DIY Wire Lampshade

Toss that dusty old lampshade aside and make this industrial DIY wire lampshade to jazz up your space. It’s easy, inexpensive, and a great modern accent!

Modern Industrial DIY Wire Tripod Lamp

We’ll talk about this bad boy in a few, but first, I have a few things I need to get off my chest.

Sometimes I spend a ridiculously stereotypical amount of time fantasizing about things I would buy if I were a bajillionaire.  Today I decided to think of shopping from more of a realist’s perspective and, as a result, decided to lump my shopping habits/obsession into the following three categories:

1. Therapy Even if I don’t buy a single thing, the shopping experience alone is beyond therapeutic.  Something about being able to walk around for hours looking at pretty things calms me.  It’s not really about owning all the pretty things as it is about getting inspired and I love it so.  Though I am more likely to whip out the credit card if I find a good sale 😉  Some people reward themselves with dessert, I skip the calories and reward myself by snagging something I’ve wanted forever the second it goes on sale.  To each their own =)
2. Necessity This type of shopping is challenging and annoying.  I try to postpone grocery shopping as long as possible.  Yet, if you get me anywhere near a Whole Foods or Trader Joes, I’m all smiles.
3. Bonding Often Paul and I will explore a store and get separated.  This only prompts our antics.  In order to find each other we will shout out movie quotes or scream “Where are you!? Raise your hand!” and track down the beet red spouse standing in the middle of the store with their hand rasied.  This happens every time by the way.  It’s my favorite.  Also, you haven’t lived until you play house in an IKEA a’la 500 Days of Summer.
Where was I going with this?  Oh yes!  I needed a lamp!  And not just any lamp, I have been obsessed with finding a modern, affordable, and ultra industrial lamp.  One table lamp and one floor lamp, to be exact.   Modern decor doesn’t come cheap , so the game plan quickly changed to finding a lamp in need of some TLC and DIY-ing the crap out of it.  After scouring every thrift store within a 30-mile radius, I finally stumbled into Target & found my latest victim:
target tripod table lamp brushed nickel

Paul was with me, so after spouting off a few lamp-related movie quotes  [tripod lamps are so hot right now] we grabbed this $19 table lamp and headed home.

Actually, we headed straight to what may be the best mexican restaurant I’ve ever lived near and then home.  I have priorities people, and food is at the top of that list! =)

So with a belly full of vegetarian fajitas, I was ready to start tinkering with my new toy lamp. I probably should have mentioned that prior to my target run, a large spool of chicken wire was purchased. Oh yes,  I had a plan.Paul also had a plan. A plan that involved taking over MY project.  He secretly wants to be a blogger, I just know it! Luckily that meant that I was able to take photos while he man-handled some chicken wire. I showed him my inspiration lampshade via Our Humble Abowed [Amanda made an awesome faux bird cage lampshade!] and we got our DIY on!

tutorial deconstructing lamp shade to build new with wire
Lampshade deconstruction and reconstruction.  Fun little date night =)

STEP 1. Remove fabric from lampshade.  You should end up with a top and bottom ring.

STEP 2. Use goo gone or adhesive remover to get rid of the sticky glue that the fabric sometimes leaves behind.

STEP 3. Decide how tall you would like your lampshade to be [we kept ours close to the original size, about 10 inches tall] and also measure out how long you will need your wire mesh to be to wrap around your lampshade’s rings.  Use wire cutters and cut to fit, leaving an extra row of mesh on the top and bottom to fold over your lampshade rings.

STEP 4. Fold the top and bottom row of mesh about halfway.  Every 4-6 squares snip the wire [see image below] for easy folding.  Think of the wire as the little paper flaps on paper dolls, the ones that fold the paper clothes to the doll.  That’s essentially what we’re doing here.  Only with wire =)

tutorial on chicken wire lampshade frame

STEP 5. Fold down the metal “flaps” you made with your wire cutters and pinch to secure/align.

STEP 6. After folding down the first 2-3 flaps, use a sandwich twist-tie, some string, or a small piece of wire to secure the folds to the lampshade ring. This will prevent slipping/sliding around. [see below]

twist tie metal chicken wire lampshade

STEP 7. Snip a 2-3inch piece of wire [either craft wire or some of the extra wire that came with your chicken wire roll] and wrap it along the seams to secure. We decided on wrapping one on the top of the seam and another on the bottom. [see below] Paul later added an additional one on each side to for symmetry.  He claims they were necessary *cough*OCD*cough*

chicken wire metal lampshade diy

STEP 8. Finish folding both the top and bottom seams and remove any twist-ties that aren’t needed. The amount you need will depend on the size of your lampshade, a small one like ours didn’t require that many while a jumbo project might have you reaching for a few extra. Oh snap! And while I was rambling. we somehow finished our lampshade!

macro zoom chicken wire lampshade
metal industrial diy table lamp
modern wire lampshade

 update: years later, we’re still butt-crazy in love with this lamp!

DIY Industrial Wire Lampshade Tutorial

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  • Jennifer Hendrick

    Love the look!! I’ve been using construction wire for years to make lampshades. Easy, inexpensive and you can make different shapes too!

    • Thank you! They’re super fun to make and I love how easily you can customize them!

  • Mary Rhea

    What material/fabric did you use for the shade ?

