Designer Lamp With Paper Cups

3 Materials
1 Hour

“Upcycling” is the name of the latest trend: You can make a modern 3D lampshade out of a simple white paper lamp and waxed paper cups. The whole thing can be implemented well with a hot glue gun.

Anyone who has ever been to a lighting store or “only” visited the hardware store lighting department knows how expensive beautiful lights are. The only thing that helps is: do it yourself! Simple balloon paper umbrellas can be found in almost every household and usually don’t look really nice after a few years anyway. Small paper cups are sometimes left over after a party or you can get them for a few bucks.

Glue on the first row of cups

Assemble the lampshade according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Set the hot glue gun on the lowest setting and apply the glue to the edge of the bottom of a paper cup. Press the paper cup against the lampshade so that the edge lies against the lower edge.

Use the hot glue gun to apply glue to other paper cups and join them at the bottom of the lamp to form the first circle by sticking them right next to each other. The opening of this lampshade is seven centimeters, and the first circle consists of nine paper cups.

Continue the cup circles

Now use the hot glue gun to glue the paper cups for the next rows offset to the cups from the previous row.

Complete the luminaire

After row four, use the hot glue gun to attach the remaining paper cups in a vertical line – no longer offset, but one above the other. As the diameter of the screen increases towards the center, the distance between the cups also increases. On the other half, the luminaire diameter becomes smaller, so that the distance between the cups becomes smaller again.

When you have glued the last row around the opening at the top of the lampshade, you can hang up and connect your new balloon designer lamp .

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Leticia Saunders

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


Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • CJ
    on Nov 8, 2020

    Did you paint the bottom rim of the cups after you glued on? they look darker. Cool project.

    • Danni Hurt
      Danni Hurt
      on Nov 8, 2020

      I am pretty sure the darker edge is the “rolled” lip of the cup itself as opposed to the thinner sides of the cups and the light come through accentuating the thicker rolled edges.

  • Lavete Johnson
    Lavete Johnson
    on Nov 8, 2020

    How’d you do the actual light inside? I don’t see a cord or bulb, but it seems to glow with light.

    • Lavete Johnson
      Lavete Johnson
      on Nov 16, 2020

      Duh! I thought that rope to hang only! That’s why I didn’t get it!! Thx so much!!

  • Carolyn Windle
    Carolyn Windle
    on Nov 15, 2020

    Very clever idea. But for me a dust collector. How would you dust it off?

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