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DIY- A Crochet Lampshade- A Recycle Project

Updated on April 24, 2015

My Crochet Lampshade Project

This is an easy project that saves an old lampshade. I am now eyeing other older lampshades thinking perhaps I can give some other tired shades a new look.

I have always been interested in recycling. I love giving old things new life.

I also have a smidgen of craft knowledge and a little bit of a creative edge that keeps me from ever getting bored.

Several summers ago, while cleaning out old "stuff" I came across a sad and dirty hanging lamp from the attic that had seen better days. For awhile I just considered tossing it.

Ultimately, I decided I could use it as a winter project and perhaps reclaim it.

What did I have to lose? I would have something to "play" with and if it didn't work out...nothing lost except my time.

Initially, I thought to" sew" a shade, but I didn't have any material on hand that seemed appropriate and sewing a lampshade did not appeal to me.

The lampshade sat around until one day I decided I would like to crochet something. Doilies are not exactly in style and I just wanted to enjoy some type of craft through the winter hours inside. I live in Canada, after all, there are days you just want to stay inside!

Many Scandinavian homes are graced with crochet window coverings. They can be quite artistic and beautiful and I quite love them. I wanted to do something similar and took my inspiration from those coverings.

So I just experimented and enjoyed the process.

There were a few false starts and a few times when I unravelled what I had done because it didn't look the way I wanted. At times I thought perhaps I would not be able to make this work...but perseverance pays.

The day I attached it to the lampshade frame, I realized I had created a unique lampshade that added just the look I was going for. I don't think I could have found a better fit from any store. That is satisfaction!

The final product creating a lovely pool of light over the dining room table
The final product creating a lovely pool of light over the dining room table | Source
The final product during the daylight hours. A project that was well worth the effort...creating a unique lampshade!
The final product during the daylight hours. A project that was well worth the effort...creating a unique lampshade! | Source
Cost of this lampshade...less than $2.00... the value od recycling and knowing crafts!
Cost of this lampshade...less than $2.00... the value od recycling and knowing crafts!
My winter craft project before installing.
My winter craft project before installing.

Freestyle Crochet

I had no pattern. I started with a crochet chain that went around the girth of the lampshade.

Initially I began to close the circle, but soon discovered the whole piece got twisted, so I redid it as a rectangle until I had about three inches in height done.

At that point I began to work the pattern in a circle with constant fitting on the wire frame to see when I would need to decrease the circumference.

Most of the pattern is single crochet with the open work as double crochet and only one set of shell pattern.

My design,when fitted on the lampshade frame kept creeping up the frame. I decided that the original circumference was not working because it was too tight, so I had to get creative to salvage the project.

I found the spot on the frame where the circumference did not creep up and began to decrease to finish the top and opening section. I ended thepattern when I reached the opening. Now I had to start again at the original circumference and work down. Crochet is good for that!

I now had a good long stretch to finish off along the bottom to reach the bottom of the lampshade frame. Since crochet can be started anywhere, I went back to work the hem... crocheting backward from the open work to a new hem.

I continued until I had enough length to reach the end of the spokes of the lampshade frame. I decided to end the project at that point and stretch the crochet on the frame.

How I Attached the Project to the Lampshade Frame

This is when the magic happened...

I wasn't 100 percent sure this project was a success until I finally attached it permanently to the frame.

I placed the shade like a hat on a head attaching the finished crochet to the top circle of the lampshade frame with a whip stitch. This anchored the finished crochet to the lampshade. That was very simple and easy.

I then attached the bottom of the crochet to each of the ends of the eight spokes. first to get an even stretch, I stretched out the single crochet bottom layer to reach the curved bottom wire with whip stitch along the bottom petal-like base, forming an interesting display.

All in all, I was quite satisfied with the end product. This lampshade will now find new life in my house. Not only do I have the satisfaction of recycling something, I was able to be creative and saved myself some money while getting a unique lampshade! Added to that hours of enjoying a craft.

A Treasured Item Now

This was a fun project that saved a lampshade frame from landfill. I was not too concerned if the project turned out since the materials were basically cost-free. However, the results were quite lovely.

At times, I look at this treasured shade and I wonder how in the world I could dream that one up with no instructions whatsoever. Then I realize sometimes you just have to go with your gut and start. You never know what surprise waits at the end.

It shows how easy it is to create lovely accents with little or no money and a little bit of creativity.

Add to that; the immense satisfaction of creating something unique!

Spinning Your Own Wool...An Interesting Craft

It is amazing how our ancestors learned this craft and then went on to weave cloth giving rise to the textile industry centuries ago. What is amazing how simple the process is and we can do this with a few simple tools.


Submit a Comment

  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Wow MizBejabbers! That sounds like that would look awesome. When I began this project I had no idea if it would turn out...but I loved the results. Good luck on your project! :)

  • MizBejabbers profile image

    Doris James-MizBejabbers 

    4 years ago from Beautiful South

    That is lovely and so innovative. I was going to ask what type of thread you used, but I noticed that you answered that in one of your comments. You gave me an idea for an old lampshade I have on a vintage floor lamp that my husband restored about 25 years ago. The shade was quite expensive because it is the kind that sits on a glass torchiere, and very large. The base has the night light under a celluloid cover. I don't do regular crochet thread anymore because of my eyesight. I'm thinking Sugar and Cream yarn. Great idea, great hub. Voted UP++

  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Thank you KoffeeKlatchGals! The project was rewarding and it passed the winter evening hours pleasantly. It was no big deal if it didn't work out so I was really pleasantly surprised at the result. If I have an opportunity I will create a few more. Best part was that it cost pennies!

  • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

    Susan Hazelton 

    5 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Your crocheted lampshade is beautiful. I do all sorts of crafts and have never thought of crocheting a lampshade. What a unique idea. After this I will definitely set that craft project in motion. I love it. Up and every button but funny.

  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Thanks, TTombs! I almost didn't do this project, but I had a desire to crochet something and I don't mind un-ravelling and refitting, so I enjoyed the project...because if it didn't work, I would still have enjoyed crocheting. I set out not expecting anything marvelous and ended up being quite pleased. I would definitely do this again if I found another lampshade!

    Good luck with finding an interesting old shade...and thanks for the comments! :)

  • TToombs08 profile image

    Terrye Toombs 

    5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

    Oh, I love this! Now I'm going to have to keep my eyes open for old lamp shades! :) Great project!

  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Hi Rebbecca! Thank you so much! I am flattered. Re-purposing is so valuable since it saves money and prevents serves as a cost effective hobby....and is creative...what else can one ask for?

    Thank you for your vote. Always appreciated!

  • rebeccamealey profile image

    Rebecca Mealey 

    6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

    Oh, cool! I love this kind of stuff, but I can't crochet. Anyway, this is inspirational to encourage all of us to try to re-purpose whatever we can. I vote very awesome!

  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Hi Susan... If you have an old lampshade, this is definitely a project to have fun with...and you don't even need a pattern. I guess if you have matching lamps, you may want to jot down notations for stitches and rows.

    Have fun, if you decide to embark on this kind of project....we have a long winter soon enough and this is great while watching TV!

    Thank you so much for commenting! I always appreciate your input! :)

  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Hi Pamela! This was a very rewarding project since I did not have high hopes for the results. When it finally came together , I was totally surprised, because I was certainly challenged along the way.

    Now I will certainly look to do more lampshades this way...I have only touched that big ball of

    I appreciate your comments! Thanks!

  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Hi Audrey...You know, I don't have a very high skill level in crochet, just basic, though I love to work with my hands and always I guess, I just like to create things and that drives me to find novel ways to occupy my time! Thanks for commenting...I always appreciate comments!

  • Just Ask Susan profile image

    Susan Zutautas 

    6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    I've not crocheted in years but I do love your lampshade. I may have to try this myself one of these days as my lampshades are starting to look a bit old.

  • Pamela N Red profile image

    Pamela N Red 

    6 years ago from Oklahoma

    That turned out beautiful. I love crocheted lampshades and have made a couple from metal rings. It was a challenge. I hadn't thought of recovering an old frame which would be fun.

  • AudreyHowitt profile image

    Audrey Howitt 

    6 years ago from California

    What a handy thing!! You must be very creative with your hook!

  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Hi Donnah!


    Hi Moonlake!

    Thank you for your comments...

    moonlake...I am not a wonderful crochet artist...there were many mistakes...fortunately tiny enough to not be noticed in the overall design!


  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Hi PWalker . I don't have the information right at hand, but the cotton was quite thin, off white bought at Walmart...they carry those huge balls that are about the size of a coffee can ( price around $4.99). I used a size 9 crochet hook that was made in England (it is quite small gauge) I experimented to find the right hook to match the yarn since I have quite a few hooks to play with already.

    Hope that helps and thank you for your comments!

  • moonlake profile image


    6 years ago from America

    This is beautiful you did a great job. Wish I could crochet like that. Voted Up

  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Hi Natashalh! Crochet is quite easy and you can have a lot of fun with it...there are sweaters and other crafts you can do and all sorts of magazines about them! Thank you for your comments!

  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Hi RTalloni! Thank you so much! I surprised myself as I began to attach it to the lampshade... it made all the effort worth it!

    Thank you for your comments. I appreciate them!

  • donnah75 profile image

    Donna Hilbrandt 

    6 years ago from Upstate New York

    What a brilliant and beautiful idea. Voted up.

  • profile image


    6 years ago

    I admire that you created your lampshade free style, without a pattern. The finished piece is lovely. What kind of yarn did you use? Voted up, interesting, and shared.

  • Natashalh profile image


    6 years ago from Hawaii

    This is a cool idea! I might have to learn to crochet.

  • RTalloni profile image


    6 years ago from the short journey

    Thanks so much for sharing your journey with this project. Love your freestyle design. The lampshade is beautiful!

  • Scribenet profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Hi b.Malin... It is awful if a project doesn't turn out...especially if you have to show it I feel for you having to do that in 7th grade. It kinda sets the mood for future projects.

    I have had a lot of awful projects...but I just trash them so I still love to fashion things...this was one that if it didn't turn out I would have not been too concerned since it was basically something that I rescued.

    Thanks for commenting...always appreciated! Cheers!

  • b. Malin profile image

    b. Malin 

    6 years ago

    I so Enjoyed reading this Hub on Crocheting...Especially since I have 2 left hands when it comes to sewing Anything. I remember HIDING a jumper I had to make in the 7th. grade, it was Horrible...and we were to Model our " finished project" in the School Fashion Show. My teacher found it, and made me Finish it and Model it. Oh well.

    Your Finished Project came out Beautiful, Scribenet, thanks for sharing.


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