DIY lamp makeover with a coffee cloth sack shade

Add an authentic vintage vibe to any plain table lamp shade with this easy DIY coffee sack shade treatment! Get the look easily with a stencil, water and paint!

DIY lamp makeover with a coffee cloth sack shade

One of my favorite things to do is watch for curbside finds when riding my bike.

And such was the case on this given day when I came across a couple of wood stools and a crooked old lamp with a dirty, bent fabric lamp shade.

Hmm… I often think of the types of things my son’s room needs when repurposing home decor items and he did need some table lamps…

So I loaded the works on the back of my bike, and managed to walk the works home. It was quite a sight!

Lighting revamps are fun! I’ve used creativity to whip up a few DIY lamp projects in my day, such as:

Industrial sawhorse and pipe lamps

DIY floor lamp from an rusty oil funnel

But those lamps were made from scratch. Revamping a ready-made lamp would much easier!

DIY lamp makeover with a coffee cloth sack shade

The lamp before


Once I got the new curb side finds home, it was plain to see that the lamp had been left in storage for some time. The lamp shade was really dirty, and the entire lamp base was bent out of shape. And there really wasn’t anything very unique about it. Yet…

But I really liked the rusty tone of the metal lamp base, so bypassing the spray paint, I decided to enhance it as-is instead which is even easier than paint!

And I also had a brainstorm to change that boring shade into a very unique lampshade… coffee vintage-style!

So no need for a DIY lamp kit this round… here’s a DIY lamp tutorial that is so easy and turned out so cool, you may not be able to give it away… because you’ll want it for YOU! Ask me how I know… 

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DIY lamp makeover with a coffee cloth sack shade


The metal lamp base was rocked until the metal parts straightened out once again. Each join was tightened up by twisting the separate components until they were no longer wobbly.

applying hemp oil to a metal lamp shade base

Shop for Hemp oil HERE

Because I loved the rusty tone of the metal base as-is, Fusion Mineral Paint’s Hemp Oil HERE was the perfect candidate to freshen up the dry old metal and give it a little industrial style lustre!

How to use hemp oil on metal


  1. Remove all dirt from the lamp base with a soapy rag, then dry.
  2. Pour some hemp oil onto a clean rag.
  3. Wipe the hemp oil around the entire stem and lamp base, covering all the metal.
  4. Allow to sit for a few minutes, then buff the excess hemp oil off.

In the above picture, the right side of the lamp base shows the gorgeous hemp oiled side, while the left side looks old and dry. 

DIY lamp makeover with a coffee cloth sack shade

Isn’t the hemp oiled lamp base gorgeous?! Easy and instant too!

HERE is another post that shares how I condition metal with hemp oil.

So now let’s makeover the lampshade next!

DIY lamp makeover with a coffee cloth sack shade

Preparing the lampshade


The lampshade was bent out of shape and really dirty. So let’s fix it up a little first…

  1. I gently re shaped a bent lamp shade with my hands, until the shape desired was achieved.
  2. The lampshade was first dusted off, then wiped down with a slightly soapy cloth, spot-cleaning it in sections until clean.
  3. Check if any loose shade parts could use reattaching with a hot glue gun.

So let’s give it a vintage coffee sack look similar to THIS project using two stencils!

DIY lamp makeover with a coffee cloth sack shade-003

View stencils: Organic Coffee / Grain Sack Stripes G3L

Stenciling the lampshade


That newly cleaned lampshade looks better already!

When looking at the plain lampshade, I felt the fabric resembled a vintage grain sack. So looking through my stash of stencils, I decided to give this plain lampshade a coffee sack treatment… fun!

Where to find coffee sack stencils


Two stencils were layered to get this look: Organic Coffee / Grain Sack Stripes G3L

DIY lamp makeover with a coffee cloth sack shade-003

Step by step instructions to get a natural look coffee sack-style


1. Position the Grain Sack Stripes G3L on an angle where desired and attach with masking tape.

2. Load stencil brush in a lighter tone (I used Fusion’s Algonquin), and remove most paint onto a rag until your brush feels dry.

