Introduction: Clothespin Mobile Lampshade

About: I'm a happy, fat dude from Vasteras in Sweden. I live for making stuff! :-)

I made this lampshade last year just for myself, not documenting the steps. But I'll do my best to recreate what went about! :-) I call it MOBILE, because you can move it around, putting any kind of light source inside. Besides different electrical solutions, I've actually used tealights! Worked very well, cosy, but not any larger candles than that, being very aware of not ending up fried and homeless...

Step 1: Materials and Tools

You can use whatever does the job, but this is what I used, and it wasn't very much actually.

  • 0,4mm (28 gauge) galvanized steel wire
  • Butane-Propane mixed gas torch
  • Silver solder rod
  • Clothespins, ALOT (280 of them on my shade)

Optional; if you want to paint the wire frame, the easiest would be to spray paint it. White always works! :-)

Step 2: Shaping and Soldering

You'll notice on all of my works that they are a bit askew, not very straight or perfect. The reason is that I refuse to use laser cutters, laserprinting, cnc-routers or any kind of industry-alike-machines. I don't meen to never meusure or use proper tools, but the high tech approach to diy's has gone a little bit to far. My view is that the "feeling" or induviduality is lost from a piece or whatever you call it, using standardized machines. Thus, in this case, I shaped the wire by hand into seven rings, and did the same routine with the vertical ones. Sure, it gets a bit tricky, in a trial-and-error-mode-sort-of-way :-).

The soldering is quite hands on; you heat up the fastening point where the two wires meet, and when the wires glows red you apply the solder. Here's an fantastically easy instruction on youtube: How to Silver Solder Steel with a Propane Torch.

Step 3: Getting the Frame Dressed

Easy! You start from the bottom, working your self up :-)

Step 4: Final Notes

As you can see, every upper row of chlothespin overlaps the lower ones. This is crusial for the end result! So be sure not to solder the wired rings too far from each other, or you will end up with a wire frame with free flapping clothespins...

I used untreated wooden clothespins, but you use the material and color of your likings. Would be interesting though to see a lampshade like this, covered with shiny steel chothespins! :-)

Step 5:

Voilà! C'est tout!