How to Make a Birch Bark Lamp

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It's easy to give a modern, rectangular table lamp a rustic makeover using sheets of pliable birch bark. With this 30-minute, step-by-step tutorial, you'll learn how to get the best of both stylistic worlds by adding a bit of natural, "cabin chic" edge to a contemporary lamp silhouette.

(Image: Carrie Waller)
(Image: Carrie Waller)
(Image: Carrie Waller)

Things You'll Need

  • Table lamp (either round or rectangular will work)
  • Sheets of bendable birch bark
  • Ruler
  • Marker or pen
  • Heavy duty sheers
  • Removable, double-sided adhesive strips
  • Twine
  • Scissors

Step 1: Measure and Mark the Birch Bark Sheets

Use a ruler to measure the height and width of the sides of your table lamp. Measure and make marks with a marker or pen on the birch bark sheets to correspond with the measurements of the table lamp base.

(Image: Carrie Waller)

Tip

  • If your table lamp is round, use measuring tape to measure the circumference and height of the lamp's base.

Step 2: Cut the Marked Sections Out of the Birch Bark Sheet

Use heavy duty sheers to slowly cut through the birch bark sheets. Make sure to carefully follow the measured pen marks made in the previous step. Repeat the cuts until you have all four sections cut and set aside.

(Image: Carrie Waller)

Tip

  • If your table lamp base is round, you'll need to cut just the single section.

Step 3: Add Removable Adhesive Strips to the Table Lamp Base

Peel the backing paper off of double-sided removable adhesive strips, and press them to the center of each side of the table lamp base.

(Image: Carrie Waller)

Tip

  • Removable strips were used so that the birch bark could later be removed if desired to reveal the original table lamp base finish. For a more permanent effect, use super hold glue to hold the birch bark in place.

Step 4: Press the Cut Sections of Birch Bark to the Table Lamp Base

Position the cut birch bark strips over the center of each side of the table lamp base, making sure to align the edges with the top, bottom and sides of the lamp. Press firmly into place, and repeat the steps on all four sides.

(Image: Carrie Waller)

Tip

  • Don't forget to trim a small gap or hole in the birch bark on the back of the lamp base for the chord to come out.

Step 5: Wrap the Table Lamp Base and Birch Bark with Twine

Use scissors to cut a piece of twine three feet in length, and wrap it tightly around the entire lamp base to bring the edges of the cut birch bark down securely on top of the lamp base. Here, an asymmetrical wrapping technique was used for added interest, but instead, you could choose to create evenly spaced lines of twine. This step is up to you. Finish the wrapping by double knotting the twine, and cut off the excess with scissors.

(Image: Carrie Waller)

Step 6: Style the Custom Birch Bark Lamp on a Shelf or Table

Since no drying time is needed for this quick 30-minute project, you can immediately set your newly customized lamp up on a shelf or table, and plug it in to enjoy.

(Image: Carrie Waller)

Enjoy the best of rustic and modern design with this custom lamp project. Add other rustic and modern accessories around the custom birch bark table lamp to give the arrangement cohesion.

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