Monday, August 29, 2011

Dale Chihuly, eat your heart out!

* I'm editing this blog post and going with my gut Chihuly references so whatevs.

I saw this ingenious diy light fixture on design sponge a while back.  It's been on my to-do-list for quite some time.  Last month I ventured up to Ikea with Nicholas and mother and purchased 2 standard-sized paper lanterns to modify. After gathering the rest of supplies from the craft store (tacky glue), I started cutting and gluing like mad.  You want to make a paper lantern? Of course you do--I'll take you through a step-by-step process. Let's begin!

You're going to need some tacky glue. Make sure you buy one of the bigger bottles.

You'll need paper and a pair of scissors.  I just used computer paper, but if you're feeling crazy,
you can go with printed paper (it will definitely make for a more expensive project). 

Start cutting the paper into spiky strips.  Make sure you don't make them too big.  
The top should be between 1-2 inches.  

You're going to need lots and lots of strips.
Don't worry about making them perfect, they all blend together.
I cut multiple sheets at once.

This is from Ikea. I think I paid about $5.99.
You have to buy the light attachment separately.

Pop your lantern open.

Now start gluing on the strips from the bottom up.  Make sure to put on enough glue. 

It's slow going at first, but once you get into a groove, it goes much faster.

Keep working around and around until you get to the top!

When you turn it on, all of the layering gives the light a crazy-cool glow.

I've made two lanterns.  In total, I probably spent $15 on the two (remember hooks to hang it, if you don't already have them).  I think it's a worthy investment.  The lantern takes about 1.5 hours to make.  You'd be surprised on how much paper it takes to coat one of those lanterns.

When I look at my light, I think about Dale Chihuly.  His glass has always reminded me of sea creatures.  Obviously, I don't think that my computer paper Ikea light is like Dale Chihuly's glass, but it reminds me of it.  It also reminds me of a jelly fish and an anemone.  What do you think?

Chihuly and glass


In other Chihuly-related news, I cannot think about Chihuly without thinking about Monika recommending I dress up as him every Halloween from 1998-2009 or so.  She would say, "get a bright shirt and an eye patch." One day I just might.


  1. There's still time to make this dream come true.

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