Lampshade Upcycle Into Cat Wigwam/TeePee

by Sara
4 Materials
5 Minutes
My mom had a silk bell lampshade with stains, so we got her a new one. I was about to toss the old one out when I thought, "I bet my sister's cat would love to use this as a hideaway."

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Step One: Gather Your Supplies
Get a large-enough bell-shaped lampshade (Amazon). Then, grab a pair of scissors sharp enough to cut fabric, some decorative duct tape (Amazon), and a few sharpies or fabric markers (Amazon)in your favorite colors.
My shade is 13 inches tall, 29 inches across at the base and 8 inches at the top.
Step 2: Cut a Cat-Door
Cut a hole at the base of your lampshade between the boning (wires that give the shade its shape) that is large enough for your cat to enter. The hole on this TeePee is approximately 5"x 7". Then, take the scraps from the hole you cut and use it to cover the top of the shade, so that everything is material on the inside.

Note: It's easier to cut the hole when the lampshade is right-side up; however, this pic shows the fabric from the hole being re-purposed at the top - which is important in keeping kitty from getting fur caught in duct tape.
Step 3: Duct Tape TeePee Openings
Duct Tape the fabric in the entryway of the TeePee to prevent it from tearing. Then, duct tape the top of the TeePee to hold the fabric scraps in place.
I also taped around the base of the shade to hide the ugly yellow stains (see final pic).
Step 4: Make a Sharpie Chevron Pattern
Take your sharpies and draw a chevron pattern around the entire shade. I chose colors that matched my duct tape. I drew the bold black stripe first and gave it a moment for the color to settle before I outlined the black chevron with pink and purple.
Make It Your Own
This is a quick-n-plain version of this idea, but if you wanted to, you could add sticks to the top instead of taping it over, bedazzle it with all kinds of ric-rac, pom-poms, glitter, fabric paint, etc.

Great Kids Craft
This is a fun project for kids to do once an adult has cut the hole for them - in the event they are too young to operate scissors.

Easy Fundraiser Item
Girl and boy scout troupes, church groups, and other crafty folks may want to gather old shades, do their own designs, and sell them at the local farmer's market to benefit their community animal shelter or other local pet rescue groups.

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Frequently asked questions
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3 of 4 questions
  • Kelly-n-Tony Kelly-n-Tony on Sep 06, 2017

    This is so fun! What cat wouldn't love their own teepee?!

  • KD Redlowske KD Redlowske on Sep 11, 2017

    That is a great idea and cute. However, it doesn't appear to be big enough for one cat let alone two. Neither one of my cats would fit inside. It is much bigger than it looks? 😸

  • Christy Roppel Christy Roppel on Sep 16, 2017

    Hi! I have 2 questions:

    1- is it sturdy enough...looks like it would fall over if the cat brushed up against it.

    2- why did you use dog decorations instead of cats?

    Just wondering :) Great project!!

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