weekly wrap up + paper scrap light

It’s a whopping 70 degrees in Brooklyn right now, so I’m going to get out from under the pile of packing boxes in our house and get some fresh air. Before I head out, I wanted to share this beautiful (and totally genius) DIY light project that graphic designer Gabrielle Guy created for a friend. After moving into a new house and finding an old lantern left behind, Gabrielle decided to cut strips from scrap paper and glue them onto the shade. Two days later, the result was an incredibly stunning artichoke-like lamp that looks expensive but cost close to nothing. I’m so impressed with this project that I had to share it as inspiration for the weekend. Here’s to everyone making something beautiful out of what they have around them. See you Monday! xo, grace

Below is a summary of this week’s highlights:


well, um, uh……The paper scrap light is, … well,um, uh…. “not for everybody”. Fire Hazard?

Stacy Jean

That light is super funky & reminds me of something that came straight out of a Dr. Seuss book.


I love this lamp! I’m totally going to make it this weekend.

And Bernie, I don’t think this would be a fire hazard, since you’re using a paper lantern as the base. The lantern would keep any paper from touching the light bulb inside. As long as you follow the paper lantern instructions for what bulb you use and how you position the bulb, I think you’d be fine.


Your friend’s paper chandelier is magnificent!!! I’m going to give it a go. And the $20 art add is great too :o)


Oh my gosh- I love it! I kind of want to pet it. I think I’d like to make one in green, to look like a weird plant!


Is it a buzzkill to ask how this doesn’t catch fire?


What a great statement piece for a great price. I’d like to know what type of glue she used – I guess any craft glue would work.


Hey – I have one of those in the attic! What an excellent idea!


This reminds me of ‘Where the Wild Things Are’…i’m not sure why, but it does


Kim – I’ve glued a lot of stuff to a lot of paper lanterns in my day and will totally vouch for Tacky Glue. Nothing holds better in my experience.


Wow! What a show stopping light fixture. Love how simple DIY projects can make something so grand. Fabulous.

Fiona Richards

I am so inspired by this. We’ve been looking for a new dining room shade and now I think that we can probably create something ourselves. I’d like to try using thin wood veneers, same process but maybe a different base(to support the extra weight.)I’m going to be obsessed with this now. Thanks!


Martha…I think you’re right about the lantern/fire hazard issue. I just feel like I want to put a pair of glasses on it because it’s very Cousin Itt-esque a la Addams Family. Oh my, I get too distracted working from home…..

Lynn Clevely

Wow I totally love it!! I’m always on the lookout for interesting things to make in and for my craft room! Am going to hunt around at the second hand stores for a base to work with. Thanks for sharing!

Steph N

It reminds me of a lion’s mane mushroom! How gorgeous.


That lamp is incredible! Imagine it rustling on a warm breeze in the summertime with the windows open! I’ll bookmark this project, but if there’s anything my apartment doesn’t need, it’s definitely more pendant lighting.


i absolutely ADORE that paper scrap lantern. what a cool DIY project. i want to make one!

Holly Jones

How are the scraps adhered? I clicked on the link but i don’t see the instructions. i know the photos tell quite a bit of the story, but just wondering …. are they glued or sewed?

and yes, very incredible DIY lamp! endless possibilities for mixing it up with colors, shapes of scraps, etc. thank you – as always – for the inspiration.


wonderful idea! i think i’ll try one with colored tissue paper and tighten the layers. thanks for sharing!


The glow is lovely – I think I’d want to stay away from the heavier/glossy magazine papers as the cumulative weight might be too much. Also the heavier paper won’t transmit light. It would be a lovely use for scrap velum!


That is just beautiful. I’ve always wanted to make something like that myself. Great post Grace.


This is amazing. Because i do a lot of uni work, i am always on the look out for a new project to distract me. i think this is it!

does any one know what glue i should use?



Wow! Is really amazing! I don’t know if I love it more when it’s off or on! It gets son red tones that are amazing!

Regards form Spain!

jet Hammes

beautiful idea, love yours think i will pimp mine with it too.
thank you for the tute and the sharing;-D!!!!
really awesome!!!!

erika Hanson

Now, THIS may be one of the, if not THE, coolest DIY lighting EVERRRR!
Thanks. I am going to do this NOW.


I once made a paper lamp from scratch, it was sort of rectangular and it had horizotal cutouts covered over by paper tape, it looked very warm, but THIS, I have to try. This design is amazing. Can’t wait till I do something like this myself. Thank you for inspiration.


I live in Brooklyn too, yesterday was so inspiring and gorgeous!

I like this idea. Our carriage house is mostly white inside, which really helps reflect the light and make it seem very creamy and magical in here. I replaced the doorknobs with some inexpensive faux crystal ones to help reflect it and we use very sheer curtains in the living area.

I like the idea of having something like this for our main room to add to that compliment to the light going on in here.

