Introduction: Zip Tie Lampshade

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This colorful and cheery lampshade is not only a unique way to express yourself through design, but it's also inexpensive and incredibly easy to do! Made from everyday zip ties, this lampshade can be easily adapted to fit almost any lamp by using the existing lampshade.

To make your own we'll replace the removable lamp shade with steel mesh netting, using the zip ties to hold everything together. Here's what I used:

If you're into zip ties and want to see what else you can do with them, why not check out Unusual Uses For Zip Ties. You might be surprised by what you find!

Ready to make your own colorful creation? Let's make!

Step 1: Measure + Mark Mesh

The steel mesh netting I used has 1/4" square openings and were the perfect size to fit the zip ties.

The lampshade from my lamp was removed and lay flat on the mesh, with the top of the lampshade aligned with the top of the mesh. I marked where the length of the lampshade to the mesh. The shade length fell in the middle of a square, so I measured up to the next whole square and made another mark.

The lampshade was then rolled along the mesh to measure the circumference, and then another mark was made a few mesh squares larger than the lampshade - the mesh can always be trimmed up smaller but can't be made larger.

Step 2: Snip Mesh

Metal snips were used to cut along the marked portion of the mesh netting. Take the time to position the snips as close as possible to the edge of the square you are cutting along to eliminate any sharp pokey bits.

Here's me showing that I my lampshade length fell in the middle of a square, so I cut to the next whole square to have a nice clean edge.

Step 3: Remove Lampshade Frame

Most lampshades have a wire support ring at the top and bottom, held in place by the stiffness of the shade material.

The lampshade material was cut with a hobby knife and the lampshade rings were removed. Discard the shade material, or keep for a future project.

Step 4: Roll Mesh to Shade Rings

With the mesh laying flat on the table place the edge of one of the support rings on the bottom of the mesh and use a zip tie to hold in place, repeat this step with the other support ring at the top of the mesh and then roll the mesh around the support rings.

Secure the mesh with a few more zip ties. It doesn't have to look great at this point, since the zip ties placed now are temporary and will be removed when you start decorating the mesh.

Step 5: Zip Tie That Mesh

Starting from the bottom of the mesh, I placed a zip tie in every second opening in the mesh and looped the tie around the ring support. After completing one rotation I moved onto the next row, filling in every other opening but alternating the starting opening to ensure good coverage of zip ties.

I did two rows of one color before switching it up to a new color. Above shows the alternating pattern of a few colors.

Through attaching all the zip ties isn't difficult it is time consuming, so make sure to take lots of breaks and have some good music playing to keep your mind occupied.

The zip ties were attached for the entire lampshade, and ensuring the zip ties firmly closed the seam where the mesh overlapped and where it connected with the support rings.

Once complete place the lampshade on the lamp and secure.

Step 6: LED Bulb

I chose to use an LED bulb for this lamp, since they don't produce much heat and won't heat up the zip ties and cause them to melt. I'm not sure if this is necessary, since the original lampshade was a plastic and the shade isn't any smaller than the original.

For safety I decided it prudent, and the bulb was inexpensive.

Step 7: Illuminate!

Place your lamp and light up the room, both with light and from the colors and fresh design. This eye catching lamp is sure to make any space more lively, and won't break the bank.

As an added bonus, there's a great tactile sensation when running your fingers through the tails of the zip ties.

Happy making! :)

Have you made your own zip tie lamp?I want to see it!

Happy making :)