Austin Family and Children Photographer | Magan's Lens » Austin Family and Children Photographer, Magan Blasig

Personal Project | A DIY Lamp Shade

This is not at all client-based. It doesn’t have anything to do with my photography business. However, I get asked pretty frequently which design blogs I follow. One of my absolute favorites is Tatertots and Jello. My sister-in-law, Leslie, introduced me to this blog and I’m an avid reader ever since. Jen comes up with great themes and ideas, and then finds tons of resources and DIY projects for ways to make those ideas come alive. I love that she posts a wide variety of ideas to cover a large spectrum of interests and tastes.

This Saturday I was browsing T&J in my google reader. I always star my favorite projects that she shares. I found one that just made me absolutely giddy. It was a burlap Anthropologie-inspired do-it-yourself project for a lamp shade. My, heaven. I starred it and kept thinking about it. I had been on the search for an awesome lamp, but hadn’t found one yet. Our little measly lamp needed to be updated. All weekend, I was focused on how I could find a lamp and make this happen.

Fast forward to Sunday. Dustyn and I went to Home Goods after service at the Austin Stone. It’s in South Austin, and again, I’d heard fantastic reviews from Leslie. We browsed around and found a few jars made of beautiful recycled glass for our living room. I saw a lamp that I immediately fell in love with, but just didn’t love the price tag. It was $40 and I was sure I would find something else I liked for cheaper – especially since I was about to do some “work” to it.  What if I messed it up? After we finished browsing, we went to check out our jars. I returned our basket and passed by the lamp again. I spontaneously picked it up and ran to the counter before Dustyn could swipe our debit card. He just smiled at me and said, “I knew you’d get it.”  I hadn’t found anything else at all the stores I’ve seen online or in person that I liked nearly as much.

On our way home we stopped at JoAnn Fabrics so I could purchase glue sticks and burlap.  I started on it right away last night. The whole project took me about three hours, and I even started completely over at one point.  Here’s the before and after.  If you want to do this project on your own, click this link for directions. I offer a few more tips at the bottom in addition to what was posted on T&J so scroll all the way down!

Whatdya think?  Pretty awesome transformation, huh?  I am so excited. It really stands out in the living room, whereas our old one just blended right into the wall.

My tips for this project:

  1. Prepare to get burned.  The directions on T&J suggested that you only do a few inches of hot glue on the burlap at a time to glue it to the lamp shade. I found that it was easier for me to put glue on the entire strip and then shape it. When I only put a few inches down, I got burned so many times because I had to get close to the burlap and if I was filling in a gap, the space was tight.
  2. Have patience. Try out the design and if you don’t like it, start over. I initially put all the pieces extremely too close together. I ripped them all off and started completely over. I’m glad I did because the final project is a lot closer to what I had hoped for.
  3. Cut and iron out a few pieces of burlap to “test out” at the beginning. I didn’t think there was a scientifically perfect length for each piece to be, so test it out, see how tight you like the bends in the ruffle to be, and then continue cutting and ironing pieces.
  4. Lay a drop cloth down on the floor. Or maybe just towels. I did this on our dark hardwood floors and white burlap was everywhere. Absolutely everywhere. It was messy and dusty.  Go buy a $2 painting drop cloth that you can bundle up and toss in the trash after this is complete!

If you decide to make one too – send me pictures!

  • February 21, 2011 - 2:55 pm

    Elizabeth Hafner - Wow! This is gorgeous! You did a fantastic job!

  • February 21, 2011 - 3:05 pm

    Tira J - What an awesome lamp Magan! Great job.

  • February 21, 2011 - 3:06 pm

    Sarah Lane - OMGosh lady!!! I loveeee it!! Where did you find the base??

  • February 21, 2011 - 3:07 pm

    Sarah Lane - Nevermind, Homegoods!! lol! Read the post, Sarah. Sheesh :)

  • February 21, 2011 - 3:52 pm

    Ivy - i LOVE this!!! i am going to try to convince troy to let me do it! he thinks all ruffly thigs are “girly” – he doesnt get that they are gorgeous!

  • February 21, 2011 - 7:54 pm

    Hannah - Awesome! Thanks for posting this, Magan :)

  • February 21, 2011 - 9:04 pm

    Amber Snow - Cute! I have that lamp, minus the fun shade :)

  • February 21, 2011 - 10:09 pm

    Anna - Love it. Can’t wait to see it in person!

  • February 22, 2011 - 9:20 am

    Austin Wedding Blog - This is freaking spectacular! LOVE IT!

