diy project: sculptural paper orb lights

It’s wonderful to see so many DIY projects that take advantage of the humble paper globe light. Just when I think I’ve seen them all, I come across a new one that I love, like this version created by Heather Jennings of Poppy Haus. While browsing her local Anthropologie store, Heather was inspired by two things: the ingenuity of the displays, all made with simple, everyday materials, and the Rhododendron Chandelier. Adorned with handmade, sculptural paper flowers, the chandelier is amazing, but at $898, Heather thought it would it be the perfect candidate for a DIY variation.

Luckily, Heather stumbled upon decorative cupcake liners with an optical, graphic print that provided the perfect amount of depth and texture. By layering them over plain liners, she was able to create a beautiful effect on these orb lights; the organic, anemone-like shapes look lovely up close, far away, unlit during the day and glowing from within at night. This project is a great example of the magic that can happen when you experiment with new materials and configurations. Thanks so much for sharing, Heather! — Kate

They [Anthropologie] sell all sorts of fancy and unattainable things, but the store is full of pieces constructed out of paper and wire and rope that give the same distinguished impression. I wanted to do a project in the spirit of their visuals, using everyday materials. I was inspired by the Rhododendron Chandelier, an $898 handcrafted paper lantern, ironically from Anthropologie. — Heather


  • 100–125  white standard-sized paper cupcake liners
  • 100–125  vertically striped petit fours papers
  • (1) 18–20″ white paper lantern
  • hot glue gun
  • 1 Hemma Cord from IKEA (for lighting) ($3.99)


1. Assemble the lantern and place it top up in a wide, shallow bowl to act as a base.

2. Put a small dot of hot glue on the backside of a white cupcake liner. Starting about 1/2″ in from the wire ring at the top of the lantern, place the cupcake liner on the lantern and press until it is attached.

3. Continue around the ring, spacing the papers so that the circular bases are approximately 1″ apart, allowing the outer edges to merge and shape.

4. Apply the cupcake papers around the lantern in rings until you are 3/4 of the way down, and then flip the lantern over and gently place it back in the bowl, top side down.

5. Complete the underside, and fill in the bottom so that the papers cover the base opening.

6. Begin applying the petit fours papers, centering them inside each white paper. Three-quarters of the way up the lantern, flip it top side up. Complete the top side.

7. Go back through, gently manipulating the outer papers to the desired shape. I kept mine fairly organic.

8. Drop a light in, and voila!

  1. amelia says:

    This turned out to be a really great lighting tutorial! You can see my attempt here:

    (Hope it’s okay to post a link!)

  2. Lynne says:

    This looks like a really neat idea! I’ve been looking for some lighting for a dark corner and this looks perfect. The little changes that Amelia did (switching the colored and white cups) looks very interesting. Almost a “mood-type” lighting.

  3. Sharne Dries says:

    I love your hanging light makeover! I’m going to try this with silver tin paper cups~I also may try another version with colored paper cups!

  4. Claire says:

    Here’s my attempt!

  5. Lemuel says:

    I feel this is among the most significant info for me.
    And i’m satisfied studying your article. But should remark on some basic things, The web site style is wonderful, the articles is really nice : D. Just right task, cheers

  6. Zulma says:

    Excellent way of explaining, and fastidious post to get information about my presentation focus, which i am going to deliver in school.

  7. liz says:

    where do you buy the petite four papers?? i can’t find them online anywhere with a striped pattern..

  8. McKenzie says:

    I found the mini black and white cupcake liners for a great price here:

  9. Edie S. says:

    To avoid heat buildup, use a 13 watt compact fluorescent bulb in place of a 60 watt incandescent. It produces the same amount of light, but runs much cooler and saves on electricity. I also found some colored ones on the Home Depot website-black, red, blue, green, orange and pink :-)

  10. Ilaria says:

    !!!!!!!wonderful idea!!!!!!

  11. Lovely blog! I am loving it!! Will be back later to read some more.

    I am taking your feeds also.

  12. Upcycled101 says:

    beautiful and simple. great thank you for posting this!

  13. valeriepowell29 says:

    Does the glue show through the light when it is lit?

  14. Pat says:

    So glad I got to see this,just so beautiful.Omg! Want to try to make this,thanks so much for sharing.

  15. Pat says:

    Beautiful lamp,thanks for sharing.What a great idea! I love it.

  16. Pat says:

    Omg what a work of art, thanks for sharing.So beautiful.

  17. alka says:

    This is so beautiful. How did you construct the base.

  18. ahmed khalil says:

    Nice projects … I love it

  19. Jeanne says:

    It’s great fun and very simple to realize. I did it for my new apartment. I’m very proud

  20. ritu says:

    Simple and beautiful lampshade

  21. ZB says:

    Such an amazing project, thank you so much! It’s crazy to see how much more expensive the original lamp is. Right now it is $1,298!!!! Fortunately Ikea still has the Hemma Cord available and now it is $5, still really cheap!

  22. Marie says:

    Did I miss what type light you used? Plug-in, battery powered, attached to hanging electrical cord? I want make two for my granddaughters, but want to be sure about the lighting.

    1. Stephawayfromthere says: check out the HEMMA cord. It would be very good for that project.
      Also the REGOLIT pendant lamp shade is also there

  23. Stephawayfromthere says:

    ooo, check out the coloured and patterned liners here! They also sell mini liners that are striped similar to the tutorial


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