Introduction: How to Create a Glittery Metal Lamp Using Paper

Picture of How to Create a Glittery Metal Lamp Using Paper

Allright!! Allright!! Before you think that the title of this instructable is misleading, read on. :)

"Ideas don't stay in one head for long" - Tarun

I was browsing through and found this awesome designer's portfolio named Romy Kuhne. He has created this big size industrial style metal lamps which he named as Apollo lamp. I was amazed to see the lamp and while closely observing the design I figured out that it is made up of triangular modules, same modules which I had previously used to create these paper lamps and this paper lamp. I was so excited to see the design that I could not wait to create my own using paper :).

This lamp is a paper version inspired by the Apollo Metal Lamp by Romy Kuhne. What a great design!.

So now you know what my quote above actually means. I wish I had this idea before :).

In this Instructable I will show how to How to Create a Glittery Metal Lamp using Paper. You will learn how you can use simple material to transform paper to look like metal and subsequently to make an awesome industrial style lamp.

Please don't be overwhelmed by the number of steps. I just thought it would be simpler to explain it that way.

It is simpler than it looks :)

Step 1: Stuff You Need

Picture of Stuff You Need

You would need following items to create a glittery metal lamp using paper:

  1. Big size black card stock sheet (underneath the items in the photo above).
  2. A sharp scissor
  3. White glue like Fevicol or Elmer's
  4. Modge Podge
  5. Geometrical Compass
  6. Binder Clips (size 15 mm)
  7. Golden Glitter Dust
  8. Transparent Ruler
  9. Pencil
  10. Clear Acrylic Spray
  11. Pendant Lighting Arrangement.
  12. Cricut Cuttlebug Embossing and Cutting Machine or similar
  13. Cricut Swiss Dots Embossing Folder or similar
  14. Some old news paper

Note: You don't need embossing machine if you are not trying to achieve the industrial metal look of the lamp.

Now your craft arsenal is ready, lets get into action :)

Step 2: Circles , Circles and Circles

Picture of Circles , Circles and Circles

NOTE: so let me tell you something before you proceed. If you have an electronic cutting tool, this step which is the most time consuming one, can be very easy. I don't have one, so I went old school methods

We would need 40 circles to make this lamp (I recommend to make a few extra).

See the images above and follow:

  1. Draw several circles on paper using compass, center of the circle is important to locate.
  2. I draw circles with radius 1.75inch. the bigger the radius, the bigger the shape.
  3. Cut those circles.
  4. Fold them into triangles as shown in the diagram above.

Step 3: Fold and Slice the Petals

Picture of Fold and Slice the Petals

Once you have the folded circles, See images above and follow
We are slicing the petals to get a subtle geometric look of lamp. I tried using ruler and Xacto knife but that was too tedious, so I just snipped the petals using scissor making guesses about approximate width of the remaining petal. It worked out well.

Lets Metalify the paper in the next step :)

Step 4: Embossing the Triangles

Picture of Embossing the Triangles

This is where my love for Cuttlebug began, such a superb precision device:

We have to emboss the swiss dots on these triangle pieces. You might be wondering if I should have done this before the folding. The reason I did not do it is to avoid pressing and damaging the embossed surface, also the embossed dots could have led to improper folds.

The dots look very prominent on black card stock and I like it :) . Quite like industrial metal sheets.

See images above and follow:

  1. Place the triangle piece inside the folder, the folded part should be above.
  2. Put Base plate A, then plate B, then folder , then plate B again (This is according to the instructions).
  3. Roll it inside the machine and have such beautiful and prominent embossed dots on the paper.
  4. Repeat for all 40 pieces

Excellent!! You have just finished all the tedious work here and now you are ready to play with those metal triangles...oops!! I mean paper triangles ...LOL!!

In the next few steps , we will make the bottom & top part of the lamp and then subsequently join them together.

Step 5: Making the Base of the Lamp

Picture of Making the Base of the Lamp

See images above and follow:

  1. Pick 20 triangles and arrange them in series of inverted triangles alternatively.
  2. Glue them together like that.
  3. Then glue the ends together to form a circular structure.
  4. Let the arrangement dry

While this arrangement is getting dried, lets begin to make the top of the lamp.

