Introduction: Table Lamp With Coloured and Folded Paper Shades

This instructable is about how to make a table top lamp with a single light bulb and with lamp shade made out of coloured and folded paper.

I was searching for Christmas gift ideas, unique, personalized, not money but handmade value added.

I created several, with my 11 year's old son as Christmas gift and we really enjoyed the crafting!


Risk of electroshock: In this project you will assemble an electric (110V-220V) device. Assemble the lamp unplugged! Verify that all the connections are secure and safe!

Risk of using electric power tools: In this project you will (might) use electric jigsaw. Read and follow the manual and be very careful!

Risk of fire: In this project you will assemble a paper lamp shade touching or very close to the light bulb. Use LED bulb, verify if it not gets too hot, and never leave the lamp (switched on) unattended (for long time)!

The author of this instructable takes no responsibility or liability, directly or indirectly, in any way for any loss or damage of any kind incurred as a result of, or in connection with, making this project or using the result of this project.

Step 1: What You Need to Create It?

The "lamp" is composed of the "lamp base" and the "lamp shade".

You can re-use any other (old) lamp base, but here is the list what you need to create a simple one:

  • piece of wood, I made from 200x200x19mm pine wood,
  • jigsaw,
  • sandpaper,
  • screw (M10x20mm),
  • drill, 10mm drill bit, 20mm circular drill,
  • light bulb socket,
  • lamp wire with plug and switch (you can find with the socket),
  • light bulb: LED, 40W. it is very important to use LED light, and to verify that it is not producing too much heat and not burn the paper lamp shade.

To create the lamp shade you need paper.

I have used 80g, A4 sized different coloured paper. Heavier paper (carton) is too thick, and not transparent enough.

You can use bigger sheets (A3-A2) and any other paper and colours you like.

You might need needle and thread (cord, line), scissors, two hole punch etc.

Step 2: Create the Lamp Base

Take the piece of wood and cut out of it with the jigsaw a form you like, a circle, a potato or amoeba shape.

Be sure that the size and form is big enough to hold the lamp stable enough.

Sandpaper the sharp edges.

Drill through a 10mm diameter hole, in the centre of the wood.

Decide which side of the wood is nicer, the less nice side will be the bottom side, at the bottom side drill a 20mm diameter "deepening", right in the middle of the 10mm diameter hole. The "deepening" should be deep enough to "hide" the head of the screw, but not go through the wood.

Optionally you can treat the wood with paint, lack, oil.

Step 3: Assemble the Electric Parts and the Lamp Base

Connect the light bulb socket to the wires (if separated). Check all the connections.

Put the screw through the hole in the wood (the head of the screw should be "hidden" in the "deepening".

Fix the lightbulb socket to the screw. The screw should hold the light bulb firm.

Put the LED light bulb to the socket, switch it on to test.

Step 4: Fold the Lamp Shade and Finalize

Fold a lamp shade, using the coloured papers and put on the light bulb.

You can glue or sew the parts together (punch holes or sew with needle and thread).

We experimented first using "plain" white paper, then used the coloured papers.

You can find many ideas and tips on the net, see my photos and here are some:

...and you can invent your own!

Be creative!


Make It Glow! Contest

Participated in the
Make It Glow! Contest

Homemade Gifts Contest 2015

Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2015