  • February 22, 2011 - 11:15 am

    Magan - Thank you all so much! This was a really, really fun project! Again, if you make one too – send me pictures! :)

  • February 23, 2011 - 7:47 am

    Gloria - I love it! It reminds me of some of the romantic things I see on this style blog (which I also love):

  • March 11, 2011 - 11:29 am

    Katherine - LOVE this shade! I recently acquires old brass lamps that I am re-furbishing and am looking for the right type of shade to go with this – this is perfect! I love the mix of whimsy & romantic waves with the rough, more industrial material!

  • March 23, 2011 - 10:26 am

    Sarah - Awesome lamp shade! I’m going to try it! I always use glue sticks for projects like this.

  • March 25, 2011 - 6:07 pm

    Jessica - Stalked this after you talked about it today and I’m obsessed! LOVE IT!

  • April 25, 2011 - 12:47 pm

    Austin Lifestyle Photographer | iPhone Photo Update | Austin's Family, Newborn, Baby, and Children Photographer | Magan's Lens - […] This is the Anthropologie inspired DIY lamp shade I made. I posted about it here, but I’m still so in love with it. I think it’s my favorite thing I’ve made for […]

  • July 9, 2011 - 12:01 pm

    Tracy Allyn Croysdale - I looooove it!

  • October 27, 2011 - 6:01 am

    Burlap Thursday: Lamp Shade DIY | The Charity Wedding - […] can find all the details HERE for how she turned a plain old lamp shade into a texture filled, burlap masterpiece! Cute […]

  • January 1, 2012 - 11:55 am

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  • March 14, 2012 - 9:55 am

    Compartment Life - […] the world of pinning. Thus she began her own board, you can see it here. She found this image of two lamps from pinterest and ran with […]

  • March 22, 2012 - 3:02 am

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  • September 17, 2012 - 9:01 am

    For the Love of Burlap - House on the Way - […] love this AMAZING lamp shade by Magan Lens. She was inspired by a lamp found at Anthropologie. It is absolutely gorgeous! The fullness of the […]

  • September 17, 2012 - 9:04 am

    Leslie Stewart - Magan,
    I wanted to let you know that I have featured your amazing lamp at House on the Way. You can check it out at I hope you can stop by!
    Thank you,

  • September 22, 2012 - 10:35 am

    lynda poppa - thank you been looking for this project for a lamp shade in my sewing room.

  • October 23, 2012 - 3:05 am

    50+ Burlap Projects and Ideas - Reincarnations Art - […] via Reincarnations on […]

  • December 18, 2012 - 8:00 am

    DIY Lighting Knock Offs - DIY Inspired - […] is an Anthropologie inspired lamp made with strips of burlap and hot glue. She was also inspired by an original post by Tater Tots […]

  • March 14, 2013 - 7:39 am

    Decorate with Burlap - […] Refurnish your old accessories such as lamps, candle holders, mantle pieces with this soothing fabric. Link […]

  • June 8, 2013 - 7:01 pm

    Add Texture with a Ruffled Burlap Lampshade - […] Magan from Magan’s Lens added texture and interest to a plain lampshade with ruffles and burlap. If you can operate scissors and a hot glue gun, you can make your own! The imperfection of the frayed edges and wayward ruffles are part of the shade’s appeal so this is a very forgiving project. Here’s how Magan describes the impact of her new lampshade, “It really stands out in the living room, whereas our old one just blended right into the wall.” […]

  • July 22, 2013 - 2:11 pm

    Dija Henry - This looks really great! I love burlap. It’s great for so many projects.

  • September 5, 2013 - 12:32 am

    Cyndee L Hulesy - I have been looking for something different and eyecatching, i think i found it ! Now my lamps will be perfect to sell!!
    Thank you so much.

  • September 10, 2013 - 10:23 am

    35 ways to decorate your rental home | Clones N Clowns by Aimee WoodClones N Clowns by Aimee Wood - […] dorm collage. Also feel free to resize your pics so they’re all square for a trendy touch ;-) A romantic material lamp: There are SO MANY lamp hacks online, I didn’t know where to start ! I particularly like how […]

  • October 14, 2013 - 8:15 am

    wedding wednesday: burlap | Through the Front Door - […] credit: {1} {2} {3} {4} […]

  • July 11, 2014 - 7:02 am
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    DIY Lamp Shade | In Him - […] you are a step by step type of person, Click Here for the tutorial I followed.Happy […]

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