Sunday, August 8, 2010

Wire Basket-Inspired Lamp Shade

{Have you entered my
Personalized Cork Board Giveaway yet?
Time's running out, so you better click here fast.}

I've been working on some projects for my accessory-challenged screened porch lately, dreaming of French wire baskets & wondering how I might incorporate them into my decorating plan. Don't you just love these?


I think I might go dig up some old rolled maps or something just to have an excuse to buy one of these.

Recently, when I was searching for a lamp shade to go on a lamp for the porch, the idea came to me that maybe I could create one out of wire to mimic the look of a French wire basket.

So, I sat down with this inexpensive little lamp shade, and, using my handy needle-nose pliers, I stripped it down to a lamp shade skeleton. (This idea would be great for those nasty cheap thrift store lamp shades.)

Then, I experimented with some 18 gauge green floral wire, finding a technique that created the look I wanted.

I simply folded a wire in half over the frame from bottom to top, then secured the wire in place by wrapping the ends in a spiral pattern in opposite directions, using the pliers to help when needed. Here's how the process looks:

I continued this technique all the way around, alternating folding from top to bottom & from bottom to top, judging by which was needed to keep the "spirals" sort-of consistent.

Here's how it looks when wired all around:

Next, I took it outside for a good spray paint treatment, but I was a little concerned that regular spray paint may not be the safest choice for a lamp shade that will get hot when the lamp is in use, so my super-smart hubby suggested I use grill paint (high heat enamel).

As soon as it was dried, I tried it on the lamp base. I think they're very happy together. It's just the right amount of French treatment this space needed.

Now I'm thinking of how great this technique would look on a large hanging shade. (Don't be surprised if you see that later!)

I'm linking this up with these parties. Stop by & check them out!


  1. Your lamp looks really great! What an inspired idea. You must be very patient to wrap all that wire around the shade. :)

  2. so awesome! i love how this turned out, julie. what a great idea!

  3. That looks so cute! Yeah, I agree, one of those ugly lamp shades from the thrift shop would of been good huh? Why do we always do that to ourselves! What a smarty pants your husband is thinking of using the high heat paint. The larger hanging lamp shade sounds awesome! It seems that the industrial look is working it's way into design lately, I am loving it because like this project, you can have the best of both worlds, by using a traditional lamp but pair it with the cool shade.

  4. What a creative idea. It looks wonderful. Hugs, Marty

  5. I love how it turned out! It looks great and thanks for your nice comments!

  6. That lamp shade is amazing, I LOVE it! Thanks for finding my blog and leaving such a nice comment.

  7. That was fun - what a cute idea. I saw some wire baskets and resisted. If I had seen this post, I probably would have bought one. I was on vaca, so can't go back and get one :(.

  8. What a creative idea, Julie! This is fantastic! :)

  9. Tres cute! Great idea. Thanks for sharing. Looks like you are further along with your screened porch than I am. I need to find some good cheap Craig's List furniture first ;-).


  10. Amazing! What a cool idea for inspiration!!!

  11. What a clever idea! It's great! :)

  12. Oh my gosh! Yours looks so beautiful. Why didn't I think of using wire? I love how it looks. I'm happy with mine, but yours looks even better. Maybe I'll have to make another one somewhere else like yours. You must of thought it looked too naked "as is" too.

  13. What a neat idea! I love it! I wish though we could get an up close look at it. I have a shade that needs a redo. Thanx for sharing!

  14. I don't know which post to leave a comment on first. I came across your blog and was cruisin' through multiple pages. Great work! Im your most recent follower.

  15. How.clever. I love simple projects like this that 1. I would never think of and 2. Look that amazing. Virtual high five, coming your way!


I love hearing from each of you and will do my best to respond! Thanks so much for stopping by. So glad you're here!