How to Make a Food Covering for a Picnic Table

Things You'll Need

  • Lampshade
  • Spray paint
  • Netting
  • Lace
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Craft glue
  • Clothespins
  • Straight pins
  • Scissors

Picnics are wonderful times to spend with family and friends--less so the bugs they tend to attract. Making a food covering for a picnic table is a simple way to keep those pesky crawly things off and out of your delicious outdoor meal. It's made from a recycled lampshade, and its vintage charm will not only protect your food, but provide beautiful decor for your picnic table. Scour flea markets or thrift stores for uniquely shaped lampshades. It doesn't matter if they are stained or torn, because you will be removing that part.

Remove the covering from the lampshade frame. The frame must have a brace that connects the top ring of the lampshade with the bottom ring so that it does not collapse. Clean the frame.

Spray-paint the lampshade frame with the desired color for your food covering. Allow the paint to dry.

Unfold the netting and spread it out on your work surface. Set the lampshade frame upside down in the center of the netting.

Pull the netting up on one side of the lampshade and pin around the upper part of the frame. Repeat on the opposite side of the frame and all the way around. Overlap and gather the netting as you pin a 1/2-inch overlap. Cut away the rest of the netting.

Whip-stitch the netting to the frame. Re-trim the excess netting close to the stitching. Use thread to match the frame color to camouflage the stitches inside the frame. The stitches on the outside of the frame will be hidden with the lace.

Run a bead of craft glue along the outside ring at the bottom of the lampshade. Attach 1/2-inch-wide gathered lace along the ring. Use the clothespins to hold the lace until it dries. The glue will further stabilize the stitching on the food covering, and the lace will cover the stitching on the outside of the frame.


  • If the lampshade you are using has a good cover, leave it on. Glue crocheted doilies to the lampshade for texture and decoration. Cover as you did the food-covering lampshade.

    Add a decorative finial to the top to use as a handle.

    Choose your netting from the multitude of colors that should be available at a fabric store. It is very inexpensive, and is most commonly used for wedding projects.