Introduction: Cardboard Lamp Shade

I had to create some kind of project for my Comp. 1 class. Yes, I was surprised to when I saw we had to make something. I mean who would have thought that in an English class you would be making some kind of project. So, I went on here to Instructables and looked and looked because I had no clue what I wanted to do for a project. Let me say there are some pretty neat things that have been made. Then, I got to looking around and I decided that since I didn’t have a lamp that is the project that I wanted to try and do. I would create either a lamp or a lamp shade. Therefore, I went looking and at first I saw a clock lamp and thought that was cool. I was going to create one of those but then I found a cardboard lamp ( I really liked the way light shined through it and I thought looked pretty cool. So, I decided instead of doing a whole lamp I would create a lamp shade like it. It’s a little bit of work but it turns out to be a cool cheap project that anyone that can use a box knife safely can make.


Most things you can get from Walmart. You can get recycled cardboard boxes from somewhere and cut the pieces you need from whatever you find. I got my cardboard that I used from the recycling at work.

· Cardboard

· Box knife or x-acto knife

· Glue (I used Gorilla Glue and some hot glue)

· Lamp base with socket

· Light bulbs (preferably LED because they don’t emit a lot of heat)

· Ruler

· Pin/Pencil/Marker

· Hexagon stencil

Step 1:

First you should measure your strips out. I made my strips one half inch wide and eight and one half inches long. Depending on how wide you want your shade is how long you will want to make your strips. Make sure when you are cutting the strips you are not cutting between the groves you are cutting against them to get the holes. If you don’t have holes and you can’t see through the cardboard, you are cutting it wrong and have to cut new strips. I measured out an eight and one half inch pieces first. Then, on those pieces I measured however many one half inch pieces I could fit on the cardboard. I marked the cardboard on both sided then drew a straight line connecting the marks with a pin so that I could fallow it with my box knife.

Step 2:

Next I grabbed my box knife and cut the cardboard on the lines I drew. This is probably the most time consuming part of the whole project. Mostly because you need to make so many little strips. When cutting the strips, make sure you have a scrap piece of cardboard or something underneath when you are cutting because you don’t want to scratch the surface of whatever you are working on. For each hexagon I used about forty to about forty-five strips to make them the length I needed. Again depending on how big you are making your hexagon, will very how many strips you will need for each one. The hexagon stencil that I made was about seven inches wide by about seven inches long. That’s why I used eight and one half inch strips so that I would have enough excess on the sides to make sure I had room to cut out my shape.

Step 3:

Once all of my strips of cardboard were all cut out, I started gluing them together with the Gorilla Glue. I could have probably done the whole project with a hot glue gun but I thought that the gorilla glue might hold better than other glues would. You can use whatever type of glue you are comfortable using because I think any type of glue would hold the cardboard pieces together. First, I made a square that was the eight and one half inches wide and about forty to forty-five cardboard strips long. I glued the smooth side of the strips together so you had lots of holes for the light to come through. After I got them all glued together, I let the square dry with a rubber band around it. While my first square was drying, I started to glue the next square together. Then, once I got the second square glued together I grabbed the first square and drew my hexagon on it with a permanent marker. I also cut it out using the lines to guide me before the glue got too hard to cut through. When I got done cutting that I set it to the side to finish drying. After that I started gluing my third square together. Then once I finished with that square, I grabbed my second square and repeated what I did with my first square. Then I did the same thing with my third square. Which left me with three hexagons.

Step 4:

I then grabbed a different piece of cardboard and cut out a square that was three inches by three inches. I then I measured out one inch by three inch pieces to connect the three hexagons that I made. I then drew a line down the middle of the one inch by three inch pieces and cut along that line but not cutting all the way through. Once I got done cutting them in half I bent the cardboard along the cut to make a hinge like piece. I then used a hot glue gun to glue the hinges on the sides of the hexagons that I wanted to put together.

Step 5:

Here was the tricky part of trying to make up my project. I had to figure out some way to get the shade to stay around the lightbulb. I thought and thought, then I finally went to my uncle for some help and he helped me make a piece that I glued my shade to. We used a square piece of cardboard to cut a circle out of that was the size of the socket. There is a little bit of an edge on the socket that would hold up the piece. I sat my shade over the hole and glued the bottom of it to the cardboard piece. Then, I drew a line from one edge of the shade to the next one. I cut off the excess and on the lines I had made.

Step 6:

The only thing that is left for you to do is put the shade on your lamp and turn it on to see the beautiful light fixture you have created out of recycled cardboard.

Thank you! I hope you enjoyed the project!