Lampshades are used for lighting up a room or small area. They can make your rooms look more beautiful and bright. Nowadays, lampshades are easily available in the market.

Even though different types of readymade lampshades are sold in the market, if you want a customized design, you can do it yourself by using some basic raw materials like paper, cardboard, and a light holder. A handmade lampshade is also a great gift item for those who like receiving personalized presents. So in this article, we will learn how to make a beautiful lampshade out of paper.

  1. Arrange a Small Bundle of Paper
  • For making an attractive lampshade you need a bundle of thin paper. You can use craft paper and opt for colors like pink, red, green, lavender, purple or blue.
  • These are the colors that look great when illuminated with a light bulb. You would need several sheets of craft paper depending on the size of the lampshade you wish to make.
  • If you want to save money on craft paper, you can use newspaper. The thickness of the newspaper is perfect for making this kind of lampshades. However, you might need to decorate it or color it to get the desired look.
  1. Assemble all the Materials Needed
  • Besides paper, you would need an assortment of materials like glue, light holder, light bulb, and a pair of scissors. Make sure that you use high-quality glue that can quickly and strongly bind the paper pieces.
  • In addition to all the above-mentioned items, you would also need an inflated balloon. Find a strong round-shaped balloon because you would need it to serve as a foundation for building your paper lampshade.
  1. Divide the Paper into Small Pieces
  • Divide the craft paper or newspaper into small rectangular pieces. Note that the measurement of each rectangle should be approximately 6 x 10 inches.
  • You would need around 80 to100 sheets for covering the entire balloon. The amount of paper needed would depend on the size of the balloon.
  1. Roll the Sheets into Sticks
  • Roll each piece of paper diagonally into thin sticks. Before rolling apply some glue along the top and side edges. Press the edges after rolling. This would keep the stick from getting loose.
  • Repeat the same procedure with all the sheets. Once the sticks are ready to press each stick and flatten them out.
  1. Make Small Rings
  • Take a single paper stick and rotate it into a perfect circle. You can use a rod or a narrow bottle to wrap the stick if you are not able to get the perfect circular shape.
  • Apply glue to the inner side of the sticks to secure the shape of the ring. Press the edges and keep the rings aside for the glue to dry up. If you are using strong glue the rings would be ready for use within 10 minutes.
  1. Decorate the Balloon

  • Once the rings are ready, you are done with the difficult part of the job. Now you can start making your beautiful lampshade by carefully placing the rings on the balloon surface. Preferably use a white balloon and make sure that the balloon doesn’t break easily.
  • Now take a single ring and apply glue on one side. Stick it on the surface of the balloon and hold it in place for few minutes. Repeat the procedure with all the rings. Make sure that you place the rings close to each other. Cover the entire surface of the balloon but leave few inches of opening at the base region where you would be inserting a light bulb.
  1. Burst the Balloon
  • Now that you have glued all the rings in place, you can burst the balloon. But before getting rid of the balloon you need to make sure that the rings are held together tightly. To get this done you can apply a coat of diluted glue.
  • Prepare a mixture of glue and 50 ml of water and apply it over the rings using a thick painting brush. Leave the lampshade aside for few hours. After the glue has dried up make sure that the rings are strong enough to stand on their own. Now you do not need the balloon so use a pin and burst it.
  • Remove the residues of the broken balloon surface in such a way that only the rings can be seen. Now you are almost done with your lampshade. Make sure that you handle the lampshade with care to avoid damaging it. Since it is made of paper exposure to liquids like water can easily damage its surface.
  1. Paint the Rings
  • At this stage, you get a chance to make your lampshade more artistic. If you have used newspaper instead of colorful craft paper, you can paint the rings using watercolors.
  • Make sure that you choose an attractive color like red, green or purple. Do not use multiple colors. This would make your lampshade look untidy. Use a single color and apply 2 or 3 coats until you feel that it is looking good enough.
  1. Select a Good Lamp Holder
  • To make your lampshade functional you need to attach it with a lamp holder. In order to place the lampshade on a flat surface like your bedside table, you need to find a suitable holder.
  • You can easily find such lamp holders at your nearby electrical store or you may also buy one from an online store. The holder should not be too big or too small. It should match the size of your paper globe. Before you buy check the length of the power cable.
  1. Insert a Light Bulb
  • Place the holder in the upright position. Insert a medium-sized light bulb. You can choose a colored light bulb if you feel that plain white light would look too bland.
  • Now place the paper lampshade over the lamp holder. The opening at the base should entirely cover the light bulb. Slightly lift the lampshade and apply some glue on the edges of your lamp holder.
  • Now gently place the lampshade back on the holder and keep it pressed for few minutes. Leave the lampshade undisturbed until the glue has dried up. Now connect the cable to an electric outlet. Switch on the light to see how your lampshade works.
  1. Decorate the Rings
  • Now that your main lampshade is ready you can experiment with different ideas to beautify it further. You can hang small trinkets or charms on the rings to add a magical effect.
  • You can find such items in craft stores that sell jewelry making kits. Charms like tiny stars and bells are normally used for making items like bracelets and you can easily buy them from online stores.
  • These trinkets come with a hook and you can tie them to your paper rings with the help of threads. When you turn on the light, the flickering charms would cast a charismatic effect.
  1. Use Glass Beads
  • If you want a lampshade that glitters use some glass beads. If you cannot find the charms as mentioned in the previous step you can simply buy a set of glass beads. These beads come in different sizes and colors.
  • They aren’t much expensive and you would need only a few of them to bring the desired effect.  These beads come with holes so you can easily hang them using a thread.
  • When you turn the light on the glass beads would reflect light in different directions. The dancing beads can make your lampshade shimmer like a disco ball.
  • If you feel that it looks too gaudy or if you want a simpler decoration, you can opt for normal beads made of plastic. They are quite cheap and they come in a wide range of shapes and sizes.
  1. Cover the Rings

  • If you feel that the bright rays of light need some filtration you can cover the rings with the help of a fine crepe paper. You can do this after attaching the beads as explained in the previous step.
  • Choose a nice colored crepe paper and cut it into long bands. The width should be around 1 to 2 inches. Apply some glue on the rings and wrap a band of crepe paper along the centerline.
  • You can repeat the step until the entire surface is covered.  You can do the wrapping in different ways. If you are good at drawing, you can create some designs over the crepe paper with the help of markers.
  • There are endless ways to create a beautiful lampshade. You can customize and redesign your lampshades based on your creative skills.
  • To judge your mistakes or to make improvements you can take some snaps of what you have made and share them with friends. You can also find lots of tips and innovative ideas from online resources like social networking sites and art forums.