Step 6: Making the Top of the Lamp

Picture of Making the Top of the Lamp

Making the top of the lamp can be trickier if you cant figure out where to glue the triangles. I have included images before gluing the shapes together which can be followed to achieve the desired shape.

See Images above and follows:

  1. Arrange 5 triangles like pentagon
  2. Glue the side together to form a dome. Wait for a minute or two for the glue to hold.
  3. Notice that dome has 5 sides like pentagon.
  4. Place triangle next to each side and glue them together . This will form a star like shape.Notice that each of the 5 triangles have 2 sides now. Wait for a minute or two for the glue to hold.
  5. Place 2 triangles , one each side of the triangle.
  6. Glue those 2 triangles to each of the 5 triangles.Wait for a minute or two for the glue to hold.
  7. Glue all the remaining side gaps to each other to form the big dome like shape.

Let the arrangement dry for few minutes before we join the top and bottom part

Step 7: Joining the Bottom and Top

Picture of Joining the Bottom and Top

Make sure both the top and bottom parts are dried properly.

See images above and follow:

  1. Place the top part over the bottom.
  2. Match one of the folded side and glue. Secure it with binder clips. Lets it dry for few minutes.
  3. Once the glue is dried , start placing the folded sides of top & bottom parts over each other and glue them. I recommend to glue 3-4 at once and then wait for a minute to glue the remaining group. Use binder clips to secure the join
  4. Once glued , let the shape dry for several minutes.

While the shape is getting dried,

Step 8: Adding Some Aesthetics to the Lamp

Picture of Adding Some Aesthetics to the Lamp

This is where you will remember your geometry class, in case you hated it, please forgive me :)

According to the original design of the lamp the top dome shape is hidden inside rectangular pieces glued together. Lets do that as well

See images above and follow, that is definitely the best way to get this done :)

  1. Measure the side of one of your triangle pieces. In my case it was 2.9 inches (Lets say approximately 3 inches.)
  2. I figured out that I would need a rectangle of side 3x2 inches. 2 inches is the height to cover the dome shape.
  3. Before you rush, take a step back and notice that we also need to fold the rectangles to match the aesthetics and off-course to glue them with each other. Therefore, we need some extra space on each side of rectangle.
  4. The folds of triangles were roughly about 0.25" inches so I need rectangle of size 3.5" X 2.5"
  5. Draw five rectangles of size 3.5" X 2.5".
  6. Draw a line parallel to each sides and about 0.25" wide. Cut the rectangles along the outer lines.
  7. Fold the sides along the inner line using ruler as your folding tool.
  8. Mark cut where the lines are intersecting at corners (see image to understand better).
  9. Emboss the dots using Cuttlebug, just like we did for triangles.
  10. Glue the smaller side of all the 5 rectangle to each other.
  11. This will form a pentagon shape, exactly what we need to cover the dome.
  12. Apply glue on the folded side of rectangle.
  13. Place it above the folded edges of the dome.
  14. Secure the join using binder clips

While the shape is getting dried, place a full news paper on your work bench or floor, things are about to get glittery here . :D

Step 9: Making the Inside of Lamp Glittery

Picture of Making the Inside of Lamp Glittery

I did not want to paint inside with some light color or gold, I chose to cover the surface with golden glitter, you now why? Because black & gold simply rocks :D.

Don't forget to place old newspaper before you start. To apply glitter I used modge podge becase it dries clear and add smooth texture to the glitter. I used foam brush to apply modge podge. Here is how I did it.

  1. Using foam brush apply modge podge in one part of the inside (in this case the inside of top dome) , apply flat uniform strokes.
  2. Sprinkle generous amount of glitter over glue. Wait for few minutes before you cover more area..
  3. Repeat 1 & 2 to cover other parts until you cover the whole inside of the lamp.
  4. Let the modge podge dry. This may take 1-2 hours.
  5. Once dried, dust off access glitter on the news paper. See if there is any area which is not coverd with glitter. If there is any, then apply modge podge and add glitter to those areas.
  6. Once fully covered and dry, dust off access glitter. you will notice that a fine even layer of glitter is formed inside the lamp

Lets seal the glitter in next step

Step 10: Sealing the Glitter and Metalizing the Lamp

Picture of Sealing the Glitter and Metalizing the Lamp

WARNING: Do this step in open area, preferably with work goggles on and with a mask.

