Burlap Lamp Shades {Pottery Barn Copied Me!}

Okay, ladies.

Last night, I was looking through the latest Pottery Barn Kids magazine for some decorating inspiration, when I saw something that caught my eye.

It was something that looked very familiar to me.  A boy’s burlap lampshade.


pottery barn kids

I recognized it because it looks eerily similar to the lamp shades I made for my boys’ room 3 years ago!



Yep!  It was my idea first!

(Okay, maybe not.  But I’m am TOTALLY claiming it as my original idea!)

I had never seen anything like them before.  I just had some lamp shades for my boys’ room that needed some updating.  So I decided on burlap, (since it is my favorite material in the world.)  But they were still a little too plain, so I decided to paint some red numbers on them to match the colors in their room.

So ya see?  My idea.  Smile

These lamp shades were featured a lot in blogland, so I think the folks at Pottery Barn saw them and was inspired by ME.  (A girl can dream, right?!)

Anyway, since I completed this project “pre-Pinterest” days, I thought I would share the post with my readers again.  (Especially since I have about 4,000 new readers since I first published this!)



Updating Lamp Shades for the Boys’ Room

I am loving the new update for the lamp shades in my boys’ room!


It’s exactly what I had envisioned in my head. I bought some lamp shades from Target for the boys’ room a couple of years ago. They weren’t exactly what I was looking for, but they were the right size and shape, (and price).



They were covered with a tan paper that began to bubble. I tried to ignore it, but it was driving me crazy.


I began to think about how I could recover them…maybe with new material? blue? red? khaki? And then it hit me….BURLAP, BABY!

If you don’t know about my obsession with burlap, just click on “burlap projects” in my archives, and you’ll get a good idea.   Smile

I already had some leftover burlap, so I quickly got to work. First I pulled the navy blue trim off of the lamp shade. That was super easy.


Then I took my burlap and wrapped it around the shade.


I covered each side of the shade with fabric glue and a sponge brush and pressed the burlap to the shade.














Then I let it dry. I tucked the edge of the material under and secured it with my glue gun.




Press the seam down and it will lay nice and flat. Just be careful because the glue can seep through the holes of the burlap! Trust me…I know!



Once I had the whole shade covered in burlap, it was time to put the trim back on.


First, I trimmed the burlap around all of the edges with my scissors.  Next, I got out my trusty glue gun and glued the ribbon back on.



They were already looking sooooo good to me!



But it needed something else.  They were just a little too plain for me.

Sooooo. I bought some stencils at Michael’s (with a coupon) for 4 bucks. Then I got out my sponge brush and the same paint that I used to paint the boys’ collector’s shelves. (Colonial Red)



I let the boys picked out a number that they wanted stenciled on their lamp shade, and I got to work.



I taped the stencil in place and applied the paint with my sponge brush.




Then I used a smaller paint brush to go over the edges of the numbers to make them more even.



They are perfect! To me, at least.




It was nighttime when I took the pictures of the lamp shades in the boys’ room, so I used my flash for some of them. ( I usually try not to do that, but in this case I thought some of the pictures turned out better with the flash.)




The boys are thrilled! They love having those lamps beside their beds to read at night.



If you want to learn how to make a collector’s shelf similar to the ones in the boys’ room, click HERE.



I bought the swing arm lamps at Goodwill for $2.50 a piece. They were an ugly brass, so I spray painted them with a metal spray paint from Lowe’s. It was called “hammered metal” or something like that. It was two years ago…


Well, that’s it! It took me about 30 minutes to complete this project. It was well worth the time and $4.00 I spent on it. Don’t you agree?




So there you have it!

What do you think?  Do you agree they copied off me?  (I’m not looking for honesty here, y’all!)

Maybe I should change their picture a little (hee,hee)…



Pin that, Baby!


(P.S.  If you were to find out that Pottery Barn had these lamps shades for sale before I made mine, please do not leave a comment telling me so.  It will burst the little happy bubble I am living in right now.) Smile


  1. I just saw an old screen used as a magnet board just like I did over a year ago in the PB catalog. Made me go hmmmm.

  2. Wow! I would say they for sure copied you! Congrats… I think? I think its great but if it were me I might feel kinda bad for not getting at least some credit.

