DIY Beaded Lampshade


We’ve been making some changes to our bedroom, and one of them included my getting a new makeup vanity, which was created from an old desk that someone had sitting out on the sidewalk.  It was in pretty rough shape, but we cut it down to size, wood-filled it a lot, primed and painted it a soft green shade with old gold metal trim, which are colors that work with our wallpaper in the room, and it looks great now.


Next, I decided to tackle the lamp that goes on the vanity.  I love this lamp.  My husband, before I even met him years ago, was working on a construction site, and he found this lamp in a house that was getting ready to be refurbished  He let me use it, I love it, and have enjoyed it ever since.


I did not love the old shade, however, which was just a plain white shade.  So I’ve been on the lookout for a new shade for this neat old lamp.


I went on Pinterest and found that someone had made a lampshade from a small metal wire trash can.  I like the shape of it, but I wanted to take it in a different direction and give it a different finish.


This is what I started with:


This is a plain metal covered with plastic trash can from Dollar Tree.


This is what I ended with:



It wasn’t very hard to make, but it took a little time.  Here are the steps I took to create this lampshade:



In order for the shade to hang at the right length for my lamp base (it was a little long for my lamp), I had to create a little “X” at the top, using wire, about 2 inches from the bottom of the trash can.  On this wire “X” rests the other metal piece that I used:



This is just a lamp bulb clip-on holder that I took out of an old lamp shade that I had.


At this point, I primed everything with Zinsser Cover Stain Oil-Base Primer in a spray form, and then painted it with Rust-Oleum Metallic spray paint in shade Gold Rush Metallic, which is kind of an old gold-brushed gold shade, not shiny, and the exact same shade I used for the hardware on my makeup vanity, which matches the gold in our wallpaper perfectly.  I let it all dry overnight.


The next day, I set up a little beading station at the kitchen table, which looked like this:



The plastic tray on the left was something I saved from when I bought some crackers, and it works well for sorting out different colors of beads, as well as the metal jump rings on the far left that I used for this project.  The beads on the left came from Michaels, and the beads on the right I got from Dollar Tree!  I didn’t use the darkest green shade, but instead focused on the shiny round beads in the light  and dark blue, lavender, light green and gold shades for my lamp, because those colors go with my wallpaper.  I opened up the jump ring, put on a bead, and then closed the jump ring on one of the rungs on the trash can.


I found it easiest to use my fingers to open up the jump rings, at least at first.  After I’d done about a hundred or so and my fingers started to get tired and sore, I decided to switch to a needle-nosed pliers, simply to help me close the jump ring on each rung of the trash can.  At first I thought I would use the tweezers, but I ended up not using them at all–it was just easier to do the beading with my fingers.  Although I didn’t keep an exact count, the finished lamp has about 450-500 beads encrusted on it.


This is the type of project where you will want to have something fun to listen to while you work!  I listened to InnerVIEWS, which are interviews with interesting entertainers, all done by Houston PBS–it was great!  Three of my favorites were with Broadway composer Jerry Herman, who wrote Mame and Hello, Dolly, Broadway singer Patti LuPone, and actor Kevin Spacey.


When you are done beading, clip the light-bulb clip to your light bulb, and place the shade on top–you’re done!



Here is the pretty lamp base that my hubby found–isn’t it pretty with the roses on the white center?



Here it is with the light on.  I used a clear glass light bulb in it.  I love the cool shadow pattern it now casts on the wall!



My crafting buddy helped.


Jasmine the cat hard at work, posing.  The top of this makeup vanity is her new favorite place to be!


From Dollar Store dumpy–



To glamorous bling for the vanity!



It was pretty affordable, too–I spent less than $30, and most of that was for jump rings.


I’d love to hear from you in the comments, so stop by for a visit!


