Introduction: Tutu Lamp

Picture of Tutu Lamp

I bet that you can't imagine what this lamp is made of! Just like all the things I do, this lamp is made with materials that all of you have in your house. Newspapers and plastic bags, completely upcycled!
Don't worry, it's not as hard as you may think! :)

Step 1:

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Tear a page of newspaper into many little pieces.
Mix some white glue with very little water in a pot, just to make it more fluid.

Once you have these 2 things ready, blow up a balloon: this will be the base of your lamp so make it as big as you want, but remember that your lamp will get bigger after you've added pieces of plastic bag around it.

Start gluing your pieces of newspaper on the balloon with the glue you prepared: spread some glue on the balloon, lay your piece of paper on the glue and add some more glue on it. Continue this way until your cover the whole surface of your balloon, one piece after the other. 
Once you're done, do at least another two layers to make it hard enough, and let it dry for at least a night.

Step 2:

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Meanwhile take a plastic bag and cut the handles and the bottom. This way you will have a big piece of plastic, easier to use.
Cut 10x44cm (3.93 x 17.32 inches) strips out of the bag. Don't worry about the longest side, it can be a little smaller or bigger than 44cm, the result will be perfect anyway. 
I can't tell the exact number of strips you will need because it all depends on how big your balloon is, but I can tell you that you will need MANY so make sure to have more than one plastic bag.

Hint: your lamp will result much better and softer if you use a very thin plastic bag.

Step 3:

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Take a strip and start folding one of the shortest sides, about 1cm (0.39 inches).
Now turn your piece of plastic upside down and fold the same side again. (Take a look at the pictures)
Keep doing this until you reach the opposite side. It's just like making a fan!
Press it a little then open it.
Fold it in half but be careful and delicate, don't press it now.
Close one of the longest sides with your fingers and secure with a stapler or adhesive tape. This way you will obtain something like a "double fan" as you can see in the pictures.

Do the same for all your strips.

Step 4:

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When you are sure that the base of your lamp is dry, pop the balloon with a pin and remove it.

Now that you have your hard base, cut about 2/3 of it (maybe a little less) and throw the remaining part away.

Step 5:

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Try to find the center at the top of your base and trace a circle around it with a diameter of about 3cm (1.18 inches). This also depends on how big your light bulb is so you may need a bigger circle. Cut the circle out: this is the hole for your light bulb. 
Don't worry if the center is not really accurate, you will barely notice it later.

Step 6:

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The paper of the base is not transparent so I decided to make some cuts on it to let the light come out from the sides as well.

To do this, trace some lines around the base as you can see in the pictures, making them about 2 or 3mm thick (0.09 inches) then cut them.

Don't worry about being accurate because they will be hidden by the plastic.

Step 7:

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It's time to put all pieces together! So prepare your paper base and your pieces of plastic.

Take one piece of plastic, bend the end (the part that you closed with the stapler) and stick it to the bottom of the base, using a small piece of double-sided tape. 
Continue this way with other pieces of plastic, sticking them one next to the other until you cover the whole bottom. Proceed this way covering the rest of the base.
Remember not to cover the cuts your made previously with tape. Use them as guiding lines.

Step 8:

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You will probably need to make more plastic "fans" before you finish...

It took me a whole afternoon to do it but I can't express the satisfaction I felt looking at the result! I am very proud of it.

I recommend using LEDs or at least an energy saving bulb because regular light bulbs get too hot and might burn the lamp. Remember that it's made with paper and plastic so be careful! If you use LEDs there won't be any problem.

What do you think?? :)


mohammad javad (author)2016-11-30


Darthorso (author)2014-06-25

Brilliant idea! Congratulations! :D

The ballon with newspaper and vinavil is from Art Attack, doesn't it? :D I can recognize it everywhere! ahaha


lindarose92 (author)Darthorso2014-06-25

haha è vero, lo ammetto! Anche se ce l'hanno fatto fare varie volte anche a scuola...per fortuna, perchè a casa non concludevo mai niente! :D

Art Attack è stato il mio programma preferito per taaaaaanti anni!

Darthorso (author)lindarose922014-06-25

è stato uno dei programmi che ha salvato la nostra generazione! :D

Ancora mi ricordo le "pitture" di sale di Neil, il Grande Artista! :D

mpino made it! (author)2013-05-28

Here's my version!

lindarose92 (author)mpino2013-05-29

Wow, it's beautiful! I see that you covered the bottom too, it seems more like a flower this way...I love this version!! :)
ps: I think I will try it too someday :D

mpino (author)2013-05-27

Thanks for the brilliant idea!

lindarose92 (author)mpino2013-05-28

Oh thank YOU!! :)

Divya sooraj (author)2013-05-24

I liked the idea and I ws infact looking for sm ideas coz its my new house.....

lindarose92 (author)Divya sooraj2013-05-24

I am glad you like it! Please post a picture here if you make it, I am curious to see it!! :)

vitasulo (author)2013-04-28

it was so creative. amazing. your idea of using the balloon to make the mold of the lamp was very great.
thank you for your sharing. it was so nice and pretty.

lindarose92 (author)vitasulo2013-04-29

Thank you so much, I am so glad you like it! :)

craftyv (author)2013-04-25

I love this Tutu lamp, it's very pretty and tactile. I am a bit worried re-fire or plastic melting so I suggest Led's or other "cool" globes. Good tutorial.

