit to drive into the hardwood.


Finish off with wood oil, varnish or sealer to bring the piece of wood to life with beautiful texture and hues. If you have Silver Birch or Eucalyptus trees in your garden, these make excellent bases for a lamp.







Use Twigs for an Organic Lampshade



If you don't have any trees or large shrubs that need trimming, how about using twigs to make an organic lampshade? Twigs are easy to forage for in an established garden or you can cut off a few lower branches. Once you have accumulated enough twigs to finish off the wire lampshade frame, use a hot glue gun to secure the twigs onto the frame.



Twine Wrapped Lampshade



One of my favourite things to do is to be on the lookout for projects that use rope or twine. You couldn't get more organic than these materials and they have so many uses. Texture is an essential element in interior design - one that adds layers of depth to a room rather than a flat canvas, and twine or rope bring in plenty of texture.


Natural twine or rope is inexpensive and easy to work with. If you have an old lampshade that is looking a bit worse for wear, or one that no longer fits in with your room decor, give it a new look by wrapping twine around the shade, using a hot glue gun to stick both ends of the twine in place at the starting and ending points.




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