Make this Pleated Paper Lamp Shade

I have wanted to attempt a pleated lampshade for a while, and recently gave it a go using an old lamp I had laying around. It was a trial and error process but I’m excited to experiment more!

Note that if you do this project make sure you use an LED bulb in with this lampshade which is safer and lower heat for paper lanterns like this.

You need

  • An old lamp base and shade
  • Paint – see the blog post Trash To Terracotta here
  • Painter’s tape
  • Paper or light cardboard, I used A3 sheets here
  • Glue stick
  • Hole punch
  • String

How to

    1. Start by removing the lampshade from the base. Add painter’s tape to the electrical cord and lightbulb socket.
    2. Apply paint to the lamp base. See my Trash To Terracotta tutorial here.
    3. Mark evenly spaced lines on the paper (I used 3cm sections) and fold along those lines to created a pleated look. Glue additional pieces of paper together along the edge. Tip: The amount of pleats also affects how it sits on the lamp shade frame (less pleats will flare out further, while more pleats will sit closer to the frame).
    4. Use a hole punch to make holes in one end of the pleats.
    5. Feed the string through the holes. Tie off.
    6. Remove the material from the lamp shade base to leave just the frame.
    7. Place the paper lamp shade on the base.
    8. Use an LED light bulb as these give off less heat and are safer for paper shades.

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