How to make an upcycled scrap paper light

how to make an up cycled scrap paper light

One of the huge upsides of years spent self-building and renovating my home, is the time when I can start getting creative and filling these new spaces with lovely stuff.

A big fan of show-stopping, eco-friendly, innovative lighting that makes a real statement, I have fallen in love with and have been inspired by the stunningly beautiful upcycled artichoke-like light created by graphic designer, Gabrielle Guy.

Made simply with strips of scrap paper, glue and an old paper lantern, this gorgeous environmentally-friendly light costs pennies to make but looks a million dollars.

So, armed with some old, but beautifully photographed Christmas magazines (mine where Marks and Spencers’ catalogues which, incidentally, are printed on FSC paper), an old paper lantern and some PVA glue, I got busy to create my own upcycled centrepiece.

How to make an upcycled strip paper light

Here’s how I made it:

1. Using my recycled magazines, I cut strips of paper into long, triangles approximately 3cm at the widest edge, tapering to a point.

2. Working from the bottom of the lamp, I folded each strip of paper about 1cm from the widest edge and then glued the folded edge to lamp, following the spiral support. (The fold ensures the strip of paper hangs vertically).

3. I then repeated the process, fixing each strip of paper side by side.

Upcycled paper strip light

4. When half way up the lamp, I discontinued folding the strips of paper and simply fixed them straight to the lamp – at this point the strips of paper naturally hang vertically.

upcycled paper strip light

5. Upon completion, I checked along the top edge to ensure the lamp was completely covered, for the best effect none of the paper lantern should be visible.

6. After a few hours of cutting and glueing, my beautiful upcycled paper strip light was ready to hang in my new entrance hall. Voila!

upcycled paper strip light

Here are two pictures of my upcycled lamp in place, the first, lit up at night, the second, how it looks in natural daylight.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

*Safety note:  Only use the appropriate bulb as recommended by the paper lampshade manufacturer and ensure the light bulb does not come in contact with the paper. If in doubt, ask your local electrician for advice.


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