3. Tap or swipe brush along the stencil, above and below the masking tape, then remove tape and hold stencil to compete.

stenciling a coffee cloth sack lamp shade

4. Sit on a chair, and hold the lampshade with your knee.

5. Position the Organic Coffee stencil centred over the stripes, then stencil with Fusion Mineral Paint’s Coal Black following the same stencil technique as previously mentioned.

6. Continue to stencil the lamp shade in random areas until you achieve the look desired.

The water trick…


And here’s where a happy surprise transpired. Because the lampshade was still damp from washing it, the paint actually started to bleed!

Upon first thought, I started to groan… until I saw how the stencilling was changing, morphing from a newly crafted stenciled lampshade to one that resembled sitting in an antiques store for ages!

How perfect is that?!

splattering paint to create a vintage coffee cloth sack lampshade

How to add more texture to the lampshade


Working with the paint bleed, I decided to push it further, and add even more texture to make the effect look totally intentional.

6. Wet a stencil brush, then dip into various tones of paint in shades of blacks and beiges.

7. Using your finger, flick the brush ends towards the lampshade, splattering the shade with paint. Continue until you get the look desired.

I flicked on one color at a time, layering the splatters.

Some lettering was stenciled over if I didn’t want the flicked paint on that.

Shop for all my fav paint supplies in my Amazon store HERE

DIY lamp makeover with a coffee cloth sack shade

And here’s the end result! The stencilling takes centre stage, while the added texture further compliments the grain sack effect!

DIY lamp makeover with a coffee cloth sack shade

Doesn’t this look like an authentic old lamp shade with mold on it?! Haha!

I was smitten with the simplicity to get this look and adored the results.

So let’s get it on that hemp oiled lamp base and put it to work!

DIY lamp makeover with a coffee cloth sack shade

The finished lamp


This now spectacular lamp wears all the charm of an authentic rustic coffee sack!

DIY lamp makeover with a coffee cloth sack shade

Then find the perfect place for your coffee sack lamp and marvel at your lucky find, while enjoying the fruits of your labour!

DIY lamp makeover with a coffee cloth sack shade

This is such a great project, which to me has a higher end restoration hardware vibe that does not look like a free curbside find!

DIY lamp makeover with a coffee cloth sack shade

Only trouble is, the work of art lamp turned out so cool, it looks good everywhere I place it…

As for handing it over to my son?

I’m currently on the lookout for a different lamp for him… which I think answers that question quite honestly…

Think you’ll be on the lookout for your own lamp to modify with this unique look?

More rustic projects to make:

Visit more creative lighting projects HERE

wood Organic Coffee sign with mugs

See more Organic Coffee stenciled projects HERE

How to create grain sack projects HERE

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Categories: All Cool Projects, DIY, Junk Drawer, Old Sign Stencils
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7 thoughts on “DIY lamp makeover with a coffee cloth sack shade

  1. Love the lamp and shade. It is the exact style that I would be drawn to in a store. Loading flecks of paint by ‘splashing’ is awesome. On smaller items I have used old toothbrushes to do the same. What a sight walking everything home. Done the same here. I find I want to explain my idea to vehicles driving by. It’s a hoot! Great upcycle Donna.

    • Thank-you Joanne! And I’ll be searching out a toothbrush for some finer splatters, what a great tip to share!! At this rate, my son may never get a lamp from me… this is the 3rd one I’ve made over that now isn’t leaving this house. LOL

  2. The lamp turned out beautiful! Isn’t it amazing what people throw out? I especially love to see old things given new life (I guess I like the recycling of things – maybe I’m a “hippie” at heart – lol) 🙂

    • Thanks Sharon! The lamp wasn’t really all that special… until I basically sat on it to make it so! Haha! Glad I got the chance to play with this one! It illuminates so nicely too!

  3. This is fantastic! I love the worn effect you created, and thanks for the tip about hemp oil on metal. I never knew that, and now I know, lol. 🙂

    • Oh goodness Kim, this stuff truly is liquid gold. It’s great for leather, wood, metal, and so much more! But it’s really eye opening how it breathes new life into old metal!

  4. I wouldn’t give that one away either. I love how it turned out and thanks for the great hemp oil tip. I’ve been using it for wood and never even considered that it would work on metal too.

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