How to Make a Simple but Beautiful Paint Stick Lamp

Mitch Couch
by Mitch Couch
5 Materials
1 Hour

If you've got a spare lampshade and you're looking for an interesting way to give it a new look, this paint stick lamp tutorial is just what the doctor ordered. It's easy, it's fast, and the final look is truly beautiful!

This post was transcribed by a member of the Hometalk editorial team from the original HometalkTV episode.

Start with a spare lampshade

1. Start with a spare lampshade

To make a paint stick lamp you will want to grab some scrap wood and a lampshade. The lampshade I used was 11 inches wide. You will want to set your shade up onto the scrap wood. 

Use a few extra paint stirrers

2. Stain your paint stirrers

You are also going to want to grab some paint stir sticks. I went ahead and stained my paint sticks in a nice chocolate brown color.  

Put an embroidery hoop around your lampshade

3. Build the lampshade

To start building the new paint stick lampshade, I slipped a large embroidery hoop over my shade. 

Start gluing the paint stirrers to the hoop

I then used hot glue to attach four sticks to start. I glued them to the hoop at the bottom and the top of the lampshade.  

How to make a paint stick lamp

Try to get them at the 0, 90,180, and 270 degree marks. This will help to stabilize the hoop. 

Add the second embroidery hoop

Once I had all of those on, I flipped the shade over and slipped another large embroidery hoop overtop.  

Glue stirrers from inside the top hoop

With the lampshade upside down now, I glued four more sticks again at the 0, 90, 180, and 270 degree marks. I attached them at the bottom to the hoop and at the top to the lampshade again. Place these four sticks right next to the first four you glued on.  

Add more stirrers, alternating as you go

With those all in place, I began alternating the sticks to fill in the gaps.  

Continue filling in gaps

I attached one stick onto the bottom hoop and the top of the shade and then one to the bottom of the shade and the top hoop. You don’t need to flip the shade over at all. Make sure you put all of the sticks right next to each other.  

There you have it, a basic paint stick lamp

How to make a simple but beautiful paint stick lamp

When you are done, you can add a light fixture to turn it into a hanging light or place it onto a lamp. How cool is it to turn some scrap materials into an easy paint stick lamp? 

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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  3 questions
  • Pj Pj on Nov 19, 2021

    What’s it look like all lit up?

  • Shuganne Shuganne on Nov 19, 2021

    That is absolutely awesome!

    Why don't your paint sticks have that handle dip like every other paint stick I've seen?

    What would you do if the paint sticks didn't fill in evenly, so you didn't end up with two sticks both going the same direction instead of alternating in and out?

    Did you dry fit it to be sure the sticks would end up evenly? Or did you do some nifty math, like dividing the circumference of the hoop by the width of the paint sticks, to be sure that you'd end up with an even number?

    And, finally, what would you classify the shade style? I don't think of hanging lamps as traditional and I think it's too classy for farmhouse. Mid-century modern? Or would it depend on the kind of base you used for a table lamp? Whoo, too many questions, but you stirred my curious little brain! Thanks for sharing!

  • Peggy Peggy on Nov 08, 2023

    I wonder if you could use shims instead of paint sticks? Love this lamp- great job!

Join the conversation
2 of 22 comments
  • Sharleen Sharleen on Nov 08, 2023

    What a fantastic idea . Definitely going to try it . Thanks for sharing

  • Shelly Moore Shelly Moore on Nov 15, 2023

    Great Idea!!! Looks like it could be vintage or a Great reproduction!!! Love it!!! ❤️ Now to hunt for big hoops!!!