Introduction: Modular Geometric Paper Lamps, 5 Designs

About: An artist by birth, a software architect by choice, a lamp maker by passion, a learner forever. Featured Author here:)

A year & a day before I published this paper lamp, my favorite paper lamp of all times, my first too. And guess what, I almost forgot about it until a few days back someone pinned it on pinterest from my board. Old memories came back like a breeze of fresh air. And now year after I published it, I came up with more awesome lamps using the same fun.

Now the question is why so late? well, I think the creative side of my brain is more active since I joined instructables :).

So I experimented with shapes and came up with so many designs. In this ible I am going to show you 5 of them and trust me after reading this, you will invent even more of them :).

You don't have read it step by step because step 5 onwards each step is a new design. So if you already know or have everything to get you started, feel free to jump over.

These designs are made using a simple triangular paper module and it is very easy (yup, that's the keyword) to assemble together into awesome geometric shapes.

I named each lamp to some funny name related to space. I hope you will find them fun to work with.

Let's begin the fun.

Step 1: Stuff You Need

You would need very simple stuff:

  1. CRAFT Glue like Elmer's or Fevicol (Sorry not in the picture above)
  2. A sharp craft scissor
  3. A geometric compass and pencil
  4. Lots of 15mm or 19mm binder clips (they come in real handy)
  5. A ruler
  6. A light arrangement
  7. Cutting mat is recommended
  8. Thick paper or card paper of color of your choice (Dark colors wont work well in light if the paper is too thick). A3 or bigger if you can get.

Step 2: Circles, As Much As You Can Make

NOTE: so let me tell you something before you proceed. If you have an electronic cutting tool, this step which is the most time consuming one, can be very easy. I don't have one, so I went old school methods

The number of modules depends on the lamp you are trying to make, so decide first which lamp you wish to make.

See the images above and follow:

  1. Draw several circles on paper using compass, center of the circle is important to locate. I draw circles with radius 5.5cm. the bigger the radius, the bigger the shape.
  2. Cut those circles
  3. Fold them into triangles as shown in the diagram above.

Step 3: Fold & Slice

Once you have the folded circles, See images above and follow

In my original lamp, I did not slice off the petals (the folded part of the circle), but here I am doing it so that a more subtle geometric look of lamp can be achieved.

I tried using ruler and Xacto knife but that was too tedious, so I just snipped the petals using scissor making guesses about approximate width of the remaining petal. It worked out well.

Pheww... I made around 100 such modules for you my dear reader :[)

Ok, now the boring part is over, lets have some real fun.

Step 4: Fundamental Shapes and Few Tricks

You will see now how the binder clips came in handy :). I used them for demonstration.

Well, there may be some geometry involved here but I like to call the basic shapes in non mathematical language. I figured out that at some point of time while making the lamps, you will have at least 1 or more of these shapes involved. Therefore I thought it would be good to add a separate step for a quick reference.

The shapes are either a cone like structure or a hollow box. See images above and follow

  1. 3 modules with their sides joined will form a prominent cone or pyramid.
  2. 4 modules with their sides joined will form a little less prominent (in terms of height) cone or pyramid.
  3. 5 modules with their sides joined will form a dome like structure.
  4. 6 modules with their sides joined will form a flower shape.
  5. When joining one module with another having alternating modules as inverted and then joining the ends will result in boxes. For example join 8 such module to form a box that has a triangular opening.

Few tricks:

  1. When gluing the sides, make sure you always glue the piece that you are about to attach unless you are joining two structures together. This makes it easy.
  2. The more closely you glue each petal with each other, the less gap will be visible between joins thus making the lamp look more neat.
  3. when you are trying to make a shape for the first time, use binder clips to join them. It is easy to experiment like that without wasting any module.

Step 5: 12 Modules Mars Mission Bunker

This is the simplest of all the lamps you are going to see and it would need you to make only 12 modules. this lamp is nothing but a 4 module cone and 8 module box joined together :) (You really want to read further ;-) Lol)

NOTE: Just to show you how you can use binder clips to make a shape and when you are fully satisfied with it you can glue them. I have included pictures to make this shape using binder clips.

See images above and follow:

  • Glue 8 modules together to form a box with the square opening.
  • Glue 4 modules to make a pyramid (IMPORTANT: Do not close it, see image). This will be the entrance for the lighting arrangement.

VERY IMPORTANT: Before you make any lamp, make sure you figure out the entrance for the lighting arrangement

  • We will glue the pyramid on top of the box, leaving module open for the lighting.
  • Once glued, wait for few minutes to dry.
  • Now insert the lighting arrangement from the gap.
  • Seal the gap with a binder clip or staple it or use a paper clip, such that you can open it when you wish to change the light or remove it.
  • Light it up baby :)

Wasn't that easy :)

Now tell me, does it looks like a mars mission bunker, well I don't know I have never been there.. LOL.

