DIY small lampshade

I thought it was about time to give the poor bare lightbulb a new nice but simple lampshade for the sake of some wordly atmosphere. 
Ever since and before my Geography study I have been inspired by the graphics of maps. My attention was caught when I came across this (detail of) picture in the latest edition of Dutch magazine vtwonen; it shows a little paper bag made of a map....

picture taken from magazine vtwonen

the poor bare lightbulb in our living
So I decided to experiment on a simple lampshade out of a map of my favorite continent (being South East Asia).  I'm happy to share it with you. Of course you can use any sturdy paper you like.  
I have been succinctly so please read all descriptions and look closely at all pictures before you start. Have fun!

1.  Here are the things I thought I might be needing. You can skip the 2 round frames, I didn't use those.
So there are: 
sturdy paper, scissors, (sunflower) oil, skewers, double sided tape, colourful sewing thread and needle.

2.  Put on one side of the long end of the paper one strip of double sided tape. Peal the protective strip off and fold the paper to a long tube by putting the long ends together. If you wish a smaller lampshade you can choose to cut or tear -like I did- some of length.

3.  Cut out triangles all around the opening but first you measure the distance from centerpoint of the tube to the edge so you know how pointy the triangels have to be to close the whole top end of the tube.

4. Put small pieces of double sides tape on each triangle tip.

5.  And put all tips together to close the top end of the tube. Leave one or two slots open for the assemblage to the lightbulb.

6.  Make the paper translucent: Apply sunflower (or olive) oil to the paper by brushing carefully all over it. Give some time to let the paper suck most of the oil - check if all parts are covered by holding against the light. Then you wipe all the remaining and glossy oil with toilet paper.

7.  Put the paper tube to the lightbulb. and continue with the most difficult part:  you take some double sewing thread and cross stitch the open slots together. The lampshade is hanging!


 8.   You can stick 3 or 4 skewers through the paper very close to the fitting for a better fixation to the fitting. In my case the skewers even go great with the Asian continent.

Good luck and have fun!

By the way,  I found the poster (piece of wallpaper?) during our last vacation in Danmark, in Copenhagen at Grønlykke shop. Lovely isn't it? I've seen this before but don't remember the designer; does anybody know who designed it? And the little paper doll was made by my friend Megan from Frank&Gertrude.


  1. Anonymous3:22 PM

    Het is nova mist wallpaper van Isak

  2. @anonymous: Het kwam me al bekend voor #grijzecellen. Dankje!

  3. very cool!
    and thanks for sharing your nice ideas!