Picture of Upcycled Modern Lantern

Learn how to make this modern, artistic, yet simple lantern from recyclables. The design can be resized to fit different materials and accommodate different light fixtures and looks wonderful in multiples as indoor/outdoor lanterns for special events such as weddings.

List of Materials

1. 2 Sheets of 12 x 18" 1mm Cardstock (approx. 300 mm x 450 mm)

2. About 200 Recycled plastic spoons

List of Tools

3. Hot Glue Gun + Glue Sticks

4. Scissors

5. Exacto Knife

Optional Materials

6. Gold Spray Paint

Optional Tools

7. Laser Cutter (if you have access to a local makerspace!)

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Step 1: Download the Template for Spiral Core

Picture of Download the Template for Spiral Core

Download the provided template for a spiral sphere. The vector drawing file is named "" and can be opened using Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape (which is a free vector drawing program). It is laid out for a 12 x 20" document because that's the cutting bed size of the laser cutter at my local makerspace.

You will need two cut sheets, or a total of 10 pieces (5 from each cut sheet).

I roughly modeled the slices in Google Sketchup using the "Unfold" plugin and then experimented with different curvatures and widths until I got a nice shape with 10 pieces.

Step 2: Cut the Spiral Core Pieces

Picture of Cut the Spiral Core Pieces

Once you have downloaded the template for the spiral core, you can do one of two things. You can print out the files in PDF and use scissors to cut or an Exacto knife to carve out the outlines. Alternatively, if you have access to a makerspace, you can use a laser cutter to do the work for you. A plotter cutter will also work fine.

Step 3: Learn to Assemble the Spiral Core

Picture of Learn to Assemble the Spiral Core
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The first step is to interlock the 10 spiral pieces as seen in (A).

Next, flip the entire thing over while holding the interlocked center.

Now, starting from a piece of your choice, interlock the top as shown in (B).

The top of the interlocking dome should look like (C).

Finally, the assembled spiral core as seen in (D) and (E).

Once you have mastered this step (it might take several tries) you can disassemble the pieces. We'll be reassembling them again later following the same steps after gluing on the spoon tips.

Wow.... that is one amazing lamp :)

cathychen (author)  Tarun Upadhyaya9 months ago

Thank you!

Mielameri9 months ago
Ohhhh brilliant; I would have never guessed it was made of spoons! Looks really good. My first thought when I saw this was, "it's dragon scales!" Lol
cathychen (author)  Mielameri9 months ago

I was thinking the same thing and almost named it Khaleesi's Lamp!

Wow, this looks amazing!

Thanks. Glad you like it!

@cathychen A stunning lamp this is. The spiral core is clearly the key to the beauty on this one. How exactly did you make that? Are you saying that sketchup plugin mimics how a shape would look in 3d? Not used that software b4 before so I am not sure :( Thanks for sharing the shape though. Great Ible.

doodlecraft9 months ago

Really the background story too! Great job and congrats on being a finalist! :)

cathychen (author)  doodlecraft9 months ago

Thank you. Hope I can win some of the awesome prizes so I can donate them to my local non-profit makerspace. Fingers crossed!