loading

With pressure built up from the election, my final midterms before Thanksgiving, and an upcoming race, I needed to scratch my itch and make something in the face of stress. And thus behold: a quick lamp made by weaving yarn around a wooden frame.

I'd been eyeing this parabolic string lamp for a while, and finally decided to squeeze in some laser cutting time in my schedule to create it. What I wanted to change from the original weave was the bunching of yarn in the cross-crossing, and after experimenting with different shapes and weaving patterns, I found something that suited my tastes (and perhaps yours as well?).

Step 1: Materials

  • yarn (I used some lightweight yarn that I had lying around, but most medium weight yarns or even crochet thread should work fine)
  • graphic design software to make your own files (Inkscape, which is free, works fine but I use Adobe Illustrator because I find it more user friendly)
  • my reference file (attached above)
  • glue
  • plywood (I used eighth inch wood)
  • laser cutter (If you don't have immediate access to a laser cutter, fear not! There are quite a few online laser cutting services that aren't too costly, such as ponoko.)
  • light source (I just used a simple LED push light from IKEA that I happened to have, but dimensions could be altered to match what you have)

My file for cutting 0.125" plywood (for a lamp that's roughly 4"x4"x4" -- not cubic though) is attached to this step, but alternatively, the next 5 steps will walk you through how to design your own files (accommodate different size lamps, shapes, etc.); then in step 7 I start going over how to assemble the lamp.

Step 2: Designing Side Pieces

The lamp's wooden components consists of five vertical side pieces and two connector pieces that have slots for those side pieces to slide into.

The first thing to do is design and draw out your vertical side pieces which define the outer shape of your lamp. Open your graphic software of choice: Inkscape, which is free, works fine but I use Adobe Illustrator because I find it more user friendly. I tried a few options: an angled shape (my first iteration), plain rectangles, and a slightly curved (as opposed to sharp angle) shape. Try different curvatures! Semicircles, French curves, etc... the possibilities are endless.

Step 3: Adding Slots for Connectors

I added slots onto the side pieces that were 0.25" (for how far the connector slides in) by 0.125" (thickness of the wood; later I changed it to 0.11" after using calipers on my actual plywood for a tight fit).

There are two slots for each piece: one at the top for the top connector, and bottom for bottom connector. I needed to fit an LED push light on the bottom so I put the bottom slot 1" from the bottom and arbitrarily chose a height for the top slot.

See the notes in the images above for step-by-step instructions on how to design your own (for custom sizes; you can't just scale the shapes I have in my file since your slots will be the wrong dimension for your wood).

Step 4: Circular Connector Design

I originally made my connectors ring shapes like this, modeled after the connectors from the original inspiring idea of the parabolic string lamp. You'll want to go with this shape if you intend to attach them to the rim of a light bulb in a lamp. However, the problem was that the rounded arc of the outer circle interfered with my weaving, so I came up with my star shaped connectors (see next step) in the end to circumvent the interference.

Depending on your lamp design, you may need two different sized connectors. Since I had to raise my bottom slot by 1" , I measured the offset between the two slots for the connectors and accounted for this in my circle sizing for the connectors. (last two images above). Essentially, if I know that there's a 1" horizontal offset between my two slots, I need one connect to be 2" smaller/bigger than the other -- 2x1" since the 1" is a radius difference, corresponding to a 2" diameter difference.

See the notes in the images above for step-by-step instructions on how to design your own (for custom sizes; you can't just scale the shapes I have in my file since your slots will be the wrong dimension for your wood).

Step 5: Star-shaped Connector Design

Again: I had a problem with the circular connectors since they interfered with my weaving, so I came up with my star shaped connectors (see next step) in the end to circumvent the interference. You can NOT use this connector if you intend to attach the woven lamp shade to the rim of a light bulb in a lamp!

See the notes in the images above for step-by-step instructions on how to design your own (for custom sizes; you can't just scale the shapes I have in my file since your slots will be the wrong dimension for your wood).

Step 6: Pattern Brush Creation: Making Slits for Yarn

To easily make slits for yarn to slide into, I created a pattern brush for a shape that would be my pattern for side slits where the yarn would sit. I played around to optimize it, but my final was: a 0.05" horizontal line, followed by a 0.05" vertical line upward, and a final 0.03" horizontal line.

See the notes in the images above for step-by-step instructions on how I created it and used it on my side pieces' design (this way you can also design different sized slits to accommodate different yarn weights).

Step 7: Laser Cutting Wood

Once you have all your designs (or just use my file from the materials section), time to cut! The slots should let you slip the pieces together with a snug fit; if not, consider using calipers on your plywood and adjusting the slot dimensions for your side pieces and connectors. If you'd like, consider staining your wood to contrast with your yarn better.

Tip: use sandpaper to get rid of any scorch marks on your wood before staining if you choose to: this will make your stain look more even.

Step 8: Weaving

The weaving is a bit hard to explain, but it's straightforward to visualize once you have your wood and yarn in your hands. Essentially you cross the yarn from side piece to side piece: slide the yarn into the top slits of one side piece, the middle slits of the next, top of the next, middle of the next. Continue until you've completed your first two loops around the wood frame. After those first two rounds, slide the yarn into slits below where you already have yarn (this may sound confusing, but once you have the yarn in your hand, you'll get what I mean).

See the notes in the images above for step-by-step instructions on gluing and such.

Step 9: Finished

When you're done weaving, install the lamp shade to whatever lamp you have. Again, it was just a simple LED push lamp for me, but it could be a dangling ceiling lamp for you. Then, step back, smile, and admire your handiwork.

Inspiration/Spin-offs to consider:

  • Design different shapes for the side pieces to create different outer shapes of your lamp.
  • The side pieces don't have to be evenly rotated around the central axis of symmetryof the lamp...
  • Try different yarn weights! Maybe chunkier yarn will look nicer since it'll diffuse light better. Perhaps even try fuzzier yarns vs satin-like ones.
  • Try different color combinations, or variegated yarn!

In any case, enjoy the project (remember to de-stress when you're in a tight corner!) and as always, feel free to leave comments with questions, comments, and concerns.

Good instructable, keep up the good work!
<p>Thank you for the encouragement! :D</p>
This looks AWESOME!!!
<p>Thank you for your kind comment! </p>

About This Instructable

1,893views

69favorites

License:

Bio: In which I turn the thoughts from my head into objects in my hands
More by watchmeflyy:Layered Sculpture Lamps Network-Connected Lamps (IoT for Beginners) Woven Wire Sea Glass Earrings 
Add instructable to: