DIY Barrel Shade Chandelier

Seven years ago when my husband and I built our house,

I was in love with this chandelier.

Kathy Ireland Ramas de Luces Bronze 30 inch Chandelier

It is a Kathy Ireland entry chandelier from Lamps Plus.  Well, seven years is a long time in my design eyes and the love has faded.  Even my husband was ready for a change.  I decided that what I really wanted was a barrel shade over a chandelier.  Maybe I could buy a shade and slip it over the existing chandelier.  I searched the internet high and low but the largest shade I could find was 18″ in diameter.  My chandelier is 30″!  That was not going to work.  Even if there was one that was large enough, with the standard top X it would be too high to expose a little iron above and below the shade like I had imagined.

X hardware on a Barrel Lamp Shade

I’d have to make my own, a DIY barrel shade for my chandelier.  What would I use for my stiff circle for the top and bottom?  I drug my sweetie to the local Lowe’s but nothing was big enough.  I did see a wreath and thought, what about a

wreath form?

Wreath Form

We headed on over to JoAnn’s.  Nothing even close to the right size.  But what about an embroydery hoop?

Embroidery Hoops

 Still not large enough.  I thought about having one custom made by a metal shop, or possibly cutting up a trashcan lid, well scratch all of that.  Brilliance struck!  A HULA HOOP!

Make a Barrel Shade for Chandelier


A quick trip to Wal-Mart yielded the perfect circle.  They had many sizes, but the smallest was perfect.  It was 32″ in diameter, just 2″ larger than my chandelier.  It was flat on the outside and rounded on the inside!  Wrapping a tape measure around the outside gave me the measurement of 109″ or a little over 3 yards.

Hula Hoop Measurement for Barrel Shade

So I purchased 2 yards of medium toned burlap from Walmart.

Burlap from Walmart

A hot iron to the burlap smothes everything out, you know how tricky burlap can be when it’s wrinkled.

Make a Barrel Shade for Chandelier

Lay out the burlap on a table or flat surface.  Fold it over lengthwise and cut along the fold.

Make a Barrel Shade for Chandelier

Pin the two ends together and stitch them up to make one

long strip of burlap.

Pin The Ends of the Burlap Together

Measure from the seam line above to 50% of the circumference of the hula hoop, in my case 54.5″.  This was a smidge too big so I ended up at 54″.
Making a Barrel Shade

Sew up the seams.

Making a Barrel Shade

Trim any excess burlap from seams.

Make a Barrel Shade for Chandelier

Iron the seams flat on themselves.

Making a Barrel Shade for a Chandelier

Insert the hoola hoop inside the burlap tube and pin the top edge over the hoola hoop.

Making a Barrel Shade for a Chandelier

Carefully sew along the pins making sure your needle is set as close to the hoop as possible.  Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect,

it will be hidden later.

Making a Barrel Shade for a Chandelier

Take some picture hanging wire and fish it around the hula hoop.  I did this 6 times since I have a 6 light chandelier.  Be sure to measure them equal distances apart.  I took 109″ and divided it by 6.  Then spaced them about 18″ apart.  Twist the wire making a solid ring and trim the extra wire.

Making a Barrel Shade for a Chandelier

The blue hula hoop is still visable through the burlap, but don’t worry yet.  (I could have spray painted it, but I had another plan)

Making a Barrel Shade for a Chandelier

Because the top still looked unfinished, I bought 3″ brown satin ribbon from a great shop called Tai Pan.  It’s 10 yards for $6.95.

Making a Barrel Shade for a Chandelier

I chose brown because it was a nod to the dark finish of my chandelier.  You could do any color you want!  I also liked the sheen next to the dull burlap.  Unfortunately, this would turn out to be the most difficult choice yet.  In order for it to look clean and tidy I couldn’t glue or iron it on, they would look too messy.  So I had to hand stitch it on.

Making a Barrel Shade for a Chandelier

I’m not much of a hand seamstress, I did a sloppy straight stitch tight along the bottom of the ribbon on both sides.

Making a Barrel Shade for a Chandelier

Cut a slit in the ribbon on the back side of the hula hoop for each wire ring.  Slip fishing line under the ring and tie a square knot.

Making a Barrel Shade for a Chandelier

 Measure each fishing line 18″ and trim.

Making a Barrel Shade for a Chandelier

Time to hang this masterpiece!  Tie each of the 6 fishing lines to a corisponding curly cue.  Measure the fishing line from the hula hoop to the chandelier, mine ended up at 11″.  This made the shade high enough to expose some of the chandelier on top and bottom of the barrel.  Be sure each fishing line measures the same so that the shade will hang level.  The fishing line is so translucent, its dificult to see in this photo.  And from the ground, you can’t see it at all, not even a shimmer when the light is on!

Making a Barrel Shade for a Chandelier

Now, stand back and admire your new barrel chandelier!

Making a Barrel Shade for a Chandelier

I love that the bottom is raw unfinished burlap.  It creates an airy romantic feel.

DIY Barrel Shade for a large entry Chandelier

A dimmer is a must with this light fixture.  It changes the lighting with your mood.  See the peekaboo top and bottom?

Make a Barrel Shade for Chandelier

Looking up from the entry.  The sheerness of the burlap works perfect with the window, still allowing light to flow during the day. Make a Barrel Shade for Chandelier

The light burlap glows when the chandelier is on, gorgeous.

Make a Barrel Shade for Chandelier It honestly looks amazing with or without the lights on!

