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Rope-Wrapped Lamp

Turn a garage sale find into a naturally textured lamp with a nautical or cottage theme using a length of rope and a coordinating shade.

Rope-wrapped lamp on a dresser

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

A few hours

Estimated Cost


Tools & Materials


  • Hot-glue gun and glue sticks
  • Liquid Nails silicone adhesive, #239057 (optional)
  • Electrical tape or masking tape
  • Utility knife
  • New or used table lamp


  • 50 feet (sold in bulk) of 3/4-in twisted manila rope, #349196
  • Burlap lampshade, #394651

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Step 1

Cut rope after taping

For a cleanly cut end, wrap tape tightly around the rope near the end to keep the rope fibers from unraveling, and cut the rope at the middle of the taped section.

Good to Know

For a clean cut, use a fresh blade in a utility knife.

Step 2

Cover the end of the rope with hot glue

Coat the taped end completely with hot melted glue. Press the tip of the glue gun into the fibers as needed to cover all the fibers. After the glue cools, remove the tape and glue any fibers that come loose.

Step 3

Starting at the base of the lamp at the back, use hot glue to attach the end of the rope.

Good to Know

If the lamp base you’re covering is ceramic, metal, or some other nonporous material, use Liquid Nails silicone adhesive to attach the rope.

Step 4

Wrap coils of rope up the lamp, adding glue as needed to secure the rope to itself and to the lamp.

Step 5

Rope covering a lamp base

About a quarter of the way from the top, wrap the rope in place without gluing it. Mark where you want to cut the other end, wrap it in tape, and cut to length. Seal the end with glue as you did in Step 2. Then finish wrapping and gluing it around the lamp base.

Step 6

After the glue sets, trim loose fibers with scissors as needed for a cleaner look. Attach a lamp harp.

Good to Know

If needed, check Lowe’s for replacement harps of different heights to suit the new shade.

Step 7

We enhanced this shade with parallel bands of white grosgrain ribbon. Cut the ribbon end with sharp scissors for clean edges. Tape the ribbon in position on the shade and lightly hot-glue one end in place. Level the ribbon as you add glue around the shade until the ends slightly overlap. Repeat for any additional rows. Then mount the shade on the harp to complete the lamp.