Paper Pendant Shades:

136

About: I am an artist who has primarily focused on furniture, lighting and nixie tube clocks but now also do sculptures. My work is contemporary and usually a combination wood and metal. I always seek to incorporat...

This project began when we decided to replace some existing pendant shades with new ones. We found a site that sells hand made papers in different designs, colors and textures (Mulberry Paper and More). The selection is amazing and the prices very reasonable. One particular paper called "Highly embossed ficus paper" was just what we wanted. So from there we only needed to figure out how to make the frames and assemble the shades. I hope from the images that you will agree that they turned out well.

Note: The design for the interface of the shade to our cable lighting system is unique. You will need to design yours to attach to the fixture(s) you will be using.

Supplies:

The following is a list of materials we used:

- Paper; Hand made highly embossed ficus Mulberry paper (https://www.mulberrypaperandmore.com/)

- Upper frames; 1/2" walnut rod sawn down the middle to create half moon shapes. http://cherrytreetoys.com/

- Lower frames; 1/8" x 36" aluminum welding rod. Weldcote EM4043 from Amazon

- Glue for assembling wood upper frames; Tite-Bond Original Wood Glue from Lowes

- Glue for attaching paper to wood upper frames; Tite-Bond Quick and Thick Multi-purpose glue (dries clear) from Lowes

- Glue for attaching lower frames; Tite-Bond Quick and Thick Multi-purpose glue (dries clear)

- Glue for paper to walnut upper frames; Tite-Bond Quick and Thick Multi-purpose glue (dries clear)

- Fabric materials to encase the lower frame wire and for attaching paper; Sew-ology Wide Single Fold Bias Tape 7/8" x 3

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Step 1: Bill of Materials:

The following is a list of materials we used:

- Paper; Hand made highly embossed ficus Mulberry paper (https://www.mulberrypaperandmore.com/)

- Upper frames; 1/2" walnut rod sawn down the middle to create half moon shapes. http://cherrytreetoys.com/

- Lower frames; 1/8" x 36" aluminum welding rod. Weldcote EM4043 from Amazon

- Glue for assembling wood upper frames; Tite-Bond Original Wood Glue from Lowes

- Epoxy glue for gluing the ends of the wire frames together; J&B Weld "Clear Weld" 5 minute epoxy from Lowes

- Glue for attaching paper to wood upper frames; Tite-Bond Quick and Thick Multi-purpose glue (dries clear) from Lowes

- Glue for attaching lower frames; Tite-Bond Quick and Thick Multi-purpose glue (dries clear)

- Glue for paper to walnut upper frames; Tite-Bond Quick and Thick Multi-purpose glue (dries clear)

- Glue for attaching paper panels to paper panels at the corners; Tulip "Slick" dimensional fabric paint (also works as a glue)

- Fabric materials to encase the lower frame wire and for attaching the paper shade panels to it; Sew-ology Wide Single Fold Bias Tape 7/8" x 3 yds. from Hobby Lobby

- Glue for attaching paper to lower fabric; Tite-Bond Quick and Thick Multi-purpose glue (dries clear)

- Protective spray coating for paper; Krylon Color Maxx clear gloss from Lowes

Step 2: The Frames:

Upper wooden frames; They can be made of anything you want. I used walnut 1/2" rod cut into half rounds for mine. After cutting them into half rounds, I simply mitered the ends and glued them together.

Lower frames; I preferred to use 1/8" aluminum wire/rod since it is substantial enough to make a rigid frame yet very easy to bend. I used a wire wrapping/bending jig from Amazon for $10.00. This will allow you to make crisp 90 degree bends very easily. The only trick here is to make sure you carefully measure the wire before bending so that all sides are the correct dimensions. Make sure the lower frame is the exact dimensions of the upper frame. Once I had formed the square shape, I epoxy glued the two ends of the wire together so that the square holds it's shape.

Step 3: Prepping the Lower Frame:

In order to attach the paper shade material to the lower frame, I decided that it would look cleaner and more professional if I covered the wire with white cloth. This also gave a nice flat surface of fabric to glue the paper to. I was able to find a product that suited this very well. It is called "single fold bias tape". It is a strip of cloth that has each edge folded toward the middle. I cut the tape to the length of the frame side, folded the tape in half lengthwise, placed the wire in the center of the crease in the tape, applied Tite-Bond Multi-purpose glue to one edge, folded the 2 tape edges over the wire and held the edges together with a stick of wood with a weight on it (See pictures. It's a lot easier than it sounds). Try not to let any glue get on the wire itself, that way this newly formed "skirt" is loose on the wire.

Step 4: Attaching Paper Panels:

The process of attaching the paper shade panels is straight forward;

- First cut the panels to the finished size of the frames. Take care that the paper width is not too short or the panels won't meet up at the corners and you could have gaps.

- Next glue each panel to the top frame one at a time. Allow enough drying time between attachments so that they do not shift inadvertently. Be careful to line each panel up to so that each is centered and square to the frame.

- Then start gluing the fabric "skirts" to the lower edges of the panels. Just be sure the fabric is centered and that it is above the bottom edge and therefore won't show on the finished shade.

- Once all of the fabric edges are glued, you can start gluing the vertical seams where the panels meet at the corners of the shade. The dimensional paint (I used white to match my white shades) can be applied directly from the bottle because it has a very fine dispensing nozzle that works really well. The only issue you will have is holding the paper corners together until the paint/glue dries (usually dry enough within a half hour). I made a little holder that supported the corner seam being glued (see last picture. this shows a paint brush but after trying the brush I switched to using the paint bottle nozzle directly and that worked better).

Step 5: Finishing Up:

The only thing left to do is to put some finishing touches on the pendants and install them. My pendants are in my kitchen so I decided to spray the paper with a clear non-yellowing lacquer so in the event that something gets on them, I will hopefully be able to clean them with a damp cloth.

I hope you all found this worth reading and that you like the results we achieved. We are very happy with the new look. It's very organic and really brightens up the room both day and night.

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