I love how that feels like something I could do and relatable.



what an great piece of cake. colors paper too, put Glitter on it which is nice too also left over Christmas & Gift presents wraps


are all the paper scraps the same length and width? about how long/wide do you think they are?


Quite often when you buy these paper lanterns you are able to also buy the fixture. It is a socket on a cord and comes with a protective plastic attachment that goes over the bulb. It is designed to keep the lantern from touching the bulb and recommends a low wattage bulb. I have hung a paper lantern for years with out a problem.

Fiona Richards

Came back to have another look at this and gather some materials. So many comments here now – not surprised at all.


ohmygoodness! I just showed this to my husband and we love it! I have several paper lanterns sitting in my garage from our wedding that I now cannot wait to put to use. I’m going to try a gradient color look with the paper!


Hi! i have a question, maybe a bit silly but does the scrap paper take too much temperature? Thanks and hope you understand my english. inés


OOhh!!! I can SO make this with all of the paper scraps I have lying around here. I love it!


I have the same question as someone above: are all the paper scraps the same length and width? about how long/wide do you think they are?


I love this light what an amazing idea! I am always looking for creative ideas to repurpose items what a great way to use those old magazines.

Gabrielle Guy

Wow, thank you to everyone for loving my lamp so much! And thank you to Design Sponge for publishing it!

I use an energy-saver light bulb, which doesn’t get nearly as hot as ‘old-fashioned’ lightbulbs. I also just assumed it would be fine, seeing as how the actual paper lanterns never seem to catch alight.

Re BD: I used A4-sized scrap paper, and just cut freehand with a pair of scissors across the width of the paper. So each strip is 21cm in length. Then I just used wood glue to glue each one on.

Good luck to everyone who is going to try it out.



could the light source be from an LED bulb?
they don’t get warm, but are there bulbs which are bright enough?


Thanks Gabrielle for such a great idea. I am thinking of doing this in my son’s room, using red, orange and yellow paper to make it look like a fireball!

Glenn Mac Gregor

It’s a great design. Simple, modern, easy to make. Congrats! I’m so trying it out!


Great design idea. Its relatively easy to make, looks great. I have found a similar, also very interesting design @ O’Brien Lighting Design Miami website – they also used paper to create a custom kitchen chandelier (in their case they used paper notes with actual owner’s hand writing) and with great success, its not only beatiful , but very personable. Paper is a great option when it comes to lanterns.

Casey Scieszka

I made one of my own and LOVE IT. I used tape instead of glue which turned out just fine and hard stock paper so it looks even furrier. You don’t even have to use it as a light fixture– it makes a create mobile too!


This wouldn’t be any more of a fire hazard that the paper lamp shade that was used as a base and sold commercially. And it wouldn’t be legal for them to sell them as a lamp shade if they were a fire hazard. But you should always take precautions when making your own lighting covers. And don’t forget, CFL’s don’t get very hot, so if you’re really that worried stick with them. (also, the retailer for these lamp shades has them on all day with CFL’s without a problem in their showroom).

Dayna L

I just made this yesterday and it looks fantastic. I used mostly white copy paper and trew in some strips cut from magazine pages that were brightly colored for a little spash here and there. It was time consuming but very worth it! Thanks for the idea, it works SO well in my nursery giving it a very whimsical feel.


Dear people who have decided to make this – I’m just in the process of redecorating my bedroom… thought this would be a fun idea, and like you say no more a firehazard than the paper base which is sold commercially… but I was just wondering how much light this actually gives out – would it be practical as the only artificial light source in a bedroom (that has two windows)? thanks!


What diametre paper lantern did you use and how wide was the paper cut at the top of the paper slices? I bought an 18 inch paper lantern, and started the project last night, but I think mine might be too large…



incredibly amazing.it helps me a lot for making my son happy……love it…

Cindy Halsey

What is the measurement of the the paper. How long and how wide did you make them


Hi Stephanie,
Thanks for sharing this, I made my own! It’s posted up here, if you’d like to see.
I love it and everyone asks me about it!


Rosco brand makes a series of flame redardants for theatrical installations – including one specifically for paper. 1 gallon cost about $30-40 and covers up to 500 sq. ft. and it applies easily. if you’re worried about fire safety or thinking of putting one of these up in a public space . . .

Deb Wood

i love this light…..now, could you come up with something equally lovely to transform a celing fan with lights????? you know which fan i am describing…..the fan you see in every rental!!!!!!!

Lilian Lund, Denmark

My daugther has done this lamp too. I don’t know where she found inspiration. Maybe you have been the inspiration for her.

Rocio Benitez

Muchas felicidades esta… genial!
Pero tengo una pregunta: de que tamaño son las tiras de papel?
Espero puedas responderme pronto.

Gracias y saludos


Love this DIY. Hope it’s okay that we featured a photo and linked back here for the tutorial :)