This tape sponge lamp project was the
grand prize second place* winner from our DIY contest, and it’s easy to see why it was such a hit among voters. By creating a simple repeating shape, Giselle managed to transform the material into something organic, elegant and almost unrecognizable as tape. There are very few materials or steps to this project; the process is almost simple enough to figure out on your own, but luckily Giselle has shared a full tutorial with details on how to start, how large to make the piece and how to add the lighting element. If the idea of turning it into a lamp doesn’t suit you, you could easily use the technique to make organic vessels, wall decor and more. The natural masking tape is lovely, but personally, I’m excited to try this out with colored tapes, as well. Congratulations again on winning first prize, Giselle, and thanks for sharing this awesome project with us! — Kate
*sorry about the error: this project won second place; our first place winner was Donna Yu’s 3D cube wall.
Read the full how-to after the jump . . .
- roll of tape
- acetate (plastic) sheet (to sit the lamp on so it doesn’t get stuck to anything)
- marker (to draw your circle onto the acetate)
- lamp cord kit
- low wattage bulb (25W or lower is recommended)
1. Depending on the lamp kit you have, you may need to make a base for your bulb to sit in. Using an old cardboard tube, cut a couple notches for the socket and for the cord to go through. Then cover the piece in tape to make it sit upright.
2. To create the shade, first determine the general size you want. My lamp base was 7″ high, so I used this as a guide for working out the diameter for the shade. Be sure to leave at least 2″ to 3″ of space so the shade doesn’t get too hot. Trace a circle onto the acetate that’s the same diameter as the lamp. I used an old plate that was about the right size as a template, but freehand drawing the circle would also work.
4. Roll the tape into a tube shape with one end slightly wider than the other, leaving the sticky side of the tape to the outside.
6. Build up the layers of tubes. You need to make the diameter of each layer a little smaller to get the sphere shape until you have one half of the lamp shade complete (it should be a half-sphere shape). You’ll probably need to adjust the shape of the tubes as you’re making them, with some smaller and some larger in width to get them to fit, and if it’s not a perfect shape, all the better, as it makes it more interesting and organic. I made each layer about 1/4″ smaller.
7. Peel the half sphere off the sheet of acetate, flip it over and start building up the layers to make the other half of the shade. You will need to leave this end of the sphere open to allow it to sit over the base. To work out the size, measure the size of the lamp base (step 2) and leave a hole a little larger — I left about 1/2″.