frankie exclusive diy: yarn embroidered lampshade

Remember those amazing string pictures from the ’70s? This geo-starburst lampshade is a bit like that, though a lot less complicated (phew!). To give a plain lampshade a fun makeover, grab some yarn and check out the tutorial below.

frankie exclusive diy lampshade embroidery inside 111

– plain lampshade (most fabric-covered lampshades will work for this or you could make your own using a nifty kit like these)
– sheet of A4 paper to print out template
– masking tape
– fine yarn, string, embroidery thread or something similar in a contrasting colour to your lampshade
– needle large enough to take your yarn/string or thread
– scissors


1. Print out the ‘geo-starburst’ template provided here. Cut the template out, leaving some room around the shape.

frankie exclusive diy embroidery lampshade 1

2. Decide where you’d like to sew your first starburst (make sure you’re at least a few mm away from the rim of the lampshade) and lightly tape the template in place. I taped it at two corners to avoid marking the shade.

Take your needle and pierce a hole at each outer point of the starburst. Remove your template. Don’t worry if your holes aren’t very visible, you should be able to feel them on the inside of your lampshade.

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3. Cut a long piece of your chosen yarn/string/thread. Thread one end through your needle and tie a small knot at the other end. Starting at a hole towards the bottom of your pattern, push your needle through from the inside of the lampshade to the outside, pulling your yarn through until the knot stops it.

To make your first stitch, count five pierced holes to the left of your thread and push your needle through the fifth hole, pulling it all the way through to create one long straight stitch.

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4. To stitch the other half of that point, count five holes clockwise and bring your needle through that fifth hole to the outside, then back through the previous hole you stitched through, creating a point. As you build up your pattern, it’s good to keep the stitches that are inside the lampshade lined up with the ones on the outside, otherwise they may show as shadows when your lamp is lit.

So at this point for example, take your needle back to the very first hole you stitched through (where the knot is) and bring it through that hole to the outside.

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5. Continue building up your pattern. It’s a good idea to check the template to make sure you’re getting the pattern right as you go.

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6. Once your starburst is finished, on the inside of your lampshade, use your needle to loop your yarn around the closest stitch and pull into a knot. Repeat steps 2-6 for as many starbursts as you’d like on your lamp. Four was perfect for this little lampshade, but you could add more on a larger shade.

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7. To add the line of yarn around each edge of your lamp, take a long piece of yarn (check it’s long enough to go around your lampshade with some to spare) and thread your needle. About 8mm in from one rim of your lamp, push your needle through at the shade’s seam, leaving a few cm of yarn on the inside of the lamp.

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8. Loop your yarn around the lampshade and bring your needle back through the same hole. Pull on the two ends of the yarn together and move the yarn on the outside of your lamp into place, so it is in a straight line about 8mm from the rim.

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9. Tie the two ends of yarn together, keeping them pulled tight as you do this, and trim the knot. Repeat steps 7-9 at the other rim of your lampshade and you’re all done! Now just pop your shade on its base.

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frankie exclusive diy lamp end

See more from Anna over here, or check our her spiffy new book – it’s all about making bags!

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