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How to Make a Parasol Hanging Lamp

F.R.R. Mallory

Generic ceiling light fixtures are often look rather boring. One way to dress up your ceiling fixture is to change the lamp shade. An attractive and inexpensive choice is to use a natural-fiber parasol as your new lamp shade. Select a parasol that is in good condition and made out of bamboo or a similar wood.

A parasol can be transformed into a hanging light fixture.

The umbrella covering should be a decorative paper or semi-translucent material that will hide your bulbs and convey light well.

  1. Turn the electricity to your light fixture off before working on the light, in case you open the fixture and discover exposed wires. In most cases, this project will not involve electrical wiring.

  2. Position a ceiling-height ladder in close proximity to your ceiling light fixture. Unscrew the screws that hold the glass lamp cover in place. On some center mount types, you will unscrew a nut in the center. You should see a threaded pipe that is 2 inches to 3 inches long. It should have a lock washer or lock nut screwed onto the threads. Leave this washer in place.

  3. Locate the stopping device built into the parasol near where the umbrella spreads. Often the stopping device will be a piece of wood or metal that emerges through a slot in the handle to stop the umbrella from closing. Use a hacksaw to cut off the parasol handle about 2 inches below the stopping device.

  4. Cut 12 inches of 12- to 14-gauge wire using wire cutters. Find the center of the wire and wrap the center around the umbrella grip, the round donut-shaped grip that slides on the parasol handle and is used to pull the umbrella closed. Twist the wire tightly and evenly. Form a loop about half the distance up the handle and twist the ends of the wire back on themselves so that the loop is secure.

  5. Cut 6 inches of 12- to 14-gauge wire. Find the center and form a loop that is larger than the diameter of the threaded pipe and smaller than the diameter of the lock washer. Twist the wires together and form the other end into a hook.

  6. Unscrew the lock washer. Slide the loop over the threaded pipe and screw the lock washer pushing the hook well up toward the ceiling fixture canopy. Attach the loop wire on your parasol to the hook wire on your ceiling fixture. Continue screwing until the parasol handle touches the canopy. Adjust the parasol so that it hangs straight.

  7. Tip

    Often, parasols come with decorative ribbons or tassels. You can remove these from the handle and attach them to hang from the center point of the parasol.