Repurposed scarf + Ikea = Knitted Lampshade

I’ve had this lamp base for years. Originally it had a tiny square lampshade perched on top that both my husband and I detested. It was completely the wrong size, colour and shape for the base, but we liked the base and had yet to find a new lampshade we wanted; so it stayed as it was.

However, this meant that we weren’t overly unhappy when the shade became one of the few casualties of our international relocation. But as I’d still not found a shade I liked, we grabbed a JÄRA shade from Ikea.
Not ideal, but it’d do.

I also had this really nice but massively oversized Kookai knit scarf I’d bought in Sydney years ago. I’d only worn it two or three times as it had a horrid habit of shedding over everything I was wearing and it was so large that it was more comically cumbersome than fashionable. Hence it’s relegation to the back of the wardrobe.

When I decided that I wanted a knit cover for my lampshade and went hunting for yarn, I remembered I had the cream monstrosity and decided to save some money and modify it to fit.

To start, I used a really light coating of spray adhesive to stick the scarf to the shade. Just enough to hold it in place whilst I adjusted it, but not enough to glue it permanently. I then commenced unravelling both ends until there was just a small space between both sides at the widest point on the lamp shade base.

As my lampshade is a trapezoid shape and the scarf is rectangular, I had a lot of extra scarf at the top. I’ll show you how I dealt with that in a minute.

But to begin with I grabbed a crochet hook and some of the yarn I had just unravelled and commenced slip stitching the knit ends together.

It’s just a case of leaving the original loop of yarn on your hook (or if it’s your first stitch, use a slip-knot), then putting the hook through both remaining knit stitches on either side of the knit your connecting, wrapping the yarn around your hook and pulling it through all the loops. Repeating until you’re finished.

I also had to make the knit smaller to avoid having a big gaping piece of fabric on the back of my shade. But unravelling yarn can be troublesome! If you don’t knot all of your ends and keep the tension correct you’ll end up with something resembling macrame… bad macrame.

So where I needed to reduce the size of the knit, I cut through the next knit loop/ stitch on both sides.

Unravelling it back until it was just in front of the crochet hook and knotting both ends together. Then trimming the remaining ends and tucking them underneath the already meshed knit to hide them.

I then carefully took the remaining end and unravelled the row on each side, exposing the new loops and shortening the knit. I had to do this about 7 times, each time reducing the knit by one row on each side to get a snug and neat fit and finish. Once I’d reached the top, I knotted the remaining yarn at the top and tucked it all in to hide any remaining threads.

Finally, I pre-punched holes around the top and bottom of the drum. And using some strong cotton yarn and an upholstery needle I stitched the top of the knit to the inside of the lampshade, ensuring that I kept behind the front knit layer (I didn’t want to ruin the nice clean look with big stitches on the front).

And voilà! I have a much softer looking lamp with a gorgeous knit cover that suits my room much better than the boring one there before!




  • Kiri says:

    What a great way to upcycle an unused clothing item. The end result is so cozy! Great detailed tutorial – I featured it on a short list of innovative ways to cover lampshades.

  • Pingback: Creative ways to cover a lampshade (without fabric) | I like that lamp

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