Windowed Paper Cube Lamp




About: Industrial Design student at Eindhoven University of Technology

I was folding modules for a bracelet like this one: candy wrapper bracelet .

First I was trying to make really small pieces to turn into a bracelet (still working on that by the way), but then I realised that with changed sizes I could make an open square. Those squares also make great earrings and pendants, but I'm still tweaking to get the perfect size.

Then I realised that if I made 6, I could make an awesome cube. A few days later the lamps and lighting contest started - perfect timing. This gave me a reason to really go for it and finish it in time. But then I read the contest was only open to US residents. I asked about it, and it was true.

With that, my reason to really set my mind to that lamp also went away. Until I saw the featured author contest, by Tarun Uphadhyaya.

Theme: lamps & lighting
Open to: yes, to me
Closing date: 7 July

So, only the closing date was a bit of a problem, since I was very, very busy with school (also why my last 'ible dates back to May)

But, I just felt like I had to publish this in time, so I did :D
I hope you like it!

Step 1: Materials

To make a lamp like this, you will need the following:
- 5 sheets of A4 paper
- a ruler
- a pencil
- scissors
- glue
- thin yarn/ thread
- a piece of layered cardboard, about 7,5 by 7,5 cm
- light source
- needle
- a magnet

Step 2: Dividing the Paper

Use your ruler to divide the small side of the paper in 7 pieces of 3 cm. You're only using 6 of these, so if you want there's one extra.

Step 3: Cutting the Paper

Start by cutting the pieces you drew. Next, take two of the pieces and cut them in half on the long side as shown. These small pieces will be the small squares, the original sized pieces will be the bigger squares.

Step 4: Folding the Modules

Take one of the 10 pieces and fold it in half lengthwise. Next, fold both sides up to the middle. Now fold the piece in half widwise. Again fold both sides up to the middle.

Step 5: And a Few More

Repeat last step for all of the small pieces and for four of the long pieces.

Step 6: Putting It Together I

Take four pieces of the same size. Add the legs of one of the pieces trough the middle of a second piece. Move it all the way down to create a corner. Repeat this with a third piece.

As you can see, the two sides of the pieces aren't exactly the same, one of the sides contains a lot more layers. I placed the side with the least amount of layers on the outside, to give the lamp a better look.

Step 7: Putting It Together II

The last part is a bit trickier to add. Open up the piece as shown. Add the legs to piece number three first, then make them go back through piece number one as shown. Tuck away the ends in piece number three.

Step 8: Glueing

As you can see, the sides of the square aren't set and can move basically all around. Add a dab of glue beneath all the connection points, as shown in the picture. Make sure that, when letting the glue dry, the pieces are exactly in the right position.

Step 9: Repeating

Repeat the last three steps with the four other parts as well.

Next, you'll have to repeat step 2-9 for the other five colours.

Step 10: Joining Squares

Cut off a piece of the thread. I'm not exactly sure about the length, but you can better cut off a piece that's a bit too long. Cut three more pieces of the same size. Thread the needle with one of the pieces and make sure the needle is in the middle of the thread.

Next, knot the string around the small square as shown. Then connect it to the outer square, leaving a bit of space between the two squares. I wrapped it around the outer square twice before knotting it, to make sure it would stay in place. It's easiest to do the opposite corner next, especially when it comes to the positioning of the small square. The order for the remaining two corners doesn't really matter.

You can hide the thread by tucking it between the layers of paper.

Repeat this for the other four colours.

Step 11: Joining Squares Again I

When all five of the sides are finished, it's time to join them. Take two of the squares and place them next to each other as shown. Put the needle on the thread of the side that has one end (see image). Next make the thread go through the furthest end of the other piece. Let it go up again through the other end of the piece. Next let it go down through the one end of the first piece and back up through the closest end of the other piece.

To keep the parts from separating, knot the four strands on that corner together

Step 12: Joining Squares Again II

When you have joined two pieces, it's time to add a third. Lay the first two flat so you can see how to turn the third one. Add it exactly the same way as the other piece. The same goes up for the fourth piece. When this has been added, also join the other side of it to the first square.

The top square is added the same way, but just keep in mind that you need to join two times on one corner. I also knotted all the threads on the same corner here.

Step 13: Finishing the Lampshade

To finish the lampshade, all that's left to do is tuck away the remaining thread on the top in the layers of paper. Don't tuck away the thread remaining at the bottom yet, this is still needed to connect the lampshade to the base.

Step 14: The Light Source

The easiest way to light up your lamp is by using a LED light bulb. If you have one, just go to next step.

If you don't, you will have to be a bit more creative :D. My dad had this light piece from a much bigger lamp, but the size was just right. Since it was from a bigger lamp, it was really bright. To fix this, I folded a simple paper cover for around it, to dim the light a bit.

Step 15: The Cardboard Base

Cut a piece of cardboard in the right size and shape. Draw a circle in the middle of the square, big enough for your light source. Next, add the light source.

Step 16: The Paper Cube

Please note, this step is only optional, I did this to dim the light of the LED's a bit.

I simply added glue to the bottom of the cover and glued it in position.

Step 17: Adding the Lampshade

To add the lampshade, it's really helpful to have layered cardboard. Thread the needle with one of the remaining strands and insert it between the layers of the cardboard. To move the needle through the cardboard, place a magnet against the side of the cardboard and pull it trough. When you've reached the other side, knot it to the remaining strand on that side. Repeat this step for the other side.

Step 18: Done!

And that's it! I am really happy with the result of this lamp. It was a bit of a struggle to get it the way I wanted it, but when you finish it and switch on the light, it's just great to see how it looks.

The pictures just show some different angles of the lamp and a few close-ups.

I hope you liked this 'ible, if you did I would love to know!!

Featured Author Contest: Tarun Upadhyaya

Participated in the
Featured Author Contest: Tarun Upadhyaya

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Glue Contest

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Epilog Challenge VI



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    34 Discussions


    4 years ago

    This is so so so cool! I'm going to make one! :D

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago

    Glad to hear that, I'd love to know how it turns out!!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Despite my long absence, I am the first to comment :D

    This looks great Emily. A neat finish with somewhat a 'Taruns touch' to it. All the best in the contest!

    Been watching the world cup, people must be cheering over in Holland! They have a decent punt for the finals, though I think Brazil will make it through. Not too sure yet. :-)

    3 replies

    4 years ago on Introduction

    Are you Dutch? I live in the Philippines and I go make it today as a birthday present for my friend.

    Thanks for posting

    2 replies

    Ik ben ook Nederlander. Ik hoop op de wereldcup voor oranje.

    (I am from Netherland too. I hope the worldcup soccer goes to our team)