Step 6: 24 Modules, Space Capsule

This lamp is nothing but two lamp we created in previous step joined together :D.

See images and follow:

  1. Prepare 24 modules.
  2. Make the lamp as in previous step.
  3. Make another one but close all gaps (no opening for light, see images above).
  4. Lets them dry for few minutes.
  5. Glue them with each other from their base.

NOTE: I use binder clips to join the shapes first, then replacing one by one with glue. This is not necessary but it helped me while joining bigger structures

So.. how's that? Easy and fun :)

Space capsule ...funny haan :)

Step 7: 26 Module Cybertron War Ship

This is my favorite one, look at that amazing futuristic design :).

See images and follow:

  1. Prepare 26 modules.
  2. Pick 13 modules.
  3. Create a 5 module dome and arrange the remaining 8 modules around it as shown in the pattern above.
  4. Don't forget to leave the gap on top for lighting arrangement.
  5. Start gluing the module in the sequence as per numbers in the pattern image above.
  6. When you glue the 6 numbered modules, you will notice that the entire pattern will bend, this means you are doing it right. This is amazing how these modules forms shapes.
  7. Repeat 2 to 6 and this time dont leave any gaps for lighting.
  8. You have two shapes now, join them using the binder clips like you are joining two halves of a globe(see image), notice how the gap is visible for lighting.
  9. Replace binder clips one by one with gluing.
  10. Insert lighting arrangement and light it up baby :)

Cybertron War Ship..humm.. they will probably use this design in the Next Transformers movie :D

I just love the way this one gets it shape.

Step 8: 24 Modules Superman Earth Pod

You can say this design was nothing but an accident while I was trying to make something else. It has two facets, which is very cool. It is kind of 2-in-1 lamp. Lets see how you can make it.

See images and follow:

  1. Prepare 24 Modules
  2. Pick 12 modules and arrange them as shown in the patten image above.
  3. Glue them all together, leave the last two modules for lighting gap.
  4. Use a binder clip to join the top two modules, the entire shape will bend.
  5. Repeat 2-4 with remaining 12 modules (don't leave the gap)
  6. You have two shapes ready.
  7. Join them one over another in symmetrical fashion using binder clip (I told you they will come in very handy).
  8. Replace binder clips one by one by gluing (don't forgot to leave the gap for lighting).
  9. Wait for arrangement to dry for few minutes.
  10. Insert the light arrangement and seal the gap using binder clip or staple it or use paper clip. And then light it up baby.

Did you notice this single lamp when viewed from side looks like inverted :).

Ok, about the superman earth pod, the baby superman actually was put by his father inside it and made to escape to earth ...LOL

Having fun ?? Great, lets continue more.

Step 9: 22 Modules Diamond From Pandora

There is no need to use two colors, I ran out of paper so I used whatever I got. To make this shape, see images above and follow:

  1. Prepare 22 Modules
  2. Pick 9 modules and arrange as shown in the pattern 1 above.
  3. Glue them all together.
  4. Fold the arrangement such that the two ends (left and right) can be joined.
  5. Glue them together
  6. Notice you formed a box with triangular opening, the only difference here is the box is like a pyramid.
  7. Pick 3 modules and create a 3 module cone without joining the ends (for lighting arrangement entrance).
  8. Glue the cone on the arrangement in such a way that you have one module open for lighting..
  9. Now arrange 9 modules as shown in pattern 2
  10. Glue them with the structure first and then together
  11. You will notice that the 9 modules when glued together bends downwards in such a way that it leaves a triangular opening below the structure.
  12. Cover the opening by gluing one module below
  13. Insert the light arrangement and seal the gap using binder clip or staple it or use paper clip. And then light it up baby.

Diamond from Pandora ... the movie Avatar has planet named Pandora where there was lots of green..thus named this lamp..ha ha :)

HINT: If you attach a 3 module cone in the triangular opening below, it would have made the shape symmetrical like two pyramids attached inverted.

Step 10: About Lighting & Final Thoughts

Since it is paper, I would recommend using only CFLs or LED bulb. For this ible I used colored LED bulbs.

I have created many more shapes, which I may post someday...Phewww... I took 217 Pictures only to select the best ones for this ible.

Use your imagination and experiment with these modules to create awesome geometric shapes.

Thank you for your time to read this ible. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I did while making it. Please do share your thoughts, feedback and suggestions in the comments below.

If you choose to make any of these, please use the "I made it" button to post a picture.

Hope you will like it and Vote it.

You are awesome.

Stay Tuned.

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