Bee Decor from the Thrift Store

Bee Decor from the Thrift Store

For some reason, when I think of summery projects, my mind immediately goes to coastal or beachy style decor. But, after finding this cute little beehive honey jar in a thrift store, I thought it might be fun to make some bee decor for summer, as well.

ceramic beehive

And to emulate the beehive or bee skep shape, I thrifted a couple of other things. First, a glass light shade…

glass shades at habitat restore

Then, a wonky little basket that definitely needed a new life!

small basket at the thrift store

With both items in hand and my honey jar as inspiration, I was ready to get to (upcycling) work!

making some beehive decor

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Bee Decor from a Light Shade

My plans for the glass light shade were to wrap it tightly with jute rope to give it the right color and texture of a wicker bee skep.

making a beehive from a glass light shade

The craft stores didn’t have quite the right size of jute rope, so I went ahead and bought this rope on Amazon.

As I’d done previously on this coastal tray and this nautical pub sign, I whipped the end of my jute rope with hemp cord to keep it from fraying.

whipping knot on jute rope

Then, I simply used my hot glue gun to adhere the whipped rope end to the bottom of the glass light shade.

making the bee decor with jute rope

And from there, I slowly began to wrap the rope around the shade, gluing it in place as I progressed.

wrapping jute rope around a glass light shade

To keep my coils tight and even, I first added glue (2-3 inches at a time) right above the previous coil. Then, I would lay the fresh rope directly on top of the glue and squeeze it close to the previous coil.

Decorative Beehive

Now, I’m just going to be frank with you. This process takes more time, rope, and glue than you might think.

Of course, I was DILIGENT about keeping my rope coils straight, even, and tight- which meant I took my time.

upcycling a glass shade into honey bee decor

And, thanks to the shape of a beehive (and thus, this light shade), progress gets faster as the shade got narrower. Finally, FINALLY, I reached the top.

diy bee decor with jute rope

Next, I coiled and glued as much as I could until I ran out of glass shade. Then, I snipped off the rope (with my mixed media shears) and whipped the end.

common whipping knot on jute rope

To finish off my bee decor, I created a small flat coil (like a doll-sized rope coaster) of jute rope. Then, I tucked the whipped tail into the hole at the top of the glass shade and glued my little rope-coaster on top!

jute rope and a glass light shade as a beehive

Finishing Touches on My Beehive Decor

Once the “hive” itself was done, I could add a few embellishments to bring everything together. For starters, I wanted to add an “entrance hole” to the hive.

And for that, I grabbed one of my favorite craft supplies- adhesive black felt (which I’ve used in a LOT of my Halloween projects previously).

finishing the beehive decor

I also grabbed a pencil and a vitamin jar lid, which was the perfect size to trace on the back of the felt.

Once I cut out my circle of felt, I made a small ring of rope that was just right size to sit on top of the black circle.

making a beehive entrance hole

I didn’t bother whipping the ends because I wanted it to look as concentric as possible. So, I used as little hot glue as I could get away with to seal the ends together.

Next, I stuck the adhesive felt circle to my bee decor and then glued the rope ring on top of it. Now for my pièce de resistance- felted wool bees!

felted wool bees

After gluing a couple of bees to my beehive (AND making a little loop/faux handle for the top), it was done- and SERIOUSLY cute!

bee decor from a glass light shade

Bee Decor from a Wicker Basket

But…I wasn’t done! I still had that wonky little basket to upcycle, but it would be FAR easier and quicker to do.

upcycling a basket into a DIY beehive

No need to wrap this with jute- it already had the right texture and color, what with being a basket and all. Really, I just needed remove any dust/debris, then remove the handle…

removing the handle from a basket

Which I did by snipping off the rattan/cane that held the handle in place and then pulling it out of the basket.

And then I embellished it just as I had done on the glass light shade. With the same kind of entrance hole and top loop/faux handle. making a bee skep for decor

Plus a felted wool bee from Etsy, of course!

honey bee decor from a small basket

I mean, COME ON. How easy was that??

Now I had two upcycled versions of bee decor from two VERY different thrift store finds. I’m honestly not sure which one is my favorite- they’re both so cute!

upcycled versions of bee decor

Bee Decor from the Thrift Store

Now I just need a few more to create a collection that spans my entire mantel! Because I’m positively in love with these for summer.

upcycling a light fixture as beehive decor

And those felted wool bees REALLY put them over the top, don’t you think? They’re the cutest, most perfect little addition, if you ask me.

honey bee decor from a basket

So, what do you think? Will you be looking for some conical-shaped items on your next thrifting adventure? Because they could just be what you’re looking for to make some bee decor this summer!

bee decor

While honey bees are a welcome guest in our yards, I’m NOT as friendly towards mosquitos. Thankfully, these upcycled candles help a bit with that problem!

Mosquito candles with local beeswax in vintage planters

Craft on!


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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. Barb Rosen says

    These are cute as they can be! You have such a great imagination!!

  2. So clever and cute!

  3. Tracy Houchens says

    Oh, I love the bee hives!!! How creative, thanks for sharing your ideas with everyone!

  4. Fantastic! I just bought some light fixtures and was wondering what to do with them. Voilà!!

  5. Goodness…. these are adorable! That twine bee hive has my whole heart. Who knew a glass shade could look so cool?!

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