Designer Paper Yarn Lamp




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

Citizens of Instructables :),

When I was searching for paracord in local market, I was trying to explain this guy at the craft store what I am looking for and I was having a hard time. Guess what he showed me paper yarn, trust me I did not even know what paper yarn is before this instructables. I liked it but that time I was more inclined towards paracord and it was frustrating that I was not able to find it. For the sake of experiment I bought few bunches of paper yarn (Sometimes spending money for no reason gives a strange kind of satisfaction :D) .

I searched through the internet to see what people are using paper yarn for, searched here too and saw some great crafts.

If you have seen my ibles, you might have noticed that I have this thing for making lighted objects, so I started to think in that direction and came up up with this awesome designer lamp made from paper yarn.

I wanted to believe this is my original Idea so I Googled and gladly found nothing similar :D.

Lets see how you can make it easily.

Did I say easily?, off course yes :)

Now tell me that you did not believe it was a paper lamp :D.

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Step 1: Stuff Required

You would need following things to make this awesome lamp, I divided it two parts

Part 1: The preparation for lamp

  1. A soda pet bottle of 2.5 litre, I prefer bottle which has a smooth curvy top without any bumps by design.
  2. Some packaging tape or masking tape.
  3. A small saw
  4. Some sand paper

Part 2: The making of lamp

  1. Paper yarn, I got lucky mine has a very thin thread of golden, which makes it look festive. See the image close up
  2. Modge-Podge, I used glossy texture.
  3. A scissor
  4. Few rubber bands
  5. A pendant lighting arrangement
  6. A 1" foam brush. Please don't replace this with painting brush. I will tell you reason later.

Step 2: Preparation for Making the Awesomeness

Warning: If you are involving kids into making this, the cutting of bottle should be done by an adult for safety.

Lets begin. See images above and follow

We have to remove the neck of bottle buy cutting it with saw or some sharp object. Why? I will tell you later, for now just do it :).

  1. Cut as close as possible to the neck.
  2. Sand the edges to make them smooth.

Most pet bottles have a small or sometimes bigger bump (or curve if like it ) close to the label so that label don't slip. This bump can be a problem while you try to slide the paper yarn upwards. So we will try to make it less bumpy by sticking a layer of tape around it.

  1. Remove the label
  2. Wrap tape in place of label , the edge should begin from the bump. See image above.
  3. Sand the top to make the bottle surface rough, this will ensure that yarn does not slip while you wrap it around the bottle.

All right, so now the bottle is ready :). Lets start making our lamp.

Step 3: Wrap an Inch, Modge-podge, Wait 10 Mins, Repeat

See images above and follow:

  1. Wrap a few rubber bands tightly at the neck of the bottle. This is our locking mechanism so that the yarn does not slip outside the bottle.
  2. Apply just a bit of modge podge to the head of paper yarn and stick it close to neck, right below the rubber bands.
  3. Wait for few seconds for modge-podge to hold yarn.
  4. Start wrapping the yarn carefully around the bottle. Not too tight but also not loose.
  5. Wrap around an inch, stick the yarn end with bottle using tape. See image.
  6. Apply modge-podge generously. Don't put too much pressure while applying
  7. Wait at least 10 minutes.
  8. Repeat from 4, untill you done wrapping at around 1.5 inch below the top label line.

Things to note:

  1. While Wrapping: You should try not to leave any gaps between yarn. If gap is visible, slide it gently upwards to close the gap before you apply modge podge. This is important because if too much modge podge gets to the bottle surface directly, it will be form a strong bond and stick the yarn permanently
  2. Applying Modge-Podge: I insisted on sponge brush, because we don't want modge-podge to penetrate the yarn. Just apply a dip of modge-podge using sponge brush and then spread it gently.
  3. After applying modge-podge:If there are still gaps, gently slide the yarn upwards to close gaps.

Leave the arrangement overnight. After few failures I did not dare to try in 6-7 hours as per modge-podge label.

Step 4: See What Failure Looks Like

Before I tell you how to extract the yarn lamp out of bottle, I must tell you , what will happen if you get impatience and try to remove the yarn from the bottle without waiting for the modge-podge to completely seal the yarn together.

Step 5: Extracting the Masterpiece :)

After 12 hours at least, you should notice that the modge-podge is dried clear and hardness on wrapped yarn can be felt.

Remember the thumb rule here, patience.

