Try This: Woven Lamp Shade

Recycle old magazines and catalogs into this woven wire mesh lamp shade.

| May/June 2004

  • Cut magazine pages into strips about 3/8-inch wide to weave gracefully into the 1/2-inch wire mesh.
    Photo By Susan Wasinger
  • Be sure to use compact fluorescent bulbs with these shades. They burn much cooler than incandescent light bulbs, minimizing fire hazards with any shade made of paper. Although the loose ends of the paper strips stay neat within the mesh matrix, check periodically to make sure that no ends have come loose and can make contact with the bulb.
    Photo By Susan Wasinger
  • Sort snippings into general color themes such as yellow with orange or blue with green. Include many light-colored pieces to keep your shade from obscuring too much light.
    Photo By Susan Wasinger
  • Weave the paper through the mesh. Alternate ups and downs as you begin each row. The mesh keeps the strips firmly in place. Trim the ends even.
    Photo By Susan Wasinger
  • Measure the wire mesh to fit your fixture, then cut with wire snips.
    Photo By Susan Wasinger
  • Be sure to use compact fluorescent bulbs with these shades. They burn much cooler than incandescent light bulbs, minimizing fire hazards with any shade made of paper. Although the loose ends of the paper strips stay neat within the mesh matrix, check periodically to make sure that no ends have come loose and can make contact with the bulb.
    Photo By Susan Wasinger

Who doesn’t have a lamp or light fixture around the house that could use a little sprucing up? Grab a magazine or catalog from the recycling bin and start snipping. You can make a woven shade in no time using thin strips of magazine pages. Trusty wire mesh, sometimes called “rabbit fence,” makes it a no-brainer. Choose a palette of like colors; we used pages printed in yellow, oranges, and creams and another with pale greens and beige. Don’t restrict yourself to solid color; a contrasting hue here and there or a dash of random photo adds to the sparkle. We used a loop of wire to hang this sconce over a simple wall fixture sporting a compact fluorescent bulb. A cylinder of woven wire mesh could add the same jazz to a table lamp. Just use your imagination.

1. Cut magazine pages into strips about 3/8-inch wide to weave gracefully into the 1/2-inch wire mesh.

2. Sort snippings into general color themes such as yellow with orange or blue with green. Include many light-colored pieces to keep your shade from obscuring too much light.

3. Measure the wire mesh to fit your fixture, then cut with wire snips.



4. Weave the paper through the mesh. Alternate ups and downs as you begin each row. The mesh keeps the strips firmly in place. Trim the ends even.



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