Monday, 14 September 2015

Make A Paper Lamp Using A Pushthrough Socket

Push-through sockets illuminate a variety of paper lamps.

Clever crafters employ dozens of ways to make paper lanterns, large and small, bright or white, embellished or simple. Origami techniques create elaborate, imaginative flowers while traditional paper folding methods make Chinese and Japanese lanterns in squares, rectangles, stars, and spheres. Within the variety of techniques available, a spherical papier-mache hanging lamp with a push-through socket works best because it can be suspended from a ceiling or floor lamp base.


1. Select a compact florescent light bulb of the size and strength necessary for the illumination of the space. A CFL rated from 8 to 18 watts productes light equivalent to the incandescent bulb rated for 40 to 60 watts. Additional lighting equivalents will be printed on the bulb package.

2. Measure the circumference of the light bulb where it is largest or widest with a measuring tape This is your guide to the size of the opening in the balloon lantern. The bulb must pass through the opening when the globe is finished.

3. Blow up a balloon or two to the size and shape desired. Create either a spherical shape or a variation such as an egg shape. Tie a firm knot at the top of the balloon. Gently indicate the line for the passage of the bulb with a marker.

4. Hold the balloon by the knot, spray the entire surface lightly with cooking spray or rub the surface with cooking oil. This helps to separate the balloon from the papier-mache.

5. Set the bottom of the balloon in a small plastic bowl to hold it steady for when you begin to wrap the balloon with the papier-mache mixture. Set aside a second plastic bowl for the glue and water mix.

6. Cover the work area with a waterproof material such as a plastic tablecloth or with several layers of newspaper. Measure 1 cup white glue and 1 cup water and mix in the second plastic bowl. Any brand of craft glue will work. Smaller or larger glue and water mixtures should be measured 50 percent to 50 percent as needed for the process.

7. Tear or cut tissue paper into strips from 1- to 3-inches wide. Spread the strips with the glue mixture using a paintbrush or foam brush. Apply it generously and stick the strip to the balloon vertically or horizontally. For the first under layers of paper, light colors are best, because they allow light to pass through better than dark colors.

8. Build 5 to 6 layers of tissue on the balloon, adding darker colors or prints at the last layer if the color or pattern are essential to the design. Add thread, string, yarn, and leaves or other flat shapes between the last 1 or 2 layers to add a design element when the lamp is illuminated.

9. The papier-mache must dry for at least 24 hours until it is hard and firm. When dry, gently pop the balloon somewhere near the knot and peel it from the inside of the lantern.

10. If you want more decoration to the outside, apply craft paint, sharpies, glitter, and/or decals. Another option is to leave the outside plain if you applied design elements in the last two layers. Employ a small awl to gently puncture the paper in several places to create a pattern of light to descend on a floor or table.

11. Finish by coating the lantern with matte or shiny decoupage finish or with polyurethane applied with a foam brush. If the surface of the lantern is very irregular, spray coating the lantern is easier.

12. Push both bulb and socket through the opening in the top of the lantern. If the bulb slips too easily through the opening and so does not support the lantern, reduce the size of the opening with a cardboard collar made of small strips of cardboard and white or light tape. Paint it to match the lantern, if desired. Hang the lantern from a hook installed in the ceiling or from the arm of a floor lamp.

Tags: glue water, plastic bowl, through opening, best because, coating lantern