Introduction: Laminated Paper Pendant Lampshade

I decided to try and replicate one of NZ designer David Trubridge's amazing pendant light shades (be sure to check him out if you haven't already. His work is stunning) while I was off work for a week with the flu. And I had to use what I had around the house cause I was too crook to drive for supplies.

Originally I had put it together with double sided tape and it held up nicely for about a year until recently, a few pieces started to came apart, I thought I'd better do it properly so I took it apart, glued the entire shade back together, took photos of the process and here we are.

It's a little rougher looking now, I was too lazy to scrape all the double sided tape off before gluing. But any roughness disappears at night as the brilliance in a Trubridge design outshines.

Step 1: You Will Need:

  • 10 - 12 Laminated pieces of A4
  • Scissors or craft knife
  • Double sided tape or Contact Adhesive
  • Paper Clips / Bulldog clips
  • 2x 85g cans of spray paint
  • 5x bendy folder clips?
  • Shape Template

Step 2: Trace, Cut and Cut Some More

I started to make this design using cardboard but any bend weakened the entire structure so I hunted around for something strong with a little flex and the typical craft junkie hoarder I am ('that might come in handy for something one day') I knew it! Keeping a box of printed/laminated work ads for years was a good idea! Reinforcing my terrible obsession to keep crap - just in case I may or may not need it for something.

Keep in mind I drew the pieces on the template and they are not exact replication, there's definate room for improvement and wouldn't take too much surely if you got the time.

I traced the 3 template pieces onto A4, you should be able to crop the template page from the wooden floor and print full size on A4 paper.

  • Cut out each of the template pieces carefully
  • Trace 5 of the Large Template Pieces onto 11 laminated A4 sheets.

  • Trace 5 of the Small Template pieces and x1 Top template Piece onto another piece of

    laminated A4 sheet

Then carefully cut away.....

Step 3: Assemble Sections

Put the Top Template Piece aside as you won't be needing it for a while, but don't forget to paint it.

Once you have all your pieces cut, you will need glue them together in groups of 5 to form a pentagon shape.

1 set of Smaller Template Pieces together - see image 6.

11 sets of 5 Large Template Pieces - see image 7.

  • Image 6 shows the pieces do not join together laying flat. Glue 4 pieces and then leave to dry. They need a decent hold before you pull the last corner together to form a section, you'll notice the sections have a slight curvature, peaking in the centre.
  • Glues are not at all the same and I appreciated using a contact adhesive. I didn't have to waste too much time clamping the pieces together, once it's tacky join your pieces and give it a good squeeze and that was usually enough, then let it dry. I did clip and clamp the sections together though.

Step 4: Putting the Sections Together

I remember getting flustered putting the shade together for the first time. I lost my 'middle' piece and couldn't tell where the darned top or bottom was, but the beauty is it just fits together. Its pretty much foolproof if you remember you are making a sphere and not a line.

  • Before gluing - put a section down as a 'middle' starting point. Place sections around the outside of the 'middle' to get an idea of how it fits together.
  • As soon as you join 2 sections the slight curve becomes a bigger curve and adds more weight so I used paper clips and bulldog clips (I even used hairclips when I needed extras) to hold the sections together for a bit as they dried.

Then get gluing........

Until you have used all 11 large sections and a shape that resembles something like image 8.

I left the Small Template Piece section to attach after painting so the spraycans moved around inside the sphere easily.

Step 5: Paint

The paint was getting old and flaking so I figured I may as well spray it while it was down and apart. I used a box to help support the shere while I sprayed the inside (i10). Leaving it to dry overnight.

I didnt want the outside colour going through and covering the inside so i lined the inside with paper towels to soak up any loose spraypaint and blew up and tied off shopping bags to give a loose fill when i turned the shade over to paint (i11).

It seemed to worked well enough (i12).

Once the paint is dry I attatched the Small Template Piece section to the top of the sphere and let it dry.

Step 6: Hanging

You want to take the light bulb out and work your Top Template Piece up and above the light fixture.

Put the light bulb back in.

Make sure you have your clips in your pocket or handy you need to support the shade with one hand until you have at least 3 of the clips in place.

Line up holes in the TTP and STP section. Thread and secure each of the 5 clips.

Thanks for checking out my tutorial.

This seems straight forward and well explained in my head but let me know if I've missed something or you have any questions.


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