These DIY Origami Lamp Shades Are Our New Obsession
DIY lamp shades have been on our to-do list for a while here at Brit + Co, so we were pretty pumped when we finally mastered a fun origami light fixture. Believe us, origami and geometry… not our favorite things, ’cause as you may have guessed, this light fixture is a bit complicated to make. Definitely file it under weekend projects. But don’t fret, once you’ve finished your final fold, this piece will bring new light to your life. :)
– drawing paper
– hanging light cord + bulb
– hot glue gun + glue
– exacto knife
– bone folder
1. Measure and cut out eleven strips of paper that are 5 inches by 20 inches.
2. Using your ruler draw a line at 2 inch increments on your strips to delineate sections. You will create 10 sections on each strip.
3. Starting in the first section, draw diagonal lines from the bottom left corner to the top right corner. Then in the next section, draw a line from the top left corner to the bottom right corner—you will have created a triangle shape within your two sections. Repeat this step until you have drawn diagonal lines in each section.
4. Crease all of your lines by using a bone folder to trace over each of them. This will make it easier to fold.
5. Time to fold! All diagonal lines will be folded to the back, creating a “mountain” shape (check the photos to see what we mean). All the straight lines will be folded to the front, creating a “valley” shape. It is very important that these lines are folded in the right direction! :)
6. Match the peaks of the first two triangles and glue together. Then glue the second peak to the third peak, and so on. You will have created a half circle with two flaps at the ends.
7. Flip your half circle over, you will notice all the tabs that were created when you glued the triangles together. Fold the last tab on the right hand side over to create a small triangle. This will be very helpful for the next step.
8. This is a little tricky so practice before laying down the hot glue. Bring the two triangles together to form a cone shape. The tabs on the backside will get in the way so be careful! It is really important to make sure the edges line up correctly when glueing them together.
9. Tada! You have your first cone. Time to make 10 more! (That means you need 11 total cones. Duh).
10. Glue a cone to each one of the five sides, you will soon start to see a spherical shape.
11. Once you have half a sphere done lay in the lamp cord in-between and keep building. Keep in mind that the top pieces should be done last and that there isn’t a piece directly underneath it. That is where the light bulb will go.
12. Whew, almost done. Cut the point of the last cone off and slide the cord through the hole. Then glue it in place.
13. Voilà! Check out that origami light fixture! Don’t be afraid to spray paint it fun colors!
Don’t let that long list intimidate you—there’s a light at the end of this DIY :) So let’s get making!
Gather up a couple sheets of thin paper. We used 19 x 25 inch Canson drawing paper. Measure and cut eleven strips that are 5 inches by 20 inches. Divide your piece into two inch sections. There should be ten sections in total.
Starting with the first rectangle on the left-hand side, draw a diagonal line from the bottom left corner to the top right corner. In the second rectangle, draw a diagonal line from the top left corner to the the bottom right corner. Repeat this pattern until you reach the end.
If you aren’t sure what a bone folder is, it is pretty much a hard stick that is used to make creases in paper. Trace over each line with the bone folder. Now your paper will be super easy to fold!
Listen up folks, this step is important! On each diagonal line you are going to fold the paper to the back. This will create a mountain-shaped fold. On each straight line you are going to fold the paper to the front. This will create a valley-shaped fold. Make sure you fold the paper the right way—not to sound harsh but your lamp depends on it!
Time to glue! Match up the point of the first triangle with the point of the second triangle. Glue the panels in-between together. Then glue the second triangle to the third, etc. etc. Once you’ve reached the end you will have a half circle with two tabs. Flip that baby over and fold the right hand side tab down to create a mini- triangle. This small fold will be very useful in the next step.
*Warning* practice this step first before laying down the glue! Glue the two end tabs together to create your cone. Make sure the pieces line up correctly or your fixture will be uneven.
Yes! Three cones done, eight more to go since 11 cones equals one dope light fixture!
Let’s glue these babies together! Each cone has five sides, so by gluing one cone to each side, you’ll start to see a sphere form!
Once you’ve got half of the sphere assembled lay the cord of the light into the fixture (Remember to keep the bottom and top sections open for the cord and light bulb). Then glue in the remaining cone to encase the light bulb. Pinch it tight so it stays together!
Cut the tip off of your final cone and snake the cord thru. Then glue in place at the top of your light fixture.
You did it! Check out that awesome origami light fixture.
We are loving the fun circle effect that the centers of the cone create.
Love color? So do we! These light fixtures look awesome spray painted! Green is perfect for the spring, gold is must -have at Brit HQ, and white is classic and chic.
If you were brave enough to make three, try hanging them at staggering heights :)
What other origami projects have you done recently? Would you give these lamps a try? Let us know in the comments below!