  1. Hold the bottle in your hand, where the wrapping ends.
  2. Press the bottle gently, just below the wrap. You should notice that you can see a dent below the wrap since wrap is able to retain the round shape.
  3. Increase pressure to make bigger dents on all sides.
  4. Now remove the rubber bands from top.
  5. Hold the bottle between your legs.
  6. Hold the top of wrapped area from left hand and bottom of wrapped area with your right hand. Make sure you spread your fingers.
  7. Press your grip against the wrap and gently try to revolve the wrap in the same direction as you wrapped.
  8. If you have taken all precuations while wrapping and applying modge-podge.The entire wrap should move around the bottle freely.
  9. NOTE: At this point if you slightly feel that joints are weak, apply another coat of modge-podge and wait for 3-4 hours.
  10. Now hold the bottom of wrap with both hands and revolve gently pushing the wrap upwards.
  11. Go really slow.
  12. You should be able to extract the paper yarn shaped like the top of bottle :)

Congratulate yourself for this masterpiece :). Isn't it beautiful and amazing :)

Lets see how to light it up.

Step 6: Light Up

See images and follow:

REMEMBER: This is paper, I only recommend use of less than 8watt CFL or LED bulb. This is not to be left on for hours, just for precaution.

A pendant bulb holder which can be fit on the top hole is idle, in case of mine, the holder was slightly small so I have to use double sided tape for padding.

Light up and bee ready to amaze :)

I could not believe my eyes that I made this when I light it up for the first time. It is so beautiful :)

I hope you like it. Please do share if you choose to make using the [I made it] button. Should you have any questions comments or feedback, please post it in the comments below.

Wondering about what to do with ugly pet bottle now? Well , either you can reuse it to make more lamps or try this (I was a guest author of this blog for some time)

Please vote if you like.

You are awesome.

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66 Discussions


4 years ago

Is it necessry to remove the bottle after spinning yarn on it?

3 replies
Tarun Upadhyayagurjeetkc

Reply 4 years ago

No it is not.

But these are my reasons for not leaving the curve inside:
1. You have to cut the bottle and
2. You would need a new bottle for every lamp
3. It wont be a paper lamp, it would be just some decoration over a bottle curve like this one I did and for that using paper yarn is not necessary

I wanted to create a cluster of many such lamps so it make sense for me to use the bottle as mold

gurjeetkcTarun Upadhyaya

Reply 4 years ago

Ok. But i prefer to retain the bottle, to save it from going to landfill. Anyway yours is inspiring craft.

Tarun Upadhyayagurjeetkc

Reply 4 years ago

Like I said, you can certainly retain the bottle. Thank you for your kind words :)


4 years ago

this is really nice, just wanted to ask if we can replace anything else with mod podge

1 reply

I have not tried anything but Mod Podge, some folks on internet use equal part white glue and water as mod podge and claims to have it worked.


This looks awesome , thank you so much for sharing it and referring to this instructable on your website. A lot of people were asking me about alternatives to paper yarn and now I can suggest them your implementation. It came out very nice.


4 years ago on Introduction

I have been having a hard time looking for a lamp that will suit my lil comfy bed until i saw this! Now I am ready to make my own. Thanks for this one!

Btw, is there any alternative for the paper yarn?

1 reply

Thank you for your kind words. You can try jute twine. Check out my sweater lamp as well that might suit your room too.


5 years ago on Introduction

Excellent idea! Perfect use for empty coke bottles. But I have one question : Which bulbs did you use? Traditional bulbs generate a LOT of heat which would melt the Modge Podge eventually.

1 reply

5 years ago on Introduction

Namashkar Tarun, this is a very nice tutorial- thank you:-) I have been making Table lamps with used liquor bottles ( hobby) and hanging lamps with the bottoms cut.

The other day I visited a art shop as I was looking for the shade for my bottles ,I came across the very same type of Jute shades with some hand made flowers and stuff- selling at 400- Rs( pretty steep) Thanks to you now I can make these at home and try a few other type of moulds.One question though is this paper yarn easily available in India? would love to hear from you Tarun. Keep up the good work!


2 replies

Hi Mahendra,

Thank you for your appreciation , I am glad you liked it. I am lucky to have this small store in my city where I get things which are not easily available elsewhere. Paper yarn is not easily available, but you can try craft supplies stores, if they get things from china, they should have it too. I have also seen some Indian sellers selling paper twine or paper yarn on You can also use jute and cotton twine in case paper yarn is not available.

You can also make paper twine using newspaper, cut stripes , glue them together and then using a drill, twist them to make twine. Google a bit and you will know what I'm talking about.

Best luck.

BTW: If you can document your process of making lamps, I would love to see you positing some on instructables.

Hi Tarun, thanks for the quick response:-) I will try searching at the craft stores, I really want to take a shot at making this beautiful shades.

I did google and on you tube found a couple of videos of making twine with a hand drill- very helpful. Jute and cotton twines are easily available here so I will have a go at it.

I will post the process of making the lamps out of liquor and wine bottles( though it is already there on the net) and I learnt from the same tutorials,I would love to post another one:-) Thanks once again for your reply .

looking forward to many more good DIY projects from you.