Refurbishing A Lampshade with Jute Cord

My boyfriend seems to bring home all kinds of discarded items from the clients he works for. This time he brought home 2 small lamps that still worked, but the lampshades were torn and looked horrible. I was thinking to just remove the shades and buy new ones. This was not possible and there was no way to remove them without breaking the bottles they sat on or destroying the lamps. In order to fix them up so they could be used again, I decided to cover the shade with a roll of fine jute to give them more of a local look and fit the décor of my home.


Total Time: 3 to 4 hours

Yield: 1 Small lampshade



  1. Clean the old lamp. This lampshade had a piece of material on the inside that was ripped and torn. The outside of the shade had some tears in it too. You should clean your lamp and the shade with a damp cloth to remove all the dirt or dust from the lamp. I removed the piece of cloth that was on the inside of this shade.
  2. With the 50 meters of natural colored jute cut 3 equal lengths. You will be braiding the jute for the top of the lampshade. If you don't want this effect it is possible to skip this step and go to the next step.
  3. Heat up the hot glue gun and get it ready. Now place a dab of hot glue on the top rim of the lampshade. You will need to place your braided cord in the glue and make sure you get all the ends glued so it stays down. Note: if you skipped the first step you will use your medium natural colored jute in place of the braided jute for this step. It works the same and has a different effect on the look of your shade.
  4. Working from left to right, you will be adding a small amount of glue to the top of the lampshade and then pulling your cord tight and placing it in the glue. Note, at first the cord will be long and it makes it a bit harder to work with. I just placed my cord on the table and it seemed to work fine and it was easy to wrap around the top of the lampshade.
  5. Continue adding a small line of glue around the top of the lampshade and glueing the braided jute in place. You will do a continuous wrap around the top of the lamp. When you reach the beginning you will just go under the first line to add your second line. The top of my lampshade only needed 3 braided lines.
  6. Once I finished the braided lines I noticed the top of my lampshade had a lip on it that look terrible if I left it the color of the shade. I used the small natural jute to cover this area. I started next to the braided jute to place my glue and started to wrap the smaller jute around the top lip of the lampshade.
  7. Do not cut your jute; leave it in the ball. Pull the cord from the inside of the jute to make it easier to work with. Now place a dab of hot glue on the base of the lampshade right under the braided jute.
  8. Place your cord on the glue and make sure the ends are glued and secure.
  9. Now continue adding the hot glue to the lampshade and placing your jute around the entire lamp shade. You can add longer lines of hot glue now to make it a bit easier to glue and to go a lot faster.
  10. At the bottom lip of this lampshade I just used my medium jute to cover this area. I did not braid the bottom of the shade. You are now finished covering the lampshade and it can be used on your desk or next to your bed as a small night light. I used an LED bulb in mine and the look is fantastic when the light is lit.

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November 17, 20190 found this helpful

Really cute idea. I love it. Hum, you gave me a great idea for my living room lamp shades.

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November 17, 20190 found this helpful

I have done so many different lampshades in the past that it is fun to see what they look like when done. The whole idea of the project is to have fun and be creative. They are fun to make and can really add to your home.

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November 21, 20190 found this helpful

That is such a neat idea for a lamp, I would have never thought of that!

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November 21, 20190 found this helpful

It is always a good idea to recycle old lampshades and not buy a new one. I have done this with so many lamps and each one is different.

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January 20, 20200 found this helpful

They look great and go well with your decor.

(From someone who has made many thousands of lamps and shades).

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November 11, 20200 found this helpful

I do basketry, so any lampshade with a ring at the top and bottom, plus wire ribs going from top to bottom, lend themselves perfectly for weaving basket making materials to cover the old shade frame. Just remove any old fabric right down to the bare frame, then weave whatever reed sizes and colors you want to use. Make it all plain, or go crazy with colors and patterns. I did this on a tall desk lamp that had a cast iron pot-bellied stove for the base, and it looks great in our log home...very lodge style. Give it a try sometime. I think you'll be pleased with your results.

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