This is a large ceiling lamp made out of a woven plastic bag, some bits of plywood or board, and thin rods if the material is too flexible for its size. This is a 20 kilo (40 lbs) rice bag that doesn't need support rods as the material keeps its shape by itself. The one I show a construction of is much larger and of softer material.

This is the kind of bag that is made of woven strips of plastic (woven pp or polypropylene bag). It has an interesting texture. It is your choice to use a plain or a decorated bag.

Step 1: The Ceiling Plate

I cut this from MDF. The fancy shape is not needed. You could even use a rectangular piece. The material is not critical. Note that I use fluorescent lights as the heat from a normal bulb could be dangerous (and I hate wasting energy). The small metal plates are anchors for the magnets that keep the bag attached. I used the cheapest kitchen cabinet door magnets the shop had.

Step 2: The Opening in the Bag

This is the part of the bag that goes against the ceiling plate. I cut a ring out of plywood for this because I need some strength. The bag is large (80 x 120 cm, nearly 3 x 4 ft flat) and of very flexible material: it does not stay in shape by itself. I added a support in the form of spokes inside. The ring is an oval shape. I left little flat pieces where the magnets are but that is not critical.

Make the ring first and put the bag flat on the floor. Then put the ring in the bag (the bag must still be open on one side).

I use double sided tape to keep bag and ring together. When fixed together, use a hot knife to cut the bag open where the hole in the ring is. The heat melts the plastic strands together which is needed if the sack is not laminated.

Step 3: The Spokes I Needed for the Large Bag

The bag I used for this lamp is much larger (80 x 120 cm, 32" x 48") and made out of rather thin cloth. It needed some support to keep it close to the ceiling. This picture shows the wires stuck through the ring as seen from the inside. I drilled the holes and inserted the wires before inserting the ring in the sack. The wires were too long (the lamp was too flat) so I pulled them inward a bit to adjust.

Depending on the material of the bag you may not need the spokes. I used thin spokes to keep them inconspicuous.

Step 4: The Finished Lamp

Before attaching, the bag must be closed. The small lamp on the front page was stapled; I closed this one with double sided tape inside the seam. Sewing would also be possible.

Result: A large ceiling light that gives a soft light for very little cost.

Visitors are divided in their opinions. Some say it is art, others say it looks very romantic, yet others that it is strange, and yet others just find it ugly. I'm happy with them.
I remember when I was younger I used to make very large kites (> 24 feet across), and my material of choice was woven plastic, because a. You can sew it, and b. being but a wee tacker my funds were limited, but I found that carpet retailers got their rolls of carpet in Huge woven plastic bags that they were happy to give away free. Not sure if that's still the case.
24 feet would make quite an oversized lamp. Interesting :)
This is pretty cool man. My dad has a whole box, no about 3 full banana boxes full of these grain sacks from when he had birds. If anyone wants one let me know :-P
hey, nice idea. i also like your choice of rice...

About This Instructable




More by Zak:Large ceiling lamp 
Add instructable to: