How to Make a Birch Bark Lamp Shade

Written by jennifer meyer
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How to Make a Birch Bark Lamp Shade
Birch bark often hangs off the tree like peeling paint. (birch image by Pali A from

Native American tribes used birch bark to construct housing and canoes. They learnt to take advantage of its flexible, paper-like nature. Much later, woodsmen, campers and even hobbyists with a flair for the natural world took to using the bark to make all kinds of furniture, including lampshades. You too can create a homey, rustic shade for your favourite lamp using this versatile bark.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Spare lampshade
  • Birch bark
  • Scissors
  • Twine
  • Craft glue

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  1. 1

    Measure the top and bottom circumference of your base lampshade. Trace an outline on your birch bark that is as tall as the lampshade and with a top and bottom length equal to the circumference of the top and bottom of your base. You should have a trapezoidal shape when you are done.

  2. 2

    Cut the birch bark along the outline with a pair of scissors.

  3. 3

    Peel the thin top layer of bark away from the thick bottom ones, being careful not to rip that delicate top layer.

  4. 4

    Trace a line of craft glue along the top and bottom of the lampshade. Also add a single vertical line of the glue. The location does not matter.

  5. 5

    Match the edge of the bark with the vertical line of glue and press it down. Wrap the bark around the lamp. Press the remaining edge into the glue, adding more of the craft glue if you have to.

  6. 6

    Tie the top, middle, and bottom of the bark tightly to the lampshade with twine to keep it from bending away. Let the lampshade dry for an hour.

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