DIY Yarn Wrapped Lighting Feature

Lighting makes such a huge impact on a room. Natural light can bring out all the interesting colours and details from a carefully constructed room but we’re not always lucky enough to have a space filled with this commodity. Artificial lighting can help to make up the difference and it can also provide interesting detail and accents to the room as well.

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One of the things I always notice when I visit a new bar or restaurant are the lighting features. Done well they can complete and even make a well designed room but done badly they can throw the whole aesthetic off. There’s a sculptural aspect to well made lighting and even in the light bulb itself which is being used more and more as a feature in good lighting design.

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This past couple of years there has been a growing trend of using unusual materials to create texturally interesting lighting features. Materials such as concrete, wicker and even plastic straws have been used to highlight negative space, surface texture and pattern, and create lighting features that are small works of art that bring attention not only by lighting elements in the room but also creating spaces that draw the eye themselves.

This doesn’t mean that lighting cannot also enhance a minimal interior. The functional aspect of a lighting feature means it sits perfectly amongst a clean interior without causing clutter. It gives us the opportunity to play with texture in this surrounding without deconstructing the integrity of the design. This yarn wrapped lighting feature is an inventive mix of texture combined with minimal aesthetics. You can make it in a colour scheme to suit your home interior and to attach to any existing lampshade or make your own! Here’s how:

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You can either make your own lampshade or use a stripped down lampshade frame. If you make your own you will need:

  • Thick wire
  • Wire cutter and round nose plier (two in one or separate pliers)
  • Light fixture

To make the yarn wrapped shade you will need:

  • Yarn
  • Parcel paper
  • Thin cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun and glue sticks


To make the shade.

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1. Unscrew the bottom half of the light fixture and wrap the wire around the top of the thread. Straighten the wire out below the ring and bend the ring around 80˚.

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2. The length of this straight section will be the distance from the lightbulb to the top of the lampshade. Measure this and create a larger loop that is bent in the same direction.

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3. Bend the wire back down towards the original loop but slightly angled out. Straighten this into a longer length of wire than the first. This will create the distance between the top and bottom of the lampshade. Remember to give yourself some room for light bulb at the bottom of the lamp as well. Create another much larger loop which is parallel to both of the other loops.

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4. Where the wire meets the beginning of the final loop cut off using your cutter. With the round nose pliers turn the end to make an open loop. Hook onto the start of the loop and squash to close using the pliers.

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You should now have a wire base that will support the outer layer.

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To make the yarn wrapped shade.

1. Roll out the parcel paper and tape down the keep secure. Place the shade at one end and mark along the length with a pencil. Slowly roll the shade along the paper drawing a line where the wire meets it. Stop at the same place you began, draw back along the length of the shade and then roll back to the original position marking where the wire meets the paper at the other end. Make sure when you roll back to the starting position you move along the original lines. Cut out your template and wrap around the shade to check the size.

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2. Tape your template onto the thin card and draw around with about 1-2cm extra on each side. Cut this out.

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3. Begin to wrap your yarn around this piece of cardboard. Keep the yarn wrapped closely together. After wrapping 8-10 times take the wool back over the top of the wrapped yarn on the shorter edge of the cardboard. Bring it back down to continue where you last wrapped along the longer edge. Continue to wrap over the top of the yarn of the shorter edge until you come back to the cardboard again. Repeat this step along the whole piece. This will give you an even pattern along both edges even though one is considerably longer than the other. Leave a small edge at both ends unwrapped so that 1, the yarn doesn’t fall off the edge and 2, you can glue them together around the frame.

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4. Wrap and glue into place. Once the glue is dry wrap a little more yarn around the join the give a seamless connection.

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5. Slot onto the light fixture and screw the bottom back on. Pop a light bulb in making sure the bulb does not touch any of the shade!

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