Make a Barrel Shade for Chandelier


Pin It

Hopefully this shows the scale of the hula hoop and chandelier.  Adding this size shade to an already large chandelier ads tons of volume to any space.
Entry Chandelier with Burlap Hula Hoop Barrel Shade

  • Quick; took only a few hours, less without the hand stitching
  • Cheap; $3.30 hula hoop, $5.94 burlap, $6.95 ribbon (and used less than 1/3), fishing line, thread, wire=around $12!!!
  • Easy; no expert sewing, ironing, or crafting skills necessary
I can’t believe how quick, cheap and easy this project turned out to be AND it truly looks better in person than in any of my amateur photos!  You should really try this and send me your photos!



    • Thanks BJ, I have looked too, I’m glad I could share this true DIY with everyone!

  • Hey Mandy, I just did this but not for a lamp shade,for a petticoat. HA! Love the lamp shade!!

  • ah-mazingness!!!

    i’m speechless! thanks so much for linking up at inspired by charm! love, love, love this project!

    • Thanks for the party Michael!

  • UH-mazing! Great job Amanda!

  • Hah! what a great idea with the hula hoop! i never would have guessed. great project!

  • This turned out amazing, very creative idea and it looks more cozy.

  • How brilliant!!! Amazing results, beautiful use of burlap, congrats!!

  • This is just the best- love what you did. Great tute also.
    My best- Diane

  • Ok, that is just awesome!! You may have solved my light fixture problem…..:)

  • What a terrific looking end result. I love it and you are clever.

  • Clever and so beautiful, thanks for sharing. Walmart does come through so many times!! I love burlap and also work with it! New follower, stop by for a visit.

  • I LOVE this! I would love if you would share this at the Crazy Cute link party happening at Between U & Me right now! I’ve got a totally awesome giveaway this week, too!
    OOH! AND, I’m your newest follower! ;)

  • Hey i really like it! we live in a 1929 bungalow & though the scale of this fixture is far to big for our space, burlap, sisal and linen have a future in our living room revamp. We’re planning to cover our gigantic stereo speakers with burlap & i think a riff on your lighting idea will be just the thing for our overhead fixture: Thrift store fixture + spraypaint + burlap barrel shade = Yes! you’re right about the rough burlap with shiny ribbon. Looks great

  • That is absolutely gorgeous!!! I love it, you are brilliant.

  • You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!
    My blog is about Healthy Cholesterol Recipes.

  • Congrats on the Home Stories A2Z feature tonight! YAY!

    • Thanks Dana! I was out on a date when I got the news, thanks for keeping me updated :)

  • Congrats on being featured at Home Stories AtoZ! I think your shade is gorgeous! I’m going to try something similar in my little girl’s room. I’m your newest follower!!!

    Aimee from

  • You are a GENIUS! I can’t wait to make this for my boring iron staircase chandelier! Thank you for sharing your great idea.

  • What a detailed tutorial. Great job coming up with your own solution. I like seeing the iron fixture still. The burlap has almost a skirted look to it. So cute!

  • So creative! I would love for you to link this up at our party.

    Great job!

  • This is great! I love the burlap raw edge too. And the hula hoop is INSPIRED!

  • This is gorgeous, Amanda! You have an incredible creative imagination. Pinning… ;-)

  • Ohhhhh my goodness I LOVE this idea and your creative transformation! I think the light looks PERFECT and I LOVE that you used a hula hoop! It sounds like something I would do! Thank you SO much for linking up and for the great inspiration!
    Jaime from crafty scrappy happy

  • I love this! Genius! Turned out awesome! (found you at crafty, scrappy, happy)

  • I recently decided to add a barrel shade to my old outdated chandelier and realized normal hoops were not going to be large enough. I too came to the decision to use hula hoops and found the perfect size, super cheap, at the dollar tree. I haven’t added fabric yet but that’s my next step. I ran across your web site while searching for how to make a shade out of hula hoops and I wanted to thank you for such a great in depth tutorial. Everything else I found on the subject was junk or a rip off of your site. You are awesome. thank you for thinking outside the box.

    • Thanks Jennifer! I went to my dollar store but they only carried them in the summer. That project is really one of my all time favorites! Good luck picking fabric for yours, I’m obviously bias to burlap, but I’d love to see what you come up with. Send me a pic when you’re finished!

  • Well isn’t that nothing? That looks like something out of one of those hi end stores like HORCHOW. I was just amazed at how you found a solution to upgrade your chandy.

  • I have been searching high and low for someithing just like this! I can’t wait to try and duplicate it. Love this site!

  • Hey! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established blog. Is it very difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any tips or suggestions? Cheers

  • Could you tell more about how you attached your shade to the chandelier ? This is a brilliant idea and I have played with some ideas but yours would more than fill the bill but I am unclear on the method for hanging .

    • Lorrie, I’m so glad you found my tute! I spaced fishing line evenly around the hula hoop. I chose to have 6 pieces of fishing line and attached each one to an arm of my chandelier. I tied them in a knot as high as I could to the chandelier. Then I kept working around and around until it was level. I hope this helps and I’d love to see a pic of your final product!

  • This is fabulous! I have been really wanting a large drum shade for our entry way. I have no issues with hand sewing but if you end up making another one I have a suggestion. You could machine sew the top of the ribbon to the burlap when it’ s flat then flip it over the hula hoop. You could then tack it down by hand on the bottom. This would hid the other stitching.


  • I had the same problem but I gave up! Good for you! I NEVER would have thought of a hola hoop!

  • Oh you did such a great job. I love the finished look. Your home is beautiful too.

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