See images above and follow:

  1. Make sure to dust off any glitter that may have stuck on the lamp surface. Use a vacuum cleaner hose to remove glitter from surface if necessary.
  2. Evenly spray , clear acrylic spray over the glitter.
  3. Let the spray dry (this usually takes about a minute or two).
  4. Spray on the outer surface of the lamp, let it dry for 2 minutes.
  5. Spray another coat, let it dry for a minute or two
  6. Using scissors cut the folded part from the bottom of the lamp to make it look even.

Amazing!! Isn't it? The way ordinary card stock is now looking like black metal :).

Just one more step and you are done :)

Step 11: Light Up

Picture of Light Up

See images above and follow:

I liked the glittery texture inside, it came out quite nice :).

  1. Insert the lighting wire from inside the lamp through middle of the top dome, you might have to remove the plug to let the wire pass through.
  2. Use any bulb of your choice, I always prefer LED, so I used a 5 watt LED bulb.

Now adore this beauty , look from below the lamp. Look from outside . Look from everywhere. See how you have created a metal lamp using paper :)

Thank you for your time to read this ible. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I did while making it. Please do share your thoughts, feedback and suggestions in the comments below.

If you choose to make any of these, please use the "I made it" button to post a picture.

Hope you will like it and Vote it.

You are awesome.

Stay Tuned.


Maydethg1016 made it! (author)2017-02-04

so cool congratulations

Thanks so much... if you have made it, please share a picture.

Giulia Art (author)2015-06-09

Congrats on making finalist! How was your sleep until now?Are you waiting for the big announcement? What prize would you like to receive? :D

Thank Giulia :). I have had my share of sleepless nights so I slept normal :D. I got the price I was looking for , its the Cameo :)

Cool:) I got just the t-shirt:( i was hoping for the cameo to :D

I have been there :). Once a finalist anything can happen.

Yes ! When you hope for something big you have the chance to be disappointed:D

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)2015-06-09

Thank you so much dear friend :). I am super excited for the Cameo :)

shazni (author)2015-06-09

Congrats! Happy for you! It's a dream come true right???. :-D

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)shazni2015-06-09

Thanks a lot Shazni :) Congrats to you too :). Yessssss!! dream come true :D

HollyMann (author)2015-06-06

Tarun! Great job again! I have been off for a bit and miss you on here! Amazing lamp. This reminds me of something my awesome grandma used to make. She did something similar...I think my sister still has it. Great work again!

Many thanks Holly, I miss your awesome work too. It's only few days back myself and sunshiine shared a thought that old fellas are not very active these days.

Muhaiminah Faiz (author)2015-06-06

Congratz on 2 wins! fingers crossed for the prize! :D

Many thanks Muhaiminah, Yay!!! Finger crossed :)

Redbunny22 (author)2015-06-05


Thank you so much :)

shazni (author)2015-06-05

Congrats on making finalist! I'm over the moon that we made it :-) . My sleep was constantly disturbed in wanting to know if I made it..hence here I am at 2am :-)

Good luck on getting some sleep! Lol

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)shazni2015-06-05

Yay!! Shazni Congratulations to you too. I'm so glad that we made it again together like last year's craft contest.

Though I slept normal because I was confused about dates lol!!

786Ayesha (author)2015-05-18

A little bird wisperd that you had done an awesome project.So Just poped in to see what it was.Wow! another creation.very nice.

Many thanks Ayesha :). I'm glad you liked it.

LiveCrafts (author)2015-05-17


Congrats on your win to finalists!!

Thank you so much :)

CraftyCraftyBook (author)2015-05-17

love ? your lamp :-)

Many thanks :)

joao.rocha (author)2015-05-12

this is amazing! Not to detract at all but I had exactly the same idea only to do nothing about it. I was even expecting to see "apollo" written on this ´ible!

