diy project: kate’s decoupage lamp

i hate this phrase, but i am going to use it anyway: this isn’t your granny’s decoupage. which is not to say that granny’s decoupage is bad; decoupage is in fact awesome in all its various forms. but i wanted to do something a little unconventional and put pattern where it is unexpected. this is an old ikea lamp we’ve had forever, but it has a nice simple shape and the bending arms proved to be pretty easy to decoupage using separate pieces. this takes a little patience, but the result is a fully functional patterned lamp base that adds a punch to any room. have fun! – kate

CLICK HERE for the full project after the jump!

What You Need:

1. decorative paper (this is a snow and graham single sheet paper, and this lamp only took one sheet with some left over!)
2. mod podge (matte finish, this is available at art and craft stores)
3. scissors
4. paint brush


1. clean your lamp.

2. wrap your paper around your lamp base to see how thick a strip you need to cut. you should be overlapping all strips by about .25″.

3. cut the first strip for the lamp shaft as straight as possible.

4. using your paintbrush, give the lamp base a coat of mod podge that covers the entire area where your first strip of paper will go. wrap the paper around tightly and evenly. paint some mod podge onto the inside of the paper before closing the overlap and smooth out all edges.


5. add a coat of mod podge to the outside of the paper you just put on and smooth the overlap to make sure the edge is sticking down and piece is tight and smooth.

6. measure and cut your second piece of paper for the rest of the lamp shaft and repeat steps 3 and 4. you can overlap the paper slightly each time and cover all seams with mod podge to smooth and stick down.

7. continue this method of wrapping your paper around to measure, cutting the paper out, painting mod podge on the lamp, wrapping the paper around, and covering it again with mod podge to smooth and seal down. avoid any joints or moving parts in the lamp, as you will go back to those after the main sections.

8. for the lamp base, place the paper face down underneath your lamp and trace the base onto it. cut the piece out and cut one line from the edge to the center with your scissors. in the center of the paper for the base, cut out a circle the size of your lamp’s shaft circumference. slide the paper onto the base through the slit and center the paper. if you have any gaps around the center you can fill these in with extra scraps of paper. when you have the shape right, cover the lamp base with mod podge, smooth down the paper, and seal he paper with a coat of mod podge.

9. measure and cut strips for the sides of the lamp base. cover the lamp base sides with mod podge and smooth on the strips. cut any excess paper and seal the entire base edge with a coat of mod podge.

10. for the joints or bending sections of your lamp, work with small pieces of paper to cover the sections. you can always overlap one layer of paper, but you do want to go more than two r three layers of overlap. if a shape you have cut doesn’t work, try a different one! mod podge is very forgiving and you can remove a piece if it isn’t working. the shapes you need will depend heavily on your lamp, but just make sure that no seams between two moving points are glued over with the same piece of paper. this will cause your paper to rip when you want to move that part. cover the two pieces that connect together with two different pieces of paper that just meet, and do not overlap. you can cut the paper into shapes to accommodate curves or weird edges.


11. when you are done, everything should have a layer of mod podge over it to seal it. double check to see there are no paper edges sticking out and no large wrinkles or folds. smooth any loose edges with more mod podge. let the whole thing dry, which you will know because the mod podge goes on white (like glue) and dries clear.


  1. visualingual says:

    That’s awesome! Absolutely awesome!

  2. amy says:

    Wow, I would have never thought to do this to a lamp!

  3. aimee says:

    this is a great idea and I have just the lamp to try it out on! thanks!

  4. This is so much fun! I love love love it! Thanks for such a great idea.

  5. Kate says:

    I have that chair too! I’ve never seen it anywhere else!

  6. Interesting…is that Christmas paper?

  7. Jess LC says:

    This is AWESOME and can be used on so many different surfaces… I would love do cover the top of my desk and put cut glass on top for protection. Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Very CLEVER! I love it…

    Also, just want to say I’m in complete love and awe of your blog. The home inspirations here are unlike any other! My blog mostly centers on fashion, but I’ve done a recent post showcasing my personal space…am planning to do more posts like these too. Your blog issss damn addicting!

    Check it out when you can! :)

  9. Amy says:

    Awesome – I have been looking for a how to like that for awhile! Thank you!

  10. Such a great idea! Thank you!

  11. Shandell's says:

    taking color and pattern to a whole new level. Fabulous.

  12. Erica says:

    wow– love it!

  13. pipi says:

    Brilliant! Always made my day..this blog :):)

  14. Oh I like the lamp, and I especially like that chair too. I’d like both! :)

  15. Eva says:

    I just opened my new House and Home magazine and there you were . . . what a delightful surprise!!

  16. Sera says:

    what’s mod podge? i’m from the uk not heard of it…! it does look like christmas paper but its still pretty cool…

  17. Trish says:

    love decoupage!! i have decoupaged everything from an ugly fireplace surround to a pair of boots that i took from “uh” to “chutzpuh!!” decoupaged fabric on walls (i have a great technique); i have been decoupaging since i was a wee girl and it’s never let me down-
    it’s fabulous!!

  18. Ariel Gordon says:

    I have this very same ikea lamp… I think I know how I will be spending my long weekend :)

  19. ds in east Texas says:

    love this; I have a boring black swing arm desk lamp I can’t wait to get my hands on and decoupage; thank you!

  20. i’m all about some decoupage, great idea for the lamp.

  21. sillysabrina says:

    Always happy to see decoupage used in new ways. Looks great, really!

  22. sanam says:

    what a great idea! I’ve been wanting to do something to my reading lamp for a while now. it’s just too old and boring. I’ll give this a try once I find some pretty paper. I hope it wont be too tricky on my lamp. I’m not a crafter lol

  23. Laura says:


    But my question is- where did you get the leather sofa? I very much want one :)

  24. LINDA LEE says:

    I never know that this idea can work. Haha…. fantastic!!!

  25. Sonal says:

    This project has inspired me to decoupage a lamp for my daughter’s room.
    I will be have linked it on my blog.
    Thanks for sharing-Sonal


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