ISSUE 104  |  Winter Wonderland

DIY: Rustic Linen Lampshades from Italy

December 27, 2013 4:00 PM

BY Alexa Hotz

Share This:

We like this concept: oversized lanterns with rustic raw linen shades, spotted in an Italian interior designed by Orietta Marcon.

The Lampade Bigger by Vicenza-based Orietta Marcon of Oggetti measures about 20 to 24 inches in diameter and is made from hand-finished linen fabric. Interested in something similar as a DIY project? See our sources and instructions below for making a 20-inch-sized lamp.

Above: Marcon’s installation in an open stairwell. See more of her work at Designer Visit: Civico Quattro in Vicenze.

Above: The natural linen filters bright light from naked pendant bulbs.

Above: Imperfections are welcome; note the slightly lopsided hem.

Above: Detail of the red hem on the Lampade Bigger shown with a painted iron base.

Here’s What You’ll Need:


  • Cut the length of wire to 60 inches, make a circle by overlapping the ends just a bit and taping them together (you can use electrical, floral, or duct tape for this).
  • From your 2 yards of linen, you’ll need about 64 inches: 60 to 61 inches to cover the circumference, and 2 to 3 inches for a healthy seam allowance. Moving slowly around the wire, hand-stitch the fabric until the two ends meet up.
  • Using a sewing machine and the red thread, sew the hem down the side (you can even go with a French seam if you’re savvy with sewing), leaving about an inch open at the bottom for a little movement. Then finish the bottom of your fabric with another red hem.
  • Center your pendant cord (Ikea’s has instructions for proper centering) and tie your string from the cord through the diameter of the circle, attaching on both sides. Hang the cord from a ceiling hook or as desired.

For more DIY fabric light fixtures, go to Julie’s roundup of Camouflage for Unsightly Lights. Also don’t miss Izabella’s recent DIY: Pendant Lights Made From Drinking Straws (for Less Than $20).

N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on January 14, 2013 as part of our Roman Holiday issue.