The room needed a few new nautical additions, so I took an old lamp and gave it a re-vamp using thick boat rope, and adding a new shade with hand-painted stripes on it. An easy project with a great end result!

YouTube player

Project Steps

Using your painter’s tape, bisect the lamp shade to create equidistant stripes. Continue adding until the whole shade is taped, leaving only the white part of the shade you want to paint.

To make sure the tape stays in place, paint over the entire shade with Mod Podge and allow to dry completely.

When the Mod Podge is totally dry, you can start painting your stripes. Then allow that to dry. Be sure to get the very top of the shade, and the very bottom.

Take your large boat rope and wrap it once around the base of the lamp. The twine is going to be used to stabilize the rope as you wrap it. Take your twine and cut 4 long pieces. Each piece should be longer than twice the height of the lamp base. Place the middle of each piece of twine under the large rope, in the center of each side of the lamp, and tie the ends of the twine in a square knot. As you coil the boat rope around the base, tie the twine over each loop, on all four sides, until you reach the top of the lamp.

When the base is covered, cut the rope and tuck it into itself. Tie each piece of twine in a square knot and tuck the excess into the boat rope base.

When the paint is completely dry, carefully peel off your painter’s tape to reveal your stripes. Add the shade to the base and add to your beachy, nautical decor!


A moderately easy project, though I suggest having an extra set of hands on deck to help you with the rope base of the lamp.

Photography by Becky Stern.