Because this was my first time working with rope and Mod Podge, a lot of trial and error was involved, but it ended up looking close to what I had imagined...
The short version?
1. I gathered my materials - All purpose glue, Mod Podge hard coat, rope, painter's tape, and a beach ball
2. I built a template from extra wood so that all of the bends would be the same and then glued at every point of contact
3. Wrapped painter's tape (sticky side out) around a beach ball and wrapped the folded rope around around so that each row would touch
4. I brushed several coats of Mod Podge hard coat (allowing to dry between coats)
5. Spray painted heirloom white
6. and hung it in the bedroom!
if you are interested in doing this or something similar I would recommend reading the long version too :)
I gathered my supplies - quick dry tacky glue, Mod Podge hardcoat, painter's tape, 100 ft cotton clothes line, and a standard beach ball ... sadly this isn't my first photo of my supplies, after folding 100 ft of synthetic blend clothes line I realized that the glue didn't stick very well and it came apart too easily ... I then purchased quick dry glue and a cotton clothes line, which stayed together much better!
I built a template for the rope out of extra wood by screwing screen mold into a 1x3 so that all of the folds would be the same height - the painter's tape is not in the photo (because this was from my first attempt) but I ran it (sticky side up) along the bottom to attach the rope to. I would fold a 6' section and once completely dry would move the tape and rope so I could work on the next section. The tape is important because otherwise the rope glues itself to the wood ...
Also, I folded the section in the center smaller so that it will bend easily in that tight space.
Once all of the rope was folded and dry, I carefully removed the painter's tape from the back of the folded rope.
I then circled it around the beach ball wrapped in painter's tape (sticky side out) until about the center of the beach ball (took all of the 100 ft. of rope)
I applied the Mod Podge (I didn't have enough of the hard coat, so I used regular Mod Podge in the middle coats) and allowed to dry between coats - the difficult part is not getting it too heavy otherwise it will fill some of the holes (I had to remove some once dry with an xacto knife)
I used about 4 coats on the interior and exterior and allowed it to dry between coats
I primed and then sprayed it with Rustoleum's Heirloom White to give it and even finish (the cotton rope was a little dull)
My original plan was to use the existing fixture in the guest room, but since the shade could be easily seen through - it needed to be painted and since it's a rental, that wouldn't work (but maybe for you if you own?) ... so I purchased this used fixture for $8 and removed the shade, I also purchased a longer threaded center rod to accommodate the height of the new shade (It was 12" and we cut down to the correct height)
I lightly sanded the metal with steel wool and primed and painted Heirloom White
After turning the power off, we removed the old fixture and installed the new one ...
Taking photos while holding the fixture wasn't easy ... a few came out ok :)
We put in 25 Watt round clear bulbs and secured the shade to the center piece with the painted existing hardware
While the shade is firm ... it isn't firm enough to support it's own weight pulling on bottom center, so it was photographed with some wire to prevent it from sagging. I am hoping that the Mod Podge will harden over time (it is now off of the fixture), but if not, I will use resin, epoxy or something else to stiffen it. Anyone stiffened rope with success?
** Update: It took a few months, but the Mod Podge did firm up a lot! It is currently installed with cup hook below a recessed light, but I think that it would be strong enough to support itself as shown in these photos **
I am still deciding whether to put it in the guest bedroom
I like it here, but it looks a little small ... maybe something that has a little more drop?
or at the first landing above the front door
There is currently a recessed light here, so since we can't take it out ... the shade would act as a diffuser - I like the way it redirects the light, the only problem is finding a good way to attach it to the ceiling/recessed light
decisions, decisions :)
Here is the cost and source breakdown:
Cotton rope (100 ft) $3.47 (wal-mart in the hardware section)
Mod Podge hard coast ~$4.20 (with coupon at Michaels)
Beach Ball .97 (wal-mart)
Painter's tape (already had)
Spray paint (already had)
Fixture $8 (Habitat Restore)
Fast Dry Tacky Glue $2 (local craft store Beverly's)
Time breakdown ... a lot ... but most of that was trial and error and waiting for glue to dry!