Hot Glue Airy Lampshade




I really wanted to make an airy and nice lampshade. So that it shimmers in the light, not difficult to making and not expensive. I made up to make this lampshade from hot glue and fishing line. It’s not expensive, simple and easy.


  • transparent / colored hot glue (high strength),
  • a balloon,
  • fishing line,
  • foil,
  • a piece of rope,
  • a piece of duct tape,
  • transparent tight plastic.

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Step 1: Making the Lampshade Mold

Inflate a balloon and tie it with rope.

Wrap the balloon in foil.

Step 2: Time to Use Hot Glue

Wrap fishing line around the balloon (make sure that you get round ball). Fix the end of the fishing line with duct tape.

Squeeze out little drops of hot glue on the fishing line, especially on a crosses. Try to distribute the droplets evenly over the surface of the ball.

Let the glue harden well.

Step 3: Final Details

Cut the fishing line on the side where the balloon was tied: cut small circle with a diameter of 10 cm.

Untie the balloon and pull through the hole.

Take the foil off the hot glue and pull it out through the hole.

Cut a gasket from transparent plastic 2 cm wide, the minimum diameter of which is equal to the diameter of the hole in the ball.

Insert the gasket through the hole into the ball and glue the edges of the ball to it using hot glue.

The lampshade is ready.

Step 4: Hanging the Lampshade

Make a mount for the lampshade: cut a circle with a diameter of 15 cm from transparent plastic and make hole in the center of a diameter of 1 cm. If you don't want to disassemble the socket then cut this plastic along the radius.Thread the cord through the hole of plastic circle and assemble the socket. Screw in the LED bulb.

ATTENTION! This lampshade cannot be used with incandescent lamps.

To put on the lampshade, simply roll the plastic circle and insert it into the hole of the lampshade.

Enjoy the work done.

This lampshade looks great by day too.

Step 5: Bonus: Another Lampshade

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Second Prize in the
Hot Glue Speed Challenge

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    10 Discussions


    14 days ago

    I'm surprised it holds its shape! I haven't tried this so I'm glad you did -- I expected it to droop into a cylinder or pear shape if it were hanging from the plastic circle. Or flatten on the bottom resting on a table. But it stays spherical ?! How thick is that fishing line? I think the glue is mainly at crossings, not spread along the fishing line (that would make it stiffer).

    5 replies

    Reply 13 days ago

    Yes, my lampshade is absolutely spherical. I tried to show it on my photos. And it's still absolutely spherical. No magic :)
    I used simple fishing line (braided fishing line 0.55 mm), the sphere with a diameter of 21 cm.
    On my photos you can see that I wrapped the fishing line around the balloon in different directions. Also you can see on my photos how I applied hot glue (on the fishing line and especially on the places where the fishing line crosses).

    I know that people make lampshades of thread and glue PVA. But as for me, such lampshades look a bit heavy. Therefore, I thought, why not try to make a lampshade from fishing line and hot glue.
    It is absolutely my idea to make such lampshade (using fishing line and hot glue).
    I can not say that I have a lot of experience in making such lampshades. This is the first such lampshade and it looks great (and absolutely spherical). I had no problem making it. It was only a little difficult to wrap the fishing line (it slides) and a little long to remove the foil from hot glue. But I really like the result.


    Reply 12 days ago

    I'm impressed! Designers of geodesic domes and tensegrity structures think hard about optimum strut and cable lengths and orientation. Maybe you've shown me a new tensegrity design principle -- if you have enough joints, the orientations and lengths can be random!


    Reply 11 days ago

    I didn't use bars or struts. I used only the fishing line. This material is stiff (in contrast to a thread) and light. Therefore, a sufficient number of lines, intersected in different directions and fixed with hot glue, allowed me to make this spherical lampshade that holds its shape.


    Reply 11 days ago

    This is great! I think if it were thread it would collapse in a pile. I have 25 lb fishing line monofilament and I feel, it is stiff on a small scale like 10 mm or a half inch. Your braided line may be even stiffer. Maybe they're about the same thickness -- my old label says .021 I guess that is inches so * 25.4 = .53 mm, you used .55 mm. It takes about an ounce of force to make the monofilament buckle if I grab two places 10 mm apart and try to push them together. That's apparently enough "strut" for such a light structure. I can believe wherever hot glue joints are less than 10 mm apart, fishing line between them will be a strut with enough compression strength to hold the sphere shape. Stiffer line would hold shape with hot glue joints at a greater distance. My guess of 10 mm is based on me testing for a minute, and your photos show it works with hot glue drops more like 30 mm apart.

    I never tried hot glue with fishing line, I'm glad to know it holds. I suppose braided is better than monofilament. A drop of hot glue is MUCH simpler than many designed joints for tensegrity structures. When something deforms the sphere, the strength of the lines in tension and of the glue mean that the tensile network will not break, the deformation will happen only as the compression struts buckle. And fishing line is so resilient when it is bent, it pops back to sphere shape as soon as the deformer is removed, right? Maybe you have to do a little patting to push out big dents. I think your construction would hold ANY shape if you started with a mold other than the balloon. (and used many joints on tight curves so lines are straight.)


    Reply 11 days ago

    I have already many ideas how to use this technology but my fishing line ended and I don't have time for making these new projects. But one day I really want to try to make something original using fishing line and hot glue.
    Thanks for such attention to my project :)

    Alex in NZ

    17 days ago

    This is beautiful and so effective. Thank you for sharing your work :-)

    1 reply
    DianaHMAlex in NZ

    Reply 16 days ago

    Thank you very much for nice words! :)