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Till next time, 


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About AthenaMG

Athena McElrath is a Master Gardener with a love for gardening, decorating and cooking inexpensively. She enjoys working out in her urban garden in Southwest Washington State, watching the hummingbirds and other birds and insects, eating the wonderful vegetables, fruits and herbs that she produces from her garden, and just having a great time hanging out under the pergola with her family and friends (that is, whenever it stops raining long enough).
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47 Responses to DIY Beaded Lampshade

  1. Anne says:

    Such a pretty idea! Love this look.

  2. Greenearth says:

    What a great project. Impressed by what you achieved, looks so great.

  3. Hi Minerva! Thank you so much for visiting me and leaving me such a sweet comment about trying a vegetable garden! It gave me such encouragement and made me feel like I can acturally do it! I love your ‘trash to treasure’ lamp!It’s so beautiful and perfect! I am sure that it must look beautiful in your bedroom. Amazing job! Have a lovely week! Angie xo

  4. Betsy says:

    What a wonderful idea. Love all the little beads you added and the interesting shadows it casts on the wall. Just pinned it:-)

  5. Athena this is soooo pretty! I love it! Love your crafting buddy, too! :)

    • AthenaMG says:

      Thank you so much, Susan–I appreciate the encouragement, and Jasmine thanks you as well–she believes in humans paying obeisance to her!

  6. Audrey says:

    Adding bling to your trash can/lamp shade really was a marvelous transformation! Love it!

  7. Oh how fun. This is so clever and I love it. Hugs, Marty

  8. I have one of those basket! great idea on the lampshade!!

  9. Donna Heber says:

    Hi Athena,

    What a wonderful new lampshade! It must have taken you quite a bit of time to add all those beads. You must have a lot of patience or is Jasmine taking the credit for that :-) I bet with the light shining through it sparkles.

    • AthenaMG says:

      Oh yes, Jasmine is Queen Cat around here, so all credit goes to her! It does sparkle! Thank you for the kind words, Donna–it’s always a pleasure to hear from you.

  10. Susan says:

    Hi Athena. Wow! The lampshade looks stunning so pretty. I have not made anything since just before Christmas; It’s been such a busy year. My granddaughter is coming to stay for a week she loves to craft so maybe it’s time I did something. Have a great weekend

  11. Kathy says:

    Thank you so much for visiting and leaving your sweet comment. I absolutely love your lampshade! It goes so well with your lovely lamp. I’m off to look at some of your older posts! Have a great weekend.

  12. donna says:

    What a great idea! Now that’s what I call a “trash to treasure” project!!

  13. I love this! I am pinning it!

  14. What a unique idea! I’ll bet this really sparkles at night.

  15. thistle says:

    You are so clever! I love this! I can’t believe it started out life as a trash can from the Dollar Store!

    Have a wonderful day!

  16. I so love this, very creative, very pretty! You clever girl you! I pinned it also! So glad you shared your creative inspiration with Sunday’s Best – your creativity helped make the party a success!

    • AthenaMG says:

      Thank you so much Cathy–I appreciate the encouragement very much! Love your blog–you have so many wonderful posts that I’ve enjoyed.

  17. Kathy says:

    Hello! this is fantastic – it looks so elegant! I will be featuring your post in this evening’s Home and Garden Thursday – I do appreciate you sharing,

  18. laurie says:

    Absolutely gorgeous, Athena! And a whole lotta work! But wow! I just love how it turned out!!!! You have the patience of Job, my dear. lol!

    xoxo laurie

    • AthenaMG says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Laurie–I am happy with how it turned out. It is hopefully going to be a part of a part of the bedroom redo.

  19. Courtney says:

    So creative!! Thanks for linking up at Feathered Nest Friday!

  20. Sherry says:

    Thanks for joining me at Home Sweet Home!

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  22. Meream says:

    Oh wow, that is gorgeous!
    Also, your Jasmine and my Chino are cat twins. Haha

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  25. olthings says:

    Lovely and hard job ! You must have much patience !
    Congratulations Athena ! Merry Christmas !!!!
    Καλά Χριστούγεννα και Ευτυχισμένος ο καινούργιος Χρόνος ! ( wishes in Greek)

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