craftyv (author)craftyv2013-04-25

Whoop's I only saw your last paragraph as I posted my comment. Sorry.

lindarose92 (author)craftyv2013-04-26

Don't worry, it's always good to remember this, I don't want to cause any fire :D
Thank you very much! :)

ZOOMSTUDIO101 (author)2013-04-07

Super!!!! AAAA+++++ Easy for Kids too.... Love this for my grand children.. Thanks and keep making more great things. :-)

Thank you so much, this is so kind of you!! :)

divs165 (author)2013-04-05

Brilliant and very innovative idea....simply loved it....Great work

lindarose92 (author)divs1652013-04-06

Thank you so much, it means a lot to me :)

realife11 (author)2013-03-05

I love the look, it reminds me a little of a head of lettuce. Cool.

lindarose92 (author)realife112013-03-05

haha I never thought of that before! Thanks! :)

shazni (author)2013-02-26

This looks really nice...will try one in pink for my daughter :-) good job!
btw...where are you from? what language? as you explain very well in English! :-)

lindarose92 (author)shazni2013-02-26

Aaw thank you, it means so much to me! I am Italian :D

sangee jeevan (author)2013-02-12

its too gud..... the way you explained made me to try this out...... good explanation...... your way of recycling the plastic bags was an awesomatic one

Thank you so much, this always means a lot to me! I always try very hard to explain things the best I can since English is not my first language :)

you are welcome... and this is like a nightmare for me to believe...
dear you are too good in the way you are explaining...... way to go

santhosh.sagu (author)2013-02-21


Thanks! :)

Corwim (author)2013-02-11

how brilliant!!!

lindarose92 (author)Corwim2013-02-12

Thank you!

eyewalk (author)2013-02-11

Great idea! Can you post a picture of the inside of the lamp from the bottom? Curious to know how you finished it. For papier mache, you can also use a thick paste of flour and water if you don't have glue laying around - not sure about with latex glue, but with the flour paste you can put it in the microwave with a stack of dry newspaper and it will be dry in 1 minute instead of waiting overnight ;)

lindarose92 (author)eyewalk2013-02-12

Thank you so much! I have just added 2 pictures at the beginning with the view from the's not perfectly round but you can hardly notice that in person! Also, you can paint the inside if you want, I started the papier mache using clear recycled paper that I had found so the inside turned out fine...but if you use newspapers it will look better if you paint it. And by the way, the technique you mentioned is great, I didn't know it! I want to try it someday! :)

ppsinstructables (author)2013-02-11

thank you! what an excellent idea to use cloth instead!

Glad you like it! Let me know how it turns out if you make it!! :)

ppsinstructables (author)2013-02-11

i love your lamp and your tutorial and your efficient lovely use of items that would end up in the landfill in many places! i use cloth bags for grocery shopping so i don't have any of these plastic bags lying around but maybe some of my friends do!

Thank you!! Maybe you could also try to make it with old cloth that you don't use anymore :)

mytree (author)2013-02-10

This is a great idea. I think you could even make a piggy bank or dolls - just like paper mache- the balloon is the mould.

lindarose92 (author)mytree2013-02-11

Yes, it's a really good idea! You can even add some shapes of cardboard on an already covered balloon and add some more layers of paper mache around everything. This way it's even more detailed! :)

suayres (author)2013-02-10

My 7-year-old granddaughter is going to love this in her bedroom--and I'm sure, will LOVE helping her make it! Thanks so much for the tututorial! (Sorry, I couldn't resist the pun, I'm a sucker for them, LOL.)

lindarose92 (author)suayres2013-02-11

lol thank you so much! :D Let me know how yours turns out!

thebeatonpath (author)2013-02-10

This is super cute. What wattage bulb are you using? I would be afraid it might get too hot. When I saw tutu, I was thinking you might have used tulle which would be cool as well. Great design!

Thank you so much! Right now I am using an energy saving bulb, I've had it for a long time so I can't remember the wattage...but those bulbs get less warm than regular bulbs, plus I don't keep it on for too long so nothing happens. Anyway, I recommend you use LEDs to be really sure :)

That sounds pretty safe. Yes, I have both types.

depty (author)2013-02-10

Great idea!

lindarose92 (author)depty2013-02-10

Thank you! :)

Dr.Bill (author)2013-02-08

Tutu is Hawaiian for 'Grandmother.
A well named project.
I thought you used cloth at first look.

lindarose92 (author)Dr.Bill2013-02-08

Wow, it's really interesting, I didn't know that!
I thought about using the word "tutu" because the shape of the lamp reminded me of a ballet tutu but the Hawaiian translation gives it a whole new meaning, thank you! :)

Dr.Bill (author)lindarose922013-02-09

Frank Delima is ah comic that does a commercial for 'TheCab' company dressed as four Grandmothers (Tutu's) while singing the phone number.
Just call Four Tutu - Tutu Tutu.
It is actually pretty funny. Call 'TheCab' Four Tutu - Tutu Tutu

ChrysN (author)2013-02-08

That is so pretty! What a great use for plastic bags.

lindarose92 (author)ChrysN2013-02-08

Thank you, I am glad you like it!! :)

About This Instructable




Bio: I love creating. I love ART in all its forms. I am a daughter of the 50s, born in 1992. I had the pleasure to ... More »
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