Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Scalloped Paper Lamp

I've always been enamored with a good paper lantern...
the way it glows when illuminated and the feeling that beautiful, warm glow creates.
Just like this...
Now, you can find alterations to a traditional paper lantern all over the place...
and they are so beautiful!

Today's tutorial is all thanks to my love of illumination.

Back in April I showed you just a glimpse of my new curtains adorning the windows in my bedroom. 

After hemming those up, I decided to save the leftover fabric and I dreamed up the perfect use for it...

 I took our plain (and very inexpensive) ole' paper lantern lamps from IKEA we've had for forever

and turned them into this...

(in only 1 hour and 25 minutes)
So, let's get on with the show...

What you need:
a paper lantern
(you can do as many as you like - I embellished 2)

(I had 4 scraps measuring 27.5 inches x 9 inches each ...
that would come out to be approximately one yard or 1/2 yard per lamp)

fabric glue
(I used Elmer's Craft Bond fabric and paper glue)


I wanted my individual pieces to be about 2 inches in width so I cut up my fabric accordingly starting with 6 x 9 inch strips.
(I used 2 scraps measuring 27.5 inches x 9 inches for each lantern)

Then, I piled those on top of one another and cut them into more 2 inch strips. I was left over with a one inch strip that I saved in case I needed it.
Then, cut those strips into 2 x 2 inch squares. Now you have this...
(I used approximately 8 minutes to cut)
Then, I took each of those piles, 8 layers in each pile, (the fabric is VERY thin and sheer) and rounded all the edges until they looked like this...
(I used approximately 9 minutes to round all the edges)
Now we are ready to get all those rounded edges to make a scalloped lamp shade!

First, I used a Popsicle stick to apply the fabric glue ... just enough to get that fabric to adhere.

WAIT ... Let's stop for a second. Let's talk placement.
I knew I wanted about a 1/2 inch overlap with all my layers, so I started with placing my first row of pieces with a 1/2 an inch hanging over the bottom edge. This will keep it all consistent.
It also created my little scalloped trim ...

Okay ... push PLAY.

After smearing some glue, I placed each piece overlapping slightly with the piece before it going around the lamp.
(maybe 1/4 of an inch overlap).
Then made sure it was secure.
Then it looked like this ...
Once I was finished with the first row, I started the next row ... in the back of the lantern just in case my rows didn't all match up how I wanted.
Here is where the 1/2 inch overlap going up the lantern will come into play. I made sure that overlap would cover up my glued edges.
Then, I went around the lantern exactly how I did the first row.

Now, just keep going. You will start to see it come together ...
that's when it gets exciting!

Every once in a while my edges wouldn't stay down. When that happened, I just took a little bit of glue and smeared it on top of the aforementioned edges to keep them from curling.
Almost like I would on a Modge Podge project.

Keep gluing, placing and overlapping until you get to the top of your lantern and it looks like this ...
(I used approximately 66 minutes to glue all the pieces on)

Then, I took the pre-sewn hem from the sides of my curtain that I cut off earlier and glued them around the very top of my lantern to finish it off. You could use any trim you would like to finish it off.
Like this ...
(It only took 1 minute and 30 seconds to glue the trim on)
And that's it!
What do YOU think?
I wanted something I would love during the day ...
and illuminated at night ...
I set up the lamp in my room after I was finished to surprise Mr. Wilson. When he came home from work and walked up the stairs, I waiting patiently downstairs in the kitchen while I cut up a cantaloupe and enjoyed it's sweet aroma ...

I listened like a barn owl to hear any kind of reaction that would satisfy my need for excitement at the finished product. 

I counted each step.

As I heard him reach the top step and turn to enter our room I heard a loud, and excited, "WOW!".
THAT made every one of those 85 minutes worth it!
I sure hope you love this project as much as I do and give it a try yourself! 
I can't wait to show you how it came together with the rest of the room when it's all finished!

I'm linked up with ...
Eisy Morgan
our house of joyful noise
someday crafts


DeNiel said...

This scalloped paper lamp is beautiful!

Wendy Chan said...

You're such a genius Heather, I'm full of admiration of your creativity!

Elizabeth J. said...

L.O.V.E. IT!!!

Becky said...

WOW is right! I can't believe you had a vision and turned it into such a beautiful reality. All my visions turn into nightmares ;) Glad I came by from Eisy Morgan!

Meredith said...

i love it!! you have some serious patience/skills. :)

Beth@The Stories of A2Z said...

Oh girl, I've done a similar project and I know how long this took you to do! It looks great and points to your man for noticing!

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