DIY Sisal Shade

DIY Sisal Shade
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I recently became a contributing writer for Infarrantly Creative and shared this post with the IC audience a few weeks ago, but I wanted to share it with you all also!  Decorating with natural fibers adds warmth and texture to your existing décor and using sisal rope is an easy and inexpensive choice. Today I want to show you how to take a boring, plain lampshade and transform it into a custom Sisal Shade.

DIY Sisal Shade

For this project you will only need a few items:

A lamp shade (new or old)

1/4 inch sisal rope (approximately 2 rolls)

a hot glue gun and hot glue sticks

Rolls of sisal rope can be found at most hardware and big box stores. The two rolls I purchased ran under $6 each. Sisal rope sometimes will have a strong smell to it. I suggest unwinding the rope a bit and setting it outside to air out for a few days. The smell will fade out over a few months naturally anyhow, but getting it aired out first will really help if you’re sensitive to the scent.

sisal roll

Let’s get started making our Sisal Shade. Find the back seam of your lamp shade. This is where you will want to start. You may choose to start at the top or the bottom of the shade. I chose the bottom. Apply about 3 inches of hot glue along the seam and press the sisal rope into the glue. It is important that your first row is aligned evenly along the seam and that the seam is not showing under the rope. All your other rows of rope will be based off of how straight you glue that first row.  Some have asked if the heat of the lamp will melt the hot glue. You shouldn’t have this happen unless you are using too high of wattage for the size of the shade. This shade is 16” in diameter and has a 75 watt bulb in it. If you are covering small chandelier shades, you could always use a high temp hot glue vs. regular hot glue, if you’re concerned about temperature.

gluing the sisal shade

Continue wrapping the sisal rope around the shade, gluing as you go. Pay attention to where the end of your sisal rope roll is. If you are nearing the end, then simply cut the rope so that it will line up at the back seam. This is where you will start again with your second roll of sisal.

making a sisal shade

Finish gluing the sisal rope, ending at the back seam. How easy was that? In just a short period of time, you’ve created a custom sisal shade which will add interest, texture, and softness to your table scape!  Think of other shades you might try this out on, like mini chandelier shades or a drum pendant. How cute would that be?  You’re only limited by your imagination!

Sisal Rope Lamp Shade

If you like working with sisal you might like this post where I show you how to make a monkey fist sisal ball as seen in Ballard Designs.



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  1. I love this, the rope is a great contrast with the glass.

  2. I love this, the rope is a great contrast with the glass.

  3. Fabulous tutorial! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Oh Kim, this is great! Thanks for sharing. I love this look!

  5. Kim – this is perfect for our It’s a Cinch link party on 3/27! Love it!

    I will be sending you an email soon too about the question I asked you.

  6. That is so ridiculously awesome!


  7. This came out great ! Your vase looks like the bottom of my lamp that you liked! Don’t ya think?

    • YES!!!! I’ve been staring at that vase ALL week wondering How can I convert this into Jessica’s lamp!?!?! LOL!!! I got the vase 3 weeks ago at Homegoods. I love it!

  8. Looks fantastic. I love it!

  9. This really is great! Kelly is so right, perfect for the It’s a Cinch party. And beautiful!!

  10. That might be a project I could handle! It came out beautiful and I love the way the shade looks on a glass lamp!

  11. This is great and looks so natural. I’ve just done the bottom of a lamp and getting fabric for the shade now. Hope it turns out as nice as this one!

  12. Oh I love this lampshade. Sounds like something I could do! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hi there, I love this idea! I’ve been playing with sisal lately. Just curious though…does the sisal make the lamp give off way less light? I’d really like to try it on my shades, but I’m a little afraid that it might make my room too dark.
    Thanks so much!

    • Hi Krystel! What a great question. I was really worried about that also. It does knock the light down some, so let’s say I have a 75 watt bulb in, then I think the sisal probably knocks it down to a 60-65 watt ambiance. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Anonymous says:

      I like how you said ‘ambiance’, because that’s what I’m usually going for in my place 🙂
      This is Great news! Thanks so much for responding so quickly. I can’t wait to try this!

  14. Did you use two different tones of sisal? It looks like there is a slightly different colour around the top and bottom edges. Maybe it’s my eyes, but it’s a nice effect.

    • Hi Tracey! Haha! It wasn’t planned that way but every roll of sisal has a bit of difference in color. It’s just how that turned out. 😉
      Thanks for stopping by the blog!


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