A utilitarian length of manila rope has a natural beauty that usually passes unnoticed through working hands. But once a rope is coiled around a lamp base, its texture and shape stand out. Begin by finding an inexpensive lamp with a large, bulbous base. Purchase a 100-foot length of 3-ply rope made of manila, jute, or sisal from a hardware store or a marine-supply store. Before attaching the rope to the lamp, coil it around the base to make sure it's long enough to cover the whole thing. Starting at the bottom, apply Weldbond (a heavy-duty all-purpose glue) to the lamp in 6-inch sections, using a 3/4-inch bright brush, which has a flat, compact head. (You can use a hot-glue gun in place of Weldbond and a brush.) Press the rope to the glue, wrapping the rope around the base and holding it in place until the glue begins to set (about 10 to 20 seconds). Press each layer snug against the one below it, watching that no gaps appear on the surface. Trim the end on an angle and tuck it beneath the previous coil. Top off the lamp with a natural-colored shade made of linen or parchment.
Martha Stewart Living, June/July 1994