  3. Of course they copied you!! It works both ways. I love your projects, traci, and how your love for the Lord and all things family shines through on your blog …and your sense of humor too. Yes, it was totally your idea! :-)

  4. Wow. You really can’t get anymore similar to YOUR lamps! I don’t think it would be a stretch to say that they were inspired by YOU. :)

  5. I think they copied you FOR SURE. Since nobody can come up with as many ideas as those PB people do! I love it.

    They look so nautical! Love them!

  6. I’m not sure if everyone else is playing along, or being serious? But I am SERIOUSLY saying, I think they DID copy you!! I am sure PB is well aware of the very talented-crafter-blogosphere! They know many of us are inspired by, and wanting their goods, and so some are making our own more affordable knock-offs, of their awesome home goods and furniture. Of course, that’s $ that they don’t make. (But I am sure they aren’t hurtin’! ; ).
    I really believe that keeping up with the internet for their company, is somebody’s job! They need to research what kind of people are loving or inspired by PB, etc., and what home decorators are into. They see lots of creations and imagery that give them inspiration and ideas for fresh production. They are taking in a lot, by surfing the net just like we do, and no doubt that gives them ideas for new lines of product. It also gives them a good idea of what people love, and what will sell. I just bet yours is one of those things that stuck in their head, in searching for inspiration. I mean, for me, it’s too exactly alike, to believe otherwise.
    This reminds me of a story too long to tell. But Hallmark cards took a greeting card that I designed when I just a kid, and put it out as their own. It happens!

  7. Oh they definitely copied you!! :-) Truly, though, you never know right? Either way yours are totally awesome and they are perfect in your boys’ wonderful room. I’m loving your version of their ad too!

  8. I did pin it baby! And now I know what to do with that piece of burlap & the tired old lampshade in the living room – I didn’t want to get rid of it because it like the lines of it, but it is rather sad. I’m thinking I might print a verse on it … now the wheels are turning :)

  9. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?!!! I totally think they copied you – LOVE the idea btw. Traci! I just saw recently where Martha Stewart “copied” a project originally posted by a blogger – the blogger wrote to the mag about it, and they actually posted an amendment giving the blogger credit for the original idea. So it DOES happen out there! Thank you for sharing all of your inspiration with us :-)

  10. Great job! The lampshades look great! I have kind of a love-hate relationship with burlap. I love that it’s so inexpensive, readily available & so very versatile. I hate that it’s so stiff, so smelly & so messy (all those little fibers make my nose itch……lol!

  11. you know i saw these in pb kids a couple wks ago and new they looked familiar and that i had saw them on your blog but didnt’ realize it had been that long ago! kudos to you and maybe pb will share some profit? haha!

  12. I’m with everyone else. They are too similar to not have been inspired. I agree the PB is probably searching for inspiration just as much as we are. And they have easier access to our ideas and likes. Congrats on the imitation. I think yours are cuter too!

  13. Hi!
    The tricky thing about creative projects is that it is nearly impossible to patent your idea. Large stores like Pottery Barn, West Elm, and CB2 literally hire scouts to look through blogs and etsy to find the DIY trends, in order to bring them to market! For example, I used to make terrarium Christmas ornaments in 2007 and at that time I hadn’t seen them ANYWHERE in the commercial market! Now even West Elm has a “Terrarium Bar” that supplies rocks, moss and the like at a fraction of the cost that etsy or a boutique could sell them!

    I am running into this alot with garden sculptures as well, as mass production of “artisan” looking goods is becoming easier to manufacture in bulk. For this reason I have decided NOT to advertise my metal creations on etsy, but to only sell them locally.

    So to you I say: Kuddos to the pioneers of creative ideas! It isn’t all about the manufacturing, but the creative process that you went through to make them for your family! And may you enjoy every minute of it!

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