In this easy tutorial, I show you how to upcycle vintage wire lampshade frames into gorgeous industrial style plant stands that will look fab in any interior.
The frames used in these vintage lampshades have welded spokes, designed to be re-covered rather than replaced. Indeed, some of the lampshades shown in this tutorial show signs of precisely that.
It is the build quality of these frames that make them so perfect for upcycling. Far more robust than their mass-produced modern counterparts, the lampshade frames I am using for these plant stands will happily take the weight of a plant and ceramic pot.
Vintage wire lampshade frames also come in a beautiful range of shapes. Hexagon, oval and empire shapes, with or without scalloped edges. They really are pieces of industrial sculpture in their own right.
Where can I find old wire lampshade frames?
Although I’m sure it’s possible to buy vintage style wire lampshade frames new, this is an upcycling project, so our lampshade frames are all reclaimed. Check charity shops, car boot sales and auctions for lampshades that have seen better days. You should be able to pick them up for just a couple of pounds.
Here is my collection of vintage lampshades. They are both battered and dated, so I have no issue with pulling them apart to use.
To start, you need to strip the old material from your lampshade. A pair of sharp scissors or a stitch cutter is useful as you’ll find the fabric stitched in places.
All the lampshades I took apart for this project had been hand-stitched. I even found an old repair to the wire frame on one of them. I spent a very peaceful hour wondering what the previous owners might have been like as I unpicked their stitching. They would never have known that the same frame they were recovering would end up in the public domain like this.
Finally, I used a hack saw to remove the internal wires on two of the frames but left them intact on one of the lampshade frames as I like how they look.
I am using three of the wire lampshade frames to make plant stands. The rest I am keeping for another project I have in mind.
Spray painting wire lampshade frames
I used enamel spray paint to cover the wire frames. Two in glossy black and one in rose gold. Enamel paint would also work well but take a little longer.
I always use spray paints outside. If using them inside, ventilate the area well and protect the work surfaces.
When using spray paint, thin coats give the best results and avoids drips. I find it easiest to spray the inside of the frame first.
Turning wire lampshade frames into plant stands.
You can either use your wire lampshade frames as a plant stand by merely dropping a pot into it as shown below, or by adding a top to it.
I used gorgeous olive wood chopping boards as tops for two my stands. They are seconds, so only cost a few pounds each, but you’d never know by looking at them.
I marked out where I wanted each stand to go.
And used a liberal amount of all-purpose glue to attach the stand and top.
And here on my finished plant stands.
Don’t they look gorgeous?
The rose gold plant stand holds my daughter’s favourite plant pot and matches her room.
And I have added an LED candle to the black stand which I think looks cute.
If you have enjoyed our upcycled wire lampshade frames into plant stands tutorial, why not check out some of our other quirky recycled and upcycling ideas. You can find a list of our favourites below.
Make concrete candles from old pillar candles and homemade moulds. They are a great way of trying out candle making without spending a fortune.
Try out soap making at home without having to buy lots of supplies. Follow our easy instructions using store-bought soap.
The key to air plant survival is air circulation. Our air plant wire jellyfish are a great way to display them and are made with a simple household item.
Our DIY window bird feeder is made from an old cake pan and a tea strainer and allows us to watch our lovely wild birds eat their breakfast while we eat ours.
Kokedama is the Japanese art of growing plants in moss balls. See how to create a low maintenance version from tennis balls and sheet moss.