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Great balls of fire!

Posted on April 09 2012

Great balls of fire!
When DIY goes wrong..... sort of.
No, it is not a photograph of the sun during a solar eclipse or anything remotely as impressive, merely the results of my latest DIY project:
It's a pendant lamp shade with a twist, so cheap and so easy (and pretty effective) that anyone can do it! I got the idea from this DIY post on design*sponge where they had used scrap paper over an old paper pendant lamp. I really liked the look, but thought I could throw my own style to it and used shorter triangles. Instead of an artichoke, I ended up with more of a sea urchin...
It was so simple:
  • I started with a paper pendant lantern. You can get these so cheaply at heaps of places, but I bought mine for around $5 at Ikea.
  • I used normal copy paper for the triangles, but I am sure you could use most types of paper for different lookis (even colored or patterned paper could look great).
  • Decide on the look you are going for (artichoke vs sea urchin or maybe something different all together) and chose your triangle length accordingly. You will need heaps of triangles, if you run out halfway through (like I did) simply cut some more.
  • Attach the paper triangles to the lantern. I used Mod Podge (I am sure you could use a number of different glues) and attached them in a circular motion - again play with this to get your desired effect:
TIP - I started off with the triangles pretty spread out and soon realised that I would need to put more in and put them closer together. I went back over it and filled some gaps, but still think it would have looked better with more added. You will get a fuller, more substantial look with more - but of course it takes more time!
What would I do differently next time?
  • I would look for a paper lantern with concentric / parallel wire circles. The one I got from Ikea had criss-crossing circles and it looks a little strange (although interesting) at certain angles. Not to mention it would be easier to follow the wire circles when gluing your triangles.
  • I would use more triangles and glue them closer togther for a fuller look (I would keep them short though, I kind of like the sea urchin look.
  • I would not let my 2 1/2 year old son play with it, in between it being finished and being hung. Lots of bent pieces of paper had to be straightened and even then not all of them survived.
  • I would experiment with different types and colors of papers.
I was cautious, but not too worried, about having paper so close to a hot light bulb. The lantern was paper to begin with, so I was off to a good start, and I have kept a very close eye on it (it has been used for long periods of time for a while now with no problems). If you do chose to do this project though, be wary of this and monitor if for a while.


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