Update a Lamp with Rope for a Nautical Theme

Nautical-themed decorating is hot right now. Fortunately, you don’t have to live near the beach to bring a bit of sun, sand and ocean indoors.

It only takes a few accessories to turn your home into a tropical cabana. Something as simple as rope can change a plain old lamp into a coastal focal point.

This project needs only three supplies: a lamp, some rope and a glue gun. Look for a lamp with a smooth base like this “bowling pin”-style fixture.


Rope comes in lots of different fibers and sizes. Because you will be wrapping the rope around the lamp, choose a flexible rope that isn’t too stiff.

This natural fiber sisal has the look of rope you would find on a boat or dock, but depending on your room’s decor, you could also use nylon or polypropylene rope in an assortment of colors.


Starting at the top, put a dab of hot glue on the lamp and immediate stick the end of the rope in the glue. Wrap the rope around the lamp, adding more glue as you go.

Hot glue dries very quickly, so only add a small amount at a time.


When you get to the bottom, cut off the excess rope and glue it in place.


This lamp is only 12 inches high, but it took an entire 50-foot spool of rope to cover the base.


I had just enough rope left to add a bit to the bottom of the shade.

Once you’re done, find a weathered table and a few sea shells, and you’re on your way to creating a tropical paradise right in your own home.


Merri Cvetan is a Wisconsin interior designer who enjoys incorporating her crafting skills on decor projects. Merri writes on both design and crafting for The Home Depot. If you are planning to try your hand at a rope lamp, you can find a wide selection of rope and twine on Home Depot’s website here.

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