DIYdiy projects

diy project: sculptural paper orb lights

by Kate Pruitt

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

Materials

  • 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)

Instructions

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!

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