Picture of String Pendant Lamp
Make a designer quality string pendant lamp on your own with just some crochet thread, a balloon, and fabric stiffener.  It makes a little bit of a mess, takes about a day to dry, but it looks really cool, is infinitely cheaper than buying one from Design Within Reach, and is the hot new DIY lamp craze that's sweeping the nation!

Many thanks to fungus amungus for his collaboration and help on this project.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
  • fabric stiffener (1 16oz. bottle per lamp that you'd like make)
  • large spherical party balloons (can be gotten at a party shop in the 16" or 3' sizes)
  • crochet thread or thin cotton yarn
  • lamp cord set (Ikea sells the HEMMA for $3.99 that will work great)
  • rubber gloves
  • newspaper (it makes a bit of a mess)
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This is my first string lamp! I used 5 skeins of yarn because I didn't want the light bulb shape to show.

The process of hanging it was a challenge at first because I didn't get the Ikea light which came with the clip. But then I realized that I could hand the light cord separately, and hang the string lamp independently with a couple pieces of fishing line. Worked brilliantly.

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Seen this trick before, but not in this scale. Really cool to see it working with larger balloons as well!

This lamp seems like the perfect display area for one of those new 'PLUMEN' lights. The designer CFL ones from the UK.
Those string globes are awesome and *very* fun to make, made one today, it was so messy and I had an absolute blast with it. Hands felt weird from the PVA though.
ashuavr2 years ago
Hi!! I saw the Youtube video of this and came to this page. Its a really nice project. I liked the idea of blasting the balloon at the end!! :) Thanks!
dambrose22 years ago
Check out the ones I made, similar style, but different materials and process...use your imagination and anything is possible...here is my website if you're interested in them. http://www.etsy.com/shop/StudioDarose
Luvblooms2 years ago
Hi all

I tried a bit different design using a cold drink bottle and here is the out come.
Please let me know the corrections required
obrewer4 years ago
white glue
Enough said, huh?
tfrost19803 years ago
Your paintbrush/glue bath is ingenious.
Doing one like this.
It is now hanged ! to get dried.
I will post pics soon
My 1st String Pendant =o) Thanks for this instructable.
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Oh my gosh, I haven't seen these in years, thanks for sharing!

I am also having a 60's-70's flashback. Well done!
Did you attach your pendant light to a pre-existing light fixture? I am wondering because you have the "pole" from the ceiling coming into your fixture. I will be making one for a room with a fixture that also has that feature and I was wondering whether I should take that part down or not.

:) love your project :)
Thank you! I found a canopy kit to cover the hole in the ceiling and the pole you are referring to is light or lamp cord that I attached to the lightbulb socket/fixture in the pendant. I painted the canopy and cord all brown. I forgot how I attached the pendant to the cord though.
KitKam3 years ago
Wow, these came out awesome! If only I could find a place for them in my apartment... maybe I could make lampshades using this string technique?
artquilter5 years ago
I'm really having a problem finding these round balloons in Minneapolis.
A balloon store actually had the 3 foot ones, but that's too big to do with my niece and nephew.
I asked at the party stores, and all they have are tear-drop shapes.
I see someone said they found them at the dollar store, so I'll check those out in the next week or so.

Maybe it would work to use a shaped mylar balloon, like a big star.  I dunno, just throwin' that out there.  Probably more $$$ tho'.

And for those of you using elmers glue - The Stiffeners should actually remain stiff/dry for longer than the regular glue.  Not out in the rain, of course.  I've been using it for years to make fabric postcards stiff, so I can send them in the mail.

And stiffeners can have water-based acrylic paint added to tint with a little color.  They can be found at fabric stores, or craft stores, like Michaels.
"Aleene's Fabric Stiffener and Draping Liquid" is one I've gone through a couple bottles of.

And it could look nice to use a variagated yarn.
You can get those slam balloons, the kind with the rubber band on them that you bounce against your hand almost anywhere!!!! Those work great and you can blow up bigger or smaller as needed. GOOD LUCK!
Did you find the balloons? I would be happy to look here. I'm pretty sure I've seen lots. It would be my pleasure to send them to you. Just let me know. It would be an uninflated balloon bouquet gift to you. O.K, now my mind is thinking, sayings like "don't burst my balloon" and the song with the words, "Up up inthe sky with my beautiful balloon" and silly sayings I could make up for my grandchildren, like," Look at that big baboon, holding the red balloon." ;0)

Oh yes and Noaw.. thanks for the stallar Instructable!
Punch ballons work really well. Thats what I always use for any project like this since they always hand them out at state fairs
 it would look epic if you have a pattern to it all
if anyone knows how to knit or crochet, you can use anything lacey looking you have made and personally, I think it looks even cooler. I have been dreaming about making one of these after seeing this on my favorite knitting site. please note, I did not make this one myself, however the person that did make it crocheted all the lace herself she is AMAZING! To those of you that are not artistically inclined in the fiber arts department, you could also use doilys, lace, mesh, see-through fabric, pretty much anything you could think of!
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OMG!!! So shabby Chic! I wish I could crochet!
beautiful. I so want to make the lacey crochet one. Gorgeous.
What a fertile imaginative brain!
abood bgirl0294 years ago
i like ;) thaaaaaaaanx
Now I am thinking what other cool mediums would work. The lace is beautiful!
Could you please tell me the name of the knitting site that you visit?
It's called ravelry.com - I have all my knitting and crochet projects there, you can put all your yarns, patterns, needles, projects, pretty much everything. And they have every pattern you could every want plus 100's of thousands of other people, forums, groups, pretty much everything ever knitting related.
Wow. Thanks
Absolutely fabulous. Cotton also is the best thread for colour dying so the lace could be colour matched to your room. Cold water dyes are available and work very well. Love it to bits.
(By the way I havn't spelled colour incorrectly) Here in Australia we use the British spelling.
sara rarara3 years ago
i was thinking to purchase but i wil creat my own thanks
luckydipper4 years ago
Thank heaps for the great idea, I used vibrant orange string from bunnings warehouse (hardware store) and wood glue that dries clear, it cost around $3 to make.
I love the glow yours gives off! Very warm and inviting. Nice job!
kendrarobin4 years ago
Do you guys think I could use hemp? I know most of you were using 100% cotton and I was not sure whether the hemp would absorb the stiffener in the same manner that the cotton fiber does.

Thanks for the help! Loooove the project and all the comments :)
Liger4 years ago
Instead of making a hanging lamp, you could put the String Pendant Lamp on a lamp that doesnt have a lamp shade on it. Then you could use it as a sidetable lamp. Just an idea...
nmartinez44 years ago
You can also use liquid starch.
Also paper towels work well also, just peel them apart, and lay on the ballon add your starch , sugar water, whatever you decide to use.
i have made these for easter cutting a hole out in the side after it is dried and adding lace around the hole I had cut out put easter grass in a bunny or whatever you like and use as table decor.
Lets see some new applications somewhere.
duckified4 years ago
I remember seeing this in ReadyMade Magazine quite some time ago. They use a container take out lid for to hold the lamp in place...

lyndelee894 years ago
I remember making just the ball part with no light with my mom and sisters when I was in elementary school. We used colored kite string and clear drying craft glue. We just used them as shelf decorations. It was fun. I keep thinking about making some again I just haven't gotten around to it.
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