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Easy Beaded Basket Lampshade

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This flea market basket was flipped upside-down and wired
with about 800 glass beads. Dazzling!

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Three rows of beads around the base …

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Two rows around the top … four strands evenly placed
along the sides … and one 40" vintage necklace draped for
graceful curves and it's ready to sparkle.

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This would make a charming storage basket,
but instead, we turned upside down and are using
it as an unlined lampshade. We also want to try this over
a plain shade, when we find just the right one.
It may show off the colorful beads even more.

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We used a flame-shaped low wattage bulb that
will not get hot so that this lamp can burn safely.
This shade is not very hard to make, but you will need
lots and lots of beads … about 800 more or less …
and about 22 feet of gold-toned wire.
You'll also need pliers and wire cutters.

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We used a mixture of beads that averaged 7 mm in size. We used
100% glass beads, but plastic beads would work very well too.
Make sure your beads are transparent to let light pass through.
We collected beads from flea markets, ebay, and Hobby Lobby.
They are readily available from Amazon too, for instance:

Beadaholic Glass Beads

Also, you'll need a strong but flexible wire
to match your basket. We used some like this:

Jewelry Wire

Our mesh basket was found in a thrift shop.
It measures 8" wide by 12" tall.
Here's one on Amazon that will also work!

Mesh Basket

We spray painted our basket with
Rust-Oleum warm gold. However, other color baskets
would make great shade colors too!

Rust-Oleum Gold Paint craft

To plan our bead design, we counted the holes
around both rims. We had 64 holes, shaped like diamonds,
on both top and bottom edges. This was easily divisible
by 4, so we planned 4 bead stripes up the sides.

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Here's a look at the basic design when it was completed:

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• 4 strands from top to bottom, evenly spaced.
• Three rings around the base,
• Two rings around the top
• and a 40" long vintage necklace for the draped curves.
Here's how to begin:

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We made our side strands first.
Start with a 20" length of wire and wrap the end around
the rim of the basket through one of the holes.

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Now add beads! This will go very quickly. When you have a
strand of beads long enough to make a stripe along the side
of your basket, bend the wire over the rim to the inside of the basket.

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Use the rest of the wire to tack your bead strand to
the side of the basket. Pass the wire through
the mesh, wrapping as you go for several inches.
This will anchor your bead strand in place.
We anchored ours for about 6 inches along the strand.

We tucked the wire wrap between beads so that it
would not show from the front.

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Wrapping the strand for a six inches with the remaining
length of wire held it nice and
taught to the side of the basket for the whole length.

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This is how we started the trim around the rims. We used 23"
sections of wire and did half way around the basket at a time.
Pass the wire behind the side strands, and anchor it as
show above.

Here we go! Around and around adding beads. Anchor your
wires to the side strands or the mesh, which ever helps your
beads lie snug against the mesh. Our wire was easy to adjust …
we re-did threestrands as we taught ourselves how to do this!
Also, if your wire kinks, smooth it by squeezing it with pliers.
If your strand droops a bit, you can kink the wire a little
with pliers to tighten it up, or add little bits of wire
wrapped to the inside to hold beads strands in place.

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We added a 40" vintage necklace for the curves. We
used small pieces of wire to attach it so that it draped
in equal lengths on each quarter between stripes.
Trim and bend all your wire ends to the inside of the
basket and this shade is ready to use!
Remember to use a very low wattage bulb, like this flame
bulb so that your light is very cool and safe to use.

©StephieMcCarthy

There's nothing quite like the soft glow of a lamp
to make a soul feel content.

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