Paper Maché Lampshade

6 Materials
5 Days

I love well-designed, beautiful, and unique products. So, when my friend sent me an image of a gorgeous lampshade and asked me if I could make one for her, I happily agreed! The lampshade was for her nursery, but it took me a few months to collect enough egg cartons, so I totally missed the deadline. Now it's hanging happily in our playroom

paper mach lampshade


  • Egg Cartons – lots and lots of them. I used about 30 large trays, but it all depends on the size of your lampshade.
  • A packet of wallpaper glue powder
  • 1 cup cold glue
  • Yoga Ball
  • Spray paint: I used matt black for the outside and dayglow yellow for the inside.
  • Light cord and bulb
paper mach lampshade


Tear the egg cartons into smaller pieces and throw them in a bucket. Then cover them with water and let it soak for 24 hours.


Use an electric mixer to beat the mixture to a pulp, roughly the consistency of sloppy oatmeal.

paper mach lampshade


This is where it gets awesome! Add the packet of wallpaper glue powder, and use your hands to mix it up. It feels wonderfully gooey! Or you can use a wooden spoon, but hands are much better 


Let it rest for a while according to the instructions on the wallpaper glue manufacturer’s packaging. In the meantime, blow up the yoga ball and prepare your work surface: it’s going to get messy!

It's important to keep the yoga ball from rolling around, see how here.

paper mach lampshade


When the mixture is ready, add the cold glue and mix well. Then start applying handfuls of the paper maché to the yoga ball. It sticks remarkably easy and really goes quick. Create your lampshade with one layer only, find out why here.

Make sure that you are happy with the thickness before letting it dry.

Remember to leave a small area open at the top where the electrical cord is going to be installed.


Allow to dry. This could take anything from 24 hours to 5 days. My shade took 3 days, and when I took it off it was still wet on the inside and therefore very fragile. I placed it upside down inside a large bowl and left it for another 2 days.

paper mach lampshade


Once the paper maché is thoroughly dry, deflate the ball just a little and use your hand to loosen the edges of the lampshade. Then slowly deflate the ball, ensuring that the lampshade doesn’t stick to it.

paper mach lampshade


Use the electrical fitting as a template to ensure that the hole left at the top is large enough.


Spray the inside and outside of the lampshade in the colours of your choice.

STEP 10:

Attach the electrical light cord, get an electrician to install, and switch on!

paper mach lampshade

That's it! Enjoy your designer-esque handiwork!

Happy Lighting!

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Charlotte Lovell
    on Jul 29, 2018

    How does it handle heat from lightbulb? Could it work for a table lamp?

      on Aug 10, 2018

      Hi Charlotte. The lampshade has had no problems with light-bulb heat thus far.

      Yes! Just modify your design to match the table lamp fitting.

  • Erin
    on Jul 30, 2018

    How much light gets thru that?

      on Aug 10, 2018

      Hi Erin! The papaer mache lampshade is quite dense, so light does not pass through the actual shade. You can see a little light coming through the last image, but that is because of little holes. You can try to make a super thin paper mache lampshade, which is more likely to show light.

  • Wyldecent
    on Jan 17, 2019

    This looks great. How is it holding up and is dusting it a challenge because of the texture?

      on Jan 18, 2019

      Hi Wyldecent! The lampshade is surprisingly strong and still looks great! Dusting isn't much of an issue because you can't really see it. But when you do a feather duster works just fine. Don't use a cloth because it will fix dust to the lamp's surface.

Join the conversation

4 of 15 comments
  • Linda Premo
    on Jan 18, 2019

    It’s very cool. I’ve made many bowls like this and love the jagged edges so it doesn’t look too perfect. Really nice🤗

  • Bonita Helton
    on Jan 21, 2019

    I have made this lamp with colored tissue paper embellished with various things or even just wandering string applied in the layers. With tissue paper the light is glowing through the shade. Thanks for the alternative medium idea.

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