If you have a bunch of old doilies lying around and dont know what to do with them, try making a doily lamp! Use a balloon to support the doilies while you paste them together to make either a globe-style hanging lantern or an open hanging lampshade. Then, add a light bulb and light socket attached to a power cord to provide a light source and voila, your doily lamp will be ready to hang up and add a modern-chic touch to any room!
[Edit]Forming the Lampshade
- Blow up a balloon to the size you want the lampshade to be. Inflate a standard balloon to as big or small as you want. Its totally up to you how big to make the lampshade.
- You can either make a full spherical lampshade by covering the entire balloon or make a partial shade with an opening by covering part of it. Think about what design you want when you are deciding how big to blow up the balloon.
- Cover the balloon with a thin layer of petroleum jelly. This helps prevent the doilies from sticking to the balloon when you pop it. Make sure to coat all sides evenly with the petroleum jelly.
- If your balloon is rolling around your workspace too much, you can set it in a bowl to keep it steady.
- Mix white school glue, flour, and water in a bowl. Pour 4 oz (118 mL) of white school glue into a bowl. Dump in 1 tbsp (8 g) of white flour and of water, then mix it all together thoroughly using a spoon.
- Its important to measure to get the ratios right so your doily shade is strong and maintains its shape once everything dries.
- Place a doily in the center at the very top of the balloon. Choose any doily you want to place at the top. Center it and smooth it out as well as you can with your hands.
- Keep in mind that the largest part of the balloon will be the bottom of the lamp if you are going to be making a full spherical shade and it will be the top of the lampshade if you are going to make an open shade.
- Paint a coat of the glue mixture on top of the doily using a paint brush. Start from the center and work your way out towards the edges of the doily. Apply an even coat over the entire doily.
- Try to use a paint brush that gives you good coverage of the doily, such as a paint brush.
- Place another doily on 1 side of the balloon so it overlaps with the first slightly. Choose a second doily for the side of the shade. Place it so it overlaps with an edge of the first doily just enough that there are no gaps and hold it in place.
- It works best if you use smaller doilies for the sides.
- Apply another layer of the glue mixture over the second doily. Use your paint brush to paint the entire doily with an even coat of the glue mixture. Keep holding it in place until you are finished covering it.
- You can tilt the balloon slightly so the doily on the side is closer to the top if the angle is difficult to paint at.
- Keep pasting doilies around the balloon until it is covered. Add doilies to the sides of the balloon one at a time and overlapping them with the surrounding doilies. Coat them with the glue mixture using your paint brush so they stick in place.
- Remember that you can either cover the entire balloon to create a globe lantern or just cover the top half to make an open lampshade.
- Let the doilies dry around the balloon overnight. Set the balloon covered in doilies somewhere where it wont roll around, such as in a bowl. Let it sit at least overnight or until the doilies feel completely dry and rigid to the touch.
- Depending on the exact conditions where you are doing this project, it might take longer than a day to dry.
[Edit]Removing the Balloon and Adding a Light Bulb
- Pop the balloon with a pin or needle. Poke the balloon with a pin or needle to pop it and free the lampshade. The balloon will remain inside the lampshade if you made a globe-style lantern.
- If you made an open-style lampshade, you can try to just lift it off the balloon. If it is stuck to the balloon, pop the balloon so they separate.
- Pull the balloon out from inside the lampshade. Pull the balloon out through the hole where the mouth of the balloon was tied in a knot or through a hole in one of the doilies if possible. Discard the balloon.
- If you cant get the balloon out right now, you will be able to pull it out through the hole you make for the light bulb in a few minutes.
- Screw an LED light bulb into a light socket attached to a power cord. Choose an LED light bulb that you think will look good inside the doily lamp and produce the kind of light you want. Screw it into a light socket fixture that has a power cord attached or that you can plug an extension cord into.
- Think about the whole look of the lamp when you choose the light bulb and socket. For example, if you want to create soft, peaceful lighting, you could use a white socket and cord with a light bulb that produces a warm yellow or white light.
- LED light bulbs are the best choice because they don't get as hot as standard bulbs.
- Use scissors to cut a hole in the lampshade slightly smaller than the light socket. Widen the hole where the mouth of the balloon was tied off so it is just a bit smaller than the light socket if you made a spherical shade. Cut a hole in the top of the shade if you made a half or partial lampshade.
- Its important to make the hole smaller than the light socket so the socket will support the lampshade.
- Note that even though the hole is smaller than the bulb, you will be able to push it through because the doilies will be slightly pliant around the hole you cut.
- Push the light socket and bulb gently in through the hole. Carefully push the light bulb and socket inside the lampshade through the hole you cut. Cut the hole slightly bigger if you cant get the bulb through so you dont have to force it too hard.
- If you made a partial shade, you can just thread the power cord and light socket through the hole from underneath rather than pushing everything in through the hole.
- Hang the lamp from the ceiling with a metal hook. Screw a metal hook into the ceiling and hang the power cord from it if you want to hang the lampshade from the ceiling. You can also attach a metal or wooden bracket to the wall and hang the lamp from that if you want to put it closer to a wall.
- You can camouflage the power cord by wrapping rope or twine around it if you don't like how it looks on its own.
- Avoid using a standard light bulb inside your doily lamp as they get very hot. Opt for an LED light bulb instead.
[Edit]Things Youll Need
- Petroleum jelly
- White school glue
- Paint brush
- Measuring spoon
- Needle or pin
- Light bulb socket with power cord
- LED Light bulb