How to Make a Wire Lampshade Frame

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People like to make statements about themselves through their decorating styles, even with something as seemingly mundane as a lampshade. But when you can’t find that ideal statement piece, sometimes you need to make it. Fortunately, with a few simple household items, you have the perfect method for creating a unique lampshade with a modern, artistic twist.

Things You'll Need

  • 10 to 20 wire coat hangers
  • Pliers
  • Paper plate
  • Tin snips

Use pliers to unwind the neck of each coat hanger and straighten the metal out. Press on the crimped up spots with pliers to remove the ridges from the wire.

Decide on the diameter of your lampshade. Use an old lampshade for reference, or cut out several paper circles and see what fits best. Try starting with a paper plate as a standard size, then go up or down from there.

Use the right-sized paper circle as a pattern to make the top of your wire lampshade frame. Twist one piece of wire around in a circle, making it the same diameter as your paper circle. Twist the excess wire over and around in a vine-like way. You will end up with a wire "wreath" in the diameter of your lampshade. Use pliers to crimp the ends of the wire toward the inside of the frame.

Repeat with another piece of wire to make the bottom of your lampshade frame.

Measure how tall you want your wire lampshade frame to be, then cut the remaining wire coat hangers into that height measurement plus 2 inches each.

Attach one vertical piece to the top frame. Hold the vertical piece so that 1 inch extends above the circular frame. Use pliers to fold the extra inch over and down, so that it loops around the frame. Press the end firmly with pliers to crimp it closed. Repeat with the remaining vertical pieces until all are attached to the top frame piece.

Attach each vertical piece to the bottom frame. Use the same procedure as you did to attach to the top frame.

Bend one hanger wire in a tight circle that fits around the light bulb socket. Cut the end of the wire to remove any excess.

Place this new circle in the middle of the bottom frame. Then attach three pieces of straight wire from the frame to this inner circle, with each wire equidistant from the others. Use the pliers to bend the wires around both the inner and outer circles.

Fit the small circle over the light bulb socket on the lamp to ensure the shade fits. If the three pieces of wire you added made the inner circle too tight, loosen the inner circle slightly and try again.

Tips & Warnings

  • Twist two or more wire pieces together if you want the lampshade frame to be thicker.
  • For an even bolder look, make your frame square, oval or rectangular instead of circular.

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