    • Hi Mary! So I bought a lamp base that came with a shade and removed the shade martial to replace it with chicken coop wire to make it modern. Lowes/Home Depot and other such hardware stores typically have it. xoxo

  • T oneil

    Could I get this wire in the us
    Thanks you good day

    • Yes of course! I purchased mine at Lowe’s hardware store. Home Depot should also carry it!

  • Sophia

    where can I get the same size mesh wire you used for this lamp?

    • Hi Sophia! We picked ours up at Lowe’s hardware store in the garden section 🙂

  • This is exactly the project I have been looking for! I’m thinking about making one out of fine mesh – the kind you find in an art supply store. Thanks for the DIY tutorial!

  • This is so great!! Love! I also shared it on my blog here:

  • Natknox911

    I love it!  I have a lamp that i am looking to redo and this helps give me some great ideas!  Thanks for posting! I am your newest follower and I would love it if you stopped by sometime to say, “Hi”!

  • awww yay! Happy to help! I’m making a second b/c I love it so much — LMK how it turns out! =)

  • Musebootsi

    I was just! looking for a modern light shade for my kitchen!! Thank you! It’s fantastic!

  • Linda

    So very cool. Nuff said. 


    [email protected]

  • Holly @ Life as a Thrifter

    Saw you on CRAFT . . . This is fabulous!  How creative!!
    Holly @ Life as a Thrifter

  • So do I!!! Make me one! 😉

  • The Hell on Heels Housewife

    Love the tutorial!  Turned out way cool!!  Will continue to follow!
    Maggie @

  • Thanks Amanda! I used a low wattage CFL so it wasn’t as bright as a 100watt would be.. but I actually rarely turn it on! It’s more of a decoration for me 😉 I know – i’m weird!

  • Amanda @ Semi-Health Nut

    Seriously you are so creative.  I also love the label “I Love Lamp.” hahaha

    Is the light super bright though?  Since there’s nothing to block it or “shade” it?

  • This is just excellent…I want to make one as a swag lamp over a table!!

  • Look so swank!!!!!!!!  You are crafty, friend 😀

  • That is completely fun!  I love DIY projects

  • Julie

    I LOVE this lamp!  Its so modern!  I also share your pain about screaming for the other spouse.  I do that to my husband all the time and he gets so upset!!  

  • Kristen @ Swanky Dietitian

    Haha, I love lamp! Love Anchorman!
    This lamp is adorable!! I have been trying more DIY stuff at home. Doesn’t always turn out, but this lamp seems doable. 🙂

  • That is such a cute lamp! I love DIY projects, I wish I was a little more disciplined in completing them though 😛

  • What a cool lamp! Love the industrial look.

  • iheartorganizing

    So stinkin’ fabulous!  Love how it turned out.  It’s looks like something you would find in an ultra high end shop.   xoxo!

  • Mary Bergfeld

    This is really cool. You two make a great team:-). This is my first visit to your blog, so I took some time to browse through your earlier posts. You’ve created a great spot to  visit  and I really enjoyed the time I spent here. I’ll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  • Amanda @ Our Humble A{Bowe}d

    Oooh, I love your spin on my tutorial!  It looks so industrial chic.  And you didn’t have to spend a fortune to get it!  Great work!!!

  • Cheryl

    Cute!!  And I’m w/you on the therapy of shopping, even if you don’t buy anything – i can totally just roam around a store for hours (esp Ikea!).

  • Karla

    Very cool! You’ve got yourself a new follower. 🙂

  • And I thought I was being crafty spray painting wine glasses… *le sigh*  You’re my DIY hero.

  • CrunchyCreamySweet

    No.3 cracked me up! lol The lamp looks fabulous! Great job!

  • Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean

    such a fun lamp!!

  • Kim Bee

    You light up my life!

  • Kiri W.

    Nice! Youa re definitely much craftier than me.

  • so modern and industrial! love it!!

  • Meghan Cole

    How unique! I love it. We need lamps in our guest room. Ugh. I’m not sure why I don’t have any fun shopping for lamps!

  • So fun! What a great idea! Looks great 🙂

  • “This type of shopping is challenging and annoying.  I try to postpone grocery shopping as long as possible.  Yet, if you get me anywhere near a Whole Foods or Trader Joes, I’m all smiles.”

    I had to laugh, this is totally me too!

  • Awesome, Crafty Lady (and Paul)!
    This is cool—I would definitely buy one if I saw it in a store… I like the idea of making one, but, um…you know I’m not crafty. 
    Retail therapy usually involves expensive food for me. The comfort varieties…that I can eat too much of, and then need more! 

  • corey melke

    Ohhhh I love it….. so cool! 
    xoxo from Calgary this week

  • Make one!!!! =) It was much easier than I ever imagined and it looks like it cost a pretty penny even up close! =)

  • LOVE it!!! This would look great in my hub’s office! 

  • Tiffany Arp

    I love that lamp, great job!

  • feedthebf

    You’re so creatively awesome Jen!

  • I love it! And too funny that Paul took over your project!

  • Awesome lamp Jenn! You guys did a great job.  It looks like something you would get at a specialty store and spend a fortune on.  I need to get crafty again.  Now I am always in the kitchen.  I filled my previous craft room cabinets with small appliances!  What happen to me???

  • Laura

    I adore this- great tutorial!

  • What a great idea … and execution. It turned out great!

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