I´m glad you turned it into reality!, congrats on getting stuff done! :)

Thank you so much for your kinds words. My quote says it all.. Right? Ha ha

Ahaha, exactly!

madvic (author)2015-05-13

Wooooo!!! Awesome combo of craftmanship and imagination!!!

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)madvic2015-05-13

Many thanks :)

lindarose92 (author)2015-05-11

Your creations never stop to surprise me! Great use of glitters and I really believed that you made this lamp out of metal :O Totally amazing!!

tinaciousz (author)lindarose922015-05-11

same here! he rocks!

He he :)

Thank you so much Linda :)

tinaciousz (author)2015-05-11

you're quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. :)

I'm very glad to know that :D

VladM3 (author)2015-05-12

Amazing. I like the orange glow that the lamp gives off.

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)VladM32015-05-12

Many thanks :)

mikefromspace (author)2015-05-12

Spray on Rustoleum Galvanizing compound from Home Depot, which will allow you to electroplate anything it makes contact with that can survive underwater for a few hours. Plastic 'cardboard' sign material would be ideal here, so just go out and pull some Hillary signs off your neighbor's lawn.

Electroplating can be done in water using a car battery charger. Just use a bare copper wire and it will coat with copper at 12vdc.

Now if you'd like to get seriously creative, you can grow crystals using this process also onto the plastic. You might notice that making multiple layers of bismuth over metal over crystal that weird things start to happen. A few years ago in the 80's, there was a shampoo bottle coated with metal sprayed on using vapor deposition. Somehow it's brass micro-droplets were shocking the heck out of people. I think it also had something to do with the shape of the bottle. Anyway, brings to mind another idea; microwave processes for scattering and bonding. I bought this starbucks cup coated with copper which later I microwaved for fun a few seconds and the entire exterior cracked like a dry lake bed but didn't come off.

Whoa!! That's a whole lot of science for one day. Thank you for all your suggestions, someday I will have access to these material :D

jiovine (author)mikefromspace2015-05-12

Hi Mike,

Thanks for that Rustoleum tip, I think I have a few applications for that. I guess with the Starbucks coffee cup you created a microwave fractal design.



jeanniel1 (author)2015-05-12

What a super idea - and so simple! Does the glitter help deflect the light from the bulb, and keep the shade cooler? I mean, it IS made of paper, and light bulbs do get hot after awhile.

Thank you so much. I think it does deflect but since I have used a low watt led bulb I could hardly feel any heat.

Shubh V (author)2015-05-11

U r really lamp lover it's a master piece of all ur creation till now.wonderful tarun!!!

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)Shubh V2015-05-11

Thank you so much dear :)

shazni (author)2015-05-11

I seriously thought it was metal! This is seriously awesome :-D yet another amazing work Tarun! This just has to win! I now see possibilities for the cuttle bug :)

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)shazni2015-05-11

Thank you so much Shazni :), yesss!! Cuttlebug is great :)

nanaverm (author)2015-05-11

Very industrial-looking from the outside! The glitter inside is a surprising touch.

You may want to check out getting circular dies for your Cuttlebug. They will make fast work of cutting all those circles. Also, there are Accucut dies (designed for quilt-making) which might work for cutting triangles.

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)nanaverm2015-05-11

Thank you so much for your appreciation :). Thank you for your suggestion. I am sure there will be a circular die but the limitation of cuttlebug is it size, one circle at a time might be too much of work.

Raitis (author)2015-05-10

I give you my vote in hopes that the absurd act of cutting all that by hand won't e an issue any more. :D
Other than that, the embossing looks more like a perforated leather and less like metal. I'd also go for metal leaf of some kind or spray paint instead of glitter, but this is all simple and looks pretty good!

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)Raitis2015-05-10

Thank you so much for your kind words and vote, I really appreciate that. I would have also gone for spray paint but I wanted to get my hands dirty using glitter for the first time. Metal leaf would have been amazing but that's another project I am working on and this one suffered lace of time :D

About This Instructable




Bio: An artist by birth, a software architect by choice, a lamp maker by passion, a learner forever. Featured Author here:)
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