Introduction: 100% Zip Tie Lamp Shade

Zip ties!

The single most important item in any person’s arsenal of stuff after that silver-sided miracle known as duct tape!

Zip ties are perfect for repairs, but did you know that zip ties can do so much more?

Oh yes! SO. MUCH. MORE!

They can be used as a craft medium that will give a sturdy industrial look to any project.

This is my Instructable demonstrating one such project. A lamp shade made entirely and ONLY out of zip ties!

100% ZIP TIES!

Step 1: Materials! Really?

Zip ties. Lots and lots of zip ties. ONLY zip ties!

I had three different sizes: 6 inch, 8 inch and 16 inch.

I actually used:

  • 3 – 6 inch zip ties
  • 32 – 8 inch zip ties
  • 88 – 16 inch zip ties

Step 2: Hoop! There It Is! Top Ring

The shade consists of three rings of increasing size. The process to create all three will be the same principle. The difference will be the size of the ties and the number used.

  • Top ring – 8 – 8 inch ties
  • Middle ring – 16 – 8 inch ties
  • Bottom ring – 16 – 16 inch ties

The Top Ring

  1. Take one 8 inch tie, and insert it into another 8 inch tie.
  2. Zip it down stopping about two inches from the lock.
  3. Add another zip tie to the second zip tie, again stop about two inches from the lock.
  4. Repeat this until all 8 are attached. It will resemble a multi-layered square.
  5. Straighten out and connect the two ends making an octagon.
  6. Invert the octagon so all the ends are now inside.
  7. Line up the ends so they overlap making a circle. Hopefully, the overlapping sections are at least three ties deep! This is important! If not, adjust your ties to get them three ties deep. Now you have something resembling an 8 petal flower.
  8. Using a 16 inch tie, secure the layered bunch of ends. These will create the long ribs of the shade.
  9. Repeat this at all the “petals”.
  10. Using an 8 inch tie, just like with the 16 inch, secure it inside each “petal”. Making short ribs.
  11. Finish the top ring with another set of 16 inch ties, securing next to each 8 inch tie. Another set of long ribs.

Step 3: Hoop! There It Is! Middle Ring

The Middle Ring

  1. Take one 8 inch tie, and insert it into another 8 inch tie.
  2. Zip it down stopping about three inches from the lock.
  3. Add another zip tie to the second zip tie, again stop about three inches from the lock.
  4. Repeat this until all 16 are attached.
  5. Straighten out and connect the two ends making an hexadecagram. (16 sided shape.)
  6. Invert the shape so all the ends are now inside.
  7. Line up the ends so they overlap making a circle. Again, make sure the overlapping sections are at least three ties deep! Now you have something resembling an 16 petal flower.
  8. Using an 8 inch tie, secure the layered bunch of ends. These will create more short ribs of the shade.
  9. Repeat for all the petals.

Step 4: Hoop! There It Is! Bottom Ring

The Bottom Ring

  1. Take one 16 inch tie, and insert it into another 16 inch tie.
  2. Zip it down stopping about four inches from the lock.
  3. Add another zip tie to the second zip tie, again stop about four inches from the lock.
  4. Repeat this until all 16 are attached.
  5. Straighten out and connect the two ends making another 16 sided shape.
  6. Invert the shape so all the ends are now inside.
  7. Line up the ends so they overlap making a circle. Again, make sure the overlapping sections are at least three ties deep! Now you have something resembling an 16 petal flower.
  8. Using a 16 inch tie, secure the layered bunch of ends. These will create more long ribs of the shade.
  9. Repeat for all the petals.

Step 5: MMMMMM!! RIBS!!!

  1. Take the top ring, and feed the long ribs into the middle ring. Gently open a gap between two of the layers of ties in the middle ring.
  2. Repeat with all 16 long ribs, between each of the middle ring’s short ribs.
  3. Pull the middle ring about half-way up the length of the long ribs.
  4. Take the short ribs from the top ring and feed them into the same gaps the long ribs are fed into. Between each set of long ribs.
  5. Bend over about one inch of the end of the short ribs.
  6. Feed the bend back through the middle ring, but go through a different pair of layers. See Figures 1 and 2 – The oversimplification of the middle ring.
  7. Repeat this with all the short ribs.
  8. Take the bottom ring and feed the long ribs into the middle ring just like the feeding of the top ring to the middle.
  9. Now, feed the bottom’s long ribs into the top ring, just like the middle ring.
  10. This time bend over about one inch of the end of the long ribs from the bottom ring.
  11. Feed these back into the top ring just like before.
  12. Repeat for all 16 bottom long ribs. At this point you have the top ring secured to the middle ring, and the bottom ring secured to the top ring.
  13. Finally, feed the short ribs from the middle ring between the layers on the bottom ring. This time, do not bend them back into the ring. They dangle giving a little fringe effect.

Step 6: Top It Off!

Now you have something that looks like a lamp shade, but just how to get it to attach to a lamp. It needs the part that is screwed to the lamp frame that sits above the bulb.

Use three of the 6 inch ties.

  1. Make a small ring with one.
  2. Just large enough for the top bolt to fit through, but not too big that it slides off.
  3. Trim off the extra zip after the lock.
  4. With the other two ties, secure the small ring you just created to the top ring. Take care to keep the small ring centered.

This design can be modified for lamps that do not have the frame above the bulb. This would be done by making a similar part like the little top ring, only making it off the middle ring using a loop that is just large enough for the light socket.

It can also be modified for use on a hanging lamp shade with some changes to the little top ring by actually zipping the small ring to the hanging cord of the light. Then attach the shade to the ring on the cord.

Step 7: Embellish!

At this point you have a completed lamp shade. I thought it looked a little thin, so I embellished it a little by adding more ties.

Looking back at the top ring, I attached three 16 inch zip ties to each of the petals.

I fed them through the petals of the middle ring.

This helped fill in some of the gaps.

If you prefer you can do the same with the middle ring, adding more zip ties to fill out space, but I was happy with how it looked at this point, so I chose not to.

Step 8: Light It UP UP UP!!!

Get your lamp, attach the shade, and try it out!

I tried it both with a plain white bulb and then with a black light bulb. Personally, I like the black light. I think it does great things to the white zip ties.

NOTE! Do not use incandescent bulbs. Use CFL bulbs, or better yet, LED bulbs as they do not put off nearly as much heat as incandescent bulbs. They would actually melt the plastic zip ties and destroy all your hard work, not to mention cause a fire and destroy your home as well.

Thank you very much for checking out my 100% Zip Tie Lamp Shade.

Try it for yourself and let me know how it looks.

Happy creating!

Comments

author
ranwithjesus (author)2016-01-08

Cool!

author
JokerDAS (author)ranwithjesus2016-01-08

Thank you!

author
watchmeflyy (author)2016-01-07

Looks great!

author
JokerDAS (author)watchmeflyy2016-01-08

Thank you very much!!

author
mrgw98 (author)2016-01-07

Great Idea! Very customizable! I am going to be making one myself soon. I will post pics afterwards.

author
JokerDAS (author)mrgw982016-01-07

Excellent!!! I look forward to your design and pictures! Thank you!

author
Roentgenium111 (author)2016-01-07

I will admit that it looks Awesome with the black light!

author
JokerDAS (author)Roentgenium1112016-01-07

Thank you!

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