Back from Christmas Break and still not tired of crafting from ideas on Pinterest! Nevermind my project in Interior Architecture to design a chair out of cardboard to hold a person…I’m making lamps instead. I’m so good with time management 😉 Anywho, I saw this doily lamp and have been dying to make it. So, finally, I remembered to take step by step pictures & instructions to show you how I made it and how readers can make them too!
(original picure found on DOS family that startled my inspiration.)
I remembered the project when I was walking through the dollar section at Target here in Bloomington. I swear I’ve spent more money in those aisles than in any other part of the store. (Okay let’s be serious that’s not true, though I did just snag this Missoni Ottoman for $12 at Target the other day.) I was looking at their cute Valentine’s Day decorations and found these paper doilies for $1 for a pack of 20. I bought 6 packs in both red and white and brought them home to my roommate Leah who also wanted to do this craft. The original calls for actual crocheted doilies, which I’m sure are a lot more expensive and hard to find. I prayed these paper ones would work just the same.
Next, my other roommate Nicole & I headed to the Dollar Store to find big round punch balloons, which form the the “mold” that the lamp is made from. It took us at least half an hour before we found them, right next to traditional balloons which I figured I’d buy incase I wanted to make smaller lamps too.
To begin this project, you blow up the balloon and hang it by a string a bit below eye level (to make it easier to hold onto and glue onto). I hung mine from the ceiling fan pull strings in the dining room. Then, to make the adhesive, you can either use wallpaper glue which they advised in the tutorial (though I’m guessing that’s because they needed more heavy duty glue for their fabric lace doilies), or use my wallet-friendly/conserving method of mixing a little bit of elmers glue with water so it becomes a liquidy form. This conserves glue (that I need for class projects) and also makes it a lot easier to coat each paper doily with a paintbrush. I tried sugar starch, and I do NOT advise it because it takes forever to dry, makes the paper fragile and watery, and really just does not try in the same effect.)
Next, you take a paintbrush, put a little watery glue on the balloon, but the doily on top, then coat the whole thing with a layer of glue just enough so that it sticks flat to the surface. If you want to coat it thickly, be careful. This method will ensure that the paper doily doesn’t fall off, but it also can make the doily rip from all the wetness and takes longer to dry.
When adding additional doilies, make sure you’re overlapping them at least on the corners to make sure that when it all dries, there are no gaping holes that prevent the lamp from maintaining a circular shape. Also, make sure to leave a whole big enough for a light bulb at the top of the balloon so that if you do want to hang it from a light cord, you can.
After you’ve finished covering the whole balloon, allow to dry completely, still hanging. I would occasionally push my fingers on the blank spaces of the balloon once it was nearly dry to make sure that the paper wasn’t sticking to the balloon anymore. That way, when it pops, the doilies don’t shrink with the balloon itself.
Once finally dry, you’re ready to pop the balloon and pull the remnants out through the opening at the top. Then hang it alone with a string or hang it from a light cord so that the spaces in the doilies make cool light patterns on the walls.
Here is one of my balloons in its final product. I hope to make more later.