Balsa is one of my all-time favorite materials: It’s cheap and lightweight and easily handles bending, cutting, staining, painting, glueing and pretty much every other technique that comes to mind. It’s also a great resource for creating professional-quality results with few tools, as you can see in this awesome balsa lampshade project from Jamie Samples of Pomp & Circumstance. Using just a few strips of balsa wood and some glue, Jamie created this modern, organic shade in minutes. I love the braided look of the pieces weaving in and out of one another; it truly feels like a finely crafted technique that only a woodworker would know how to achieve, but luckily it’s extremely DIYable. I can’t wait to try this on a lampshade this weekend! — Kate
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Read the full how-to after the jump . . .
I made this lamp recently when I was styling a room for a mid-20’s single man. I had painted the room a dark navy/almost black color, and was looking to add some fun while keeping with the original vision: dark walls, bright white and wood accents, with some lighter aqua shades thrown in to brighten things up and add a bit of fun. I happened to have an extra lampshade lying around, and had a few bases to choose from. I grabbed a base, spray-painted it to fit the aesthetic of the room, and threw together this playful balsa wood shade! Enjoy! —Jamie
- balsa wood strips (different amounts depending on the length/width you get, but buy extra because you’ll need more than you think — also, get balsa wood that is super thin and bendy, that way you don’t have to steam the balsa to get it to bend)
- glue gun and glue sticks
1. Line the top and bottom edge of the shade.