When I arrived home last week from my 3 weeks in the Netherlands, I found that a parcel was waiting for me at the post office. Guessing what it was, I wasted no time in retrieving my box. I can’t tell you how happy I was to find my long-awaited blanket had arrived from South Africa (it had been posted about 3 months earlier). This blanket was made by my friend Liena and was once a single-sized blanket that adorned my bed in the last years that I used a single bed. However, now that I am sharing a bed, I needed a bigger one and Liena agreed to take the existing blanket and extend it so that both Pete and I can use it. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I have been waiting for my blanket before putting any energy into the decoration of our little “bedroom” nook.

Once my blanket arrived, (with a box worth of marshmallow Easter eggs hidden in the fold of the blanket – thanks Liena!), I was once again energised in the pursuit of a beautiful living space and decided that it was time to finally adorn the naked light bulb that had been hanging over our bed for four months. So, I turned to my number one resource – Google! I decided that my new lampshade had to be beautiful and awesome AND not cost anything (my shopping spree in NDL has made me a bit more money conscious – at least for the next while).

And so, I came across this lamp on the Instructables website. Armed with my laser printer (ok, not a free resource but I am going to make it pay its way!), a pair of scissors, an old round paper lampshade left here by the previous tenants/owner (see one here) and  a touch of glue, I came up with this little masterpiece:

I used ordinary white printer paper onto which I printed my own little design (will link it at the end) which includes a lovely botanical drawing that I found somewhere online (maybe at vintageprintable.com – a great resource). Then I spent some time trying to get the bits to link together of their own accord. Then I gave up. Then I went to Lapland for a week and came home and gave it another try.

To make a ball the size I made it, you need to print and cut out the template pieces (about 30 A4 sized pieces will do the trick).

(Download printable PDF version here , 1.4 MB)

This lamp design is actually too big to use normal computer paper (the paper is not strong enough to hold its own weight) which is why I had to build mine over the paper lampshade skeleton. My advice would be to mayber rather make it out of thin, translucent palstic or to even laminate tissue paper and cut the shapes from that – you could make some really awesome colours that way and there would be no need for the paper shade on the inside. Thin cardboard would also work but it will block out a lot of the light from the bulb. Using regular paper has the advantage that you can print your own awesome design on it like I did.

To start with I connected the pieces in groups of 3 and used little dots of glue to hold them together at the centre (make sure that they are equally distributed around the axis before gluing). Here’s a picture:


Don’t glue all of the pieces like this, keep a pile of singles for adding on. I can’t really explain how to build the rest of the light but all I know is that it is made up of connections with 3 links (as shown above) and connections with 5 pieces linked. The bits with five connections is completely surrounded by 3 connections. I am not sure if that explanation helped you in any way. If it did – good;  if it didn’t – go and have a closer look at the picture of the final product and figure it out for yourself (sorry):


Good luck and if you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments below. And if you make one, please share your photos!

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