I was totally excited to hear that I was chosen by Donkee House, in conjunction with Totally Tutorials, to be a part of their exchange program. I received a free burlap coffee sack and in exchange, I get to write a tutorial for what I created with it. (And not once did I randomly and excitedly yell “SACK IT TO ME” while walking around the house that day. Because I’m mature.)
Donkee House sells a large variety of these authentic coffee sacks (for a ridiculously low price, I must say) in their etsy shop, if you’d like to pick one up for yourself. I think you could just frame them for some great wall art and call it a day. But today I’m going to show you how I used mine to make a lampshade for a boring white plastic pendant lamp hanging in my sewing room.
Aw, doesn’t it look cute all packaged up?
Supplies you’ll need:
burlap coffee sack
1/2 yard fabric
2 yards of 1 inch natural colored twill tape
glue gun and a few glue sticks
Before starting, I recommend you wash and dry your coffee sack to make it more pliable.
First, I measured the height of my current shade and cut the sack off at that measurement:
Next, cut up through the tube so it is one long rectangle. Do your cutting far away from any pretty print or pictures you want in the finished product.
Then, measure the circumference of the bottom of your lampshade (mine is tapered, so it is larger at the bottom). Add 1 inch to that measurement and cut your long rectangle to that width. Then, right sides together, sew the rectangle back into a tube with a half inch seam allowance:
Now the tube should fit your old lampshade’s height and lower circumference.
Cut your fabric into 3″ wide strips, as long as you can make them. You need a strip length that is twice the circumference of your lamp, so you will probably have to piece together two strips to achieve this length.
If you’d like, now would be the time to hem the strip on one side for a clean, finished look. Or just leave the hem raw in keeping with the spirit of the burlap’s texture and style.
On the side opposite the hem, you will ruffle your fabric. The easiest way to do this is to set your thread tension as high as it will go (highest number) and your stitch length as long as it will go (highest number). Then, when you sew, it will ruffle automatically, like so:
Once you have your long strip ruffled, sew it to the inside hem of your burlap tube. (The tube will be inside-out.) When you begin sewing, leave a little tail at the beginning so when you get to the end, you can join the ruffle trim before attaching it to the burlap. Or, you could simply fold the end under, overlapping the point where you began and sew it down.
Flip the tube right-side-out and use a hot glue gun to affix your length of twill tape over the raw edge of burlap.
At the end, fold over and cover your starting point.
At the top of the tube, begin cutting little button holes, no larger than 3/4 inch high, all around the circumference. Space them 2-3 inches apart and make sure you have an even number.
Use your remaining twill tape to thread through the button holes and tie a little bow, cinching the top of the tube to fit the top of your old lampshade. If your lampshade wasn’t tapered, this isn’t necessary.
And you’re done!
And now, if you’d like, you can join me in finding a tutorial for how to tie a proper bow. Though I’ve read several and still can’t do it. Maybe it’s like folding a fitted sheet to look like a flat; it’s a talent you must be born with. And I know for a fact it’s not hereditary (thanks for trying, Grandma).