Thursday, 7 August 2014

DIY Geometric Origami Lampshade Tutorial

What I Made Today 

Continuing my paper theme from the other day (it was supposed to be posted the same day, but trying to even post once a day seems impossible with an almost-5-month-old!), here is a rough and ready tutorial for what has by far and away been the most popular pin on my Pinterest board What I Made Today.

You Will Need

  • A pad of A4 paper (or, to make things easier for yourself, a stack of square paper - just make sure it is not too thick or light will not shine through your shade very well at the end)
  • A basic paper lampshade (I got mine for £1.75 from Wilkos, shown below, but you can also get them from Ikea and most DIY stores)
  • Scissors
  • PVA glue
  • Small paintbrush
  • A few spare hours!

A Small Paper Lampshade - your starting point


To start off with, you need to make around 50 Fortune Tellers. To do this, I followed a diagram like the following, courtesy of They recommend 8.5in by 11in paper, I used a pad of A4. If you use smaller paper this is fine, but you may end up needing to make more Fortune Tellers to give you the same coverage.

I used a lined pad of paper as I was just playing around with the idea, but plain paper would give you a much more refined look!

Handy hint at the bottom of this sheet ;) ! Do you remember making them in the summer holidays as I kid?

When you have a nice stack of Fortune Tellers (they stack well on top of each other as you go!), you simply need to glue them onto your shade. If you haven't already, follow your lampshade's instructions to put it up.

To attach the Fortune Tellers to the shade, I used PVA Glue. A small blob in each corner using a paint brush should do it. Be careful that you don't get glue on the inside of your shade, or use so much that it soaks the paper shade, as I suspect this could cause a fire risk when the bulb is on! You could probably also use a glue gun, but the glue may show through more when the bulb is on.

I worked from the top of the shade in rows, with one Fortune Teller on the first 'row', then two on the second, three on the third, and so on, untill I got to the middle of the shade (the widest point), when I started decreasing my rows again. This gave me a spiral effect, however you can glue Fortune Tellers all over the shade for complete coverage. 

Here you can see the 'rows' I glued the Fortune Tellers on in

That's it! Why not play around with different sizes of Fortune Tellers, or even different shapes of lampshades? A drum lampshade would give you an even easier surface to work from.

The rough and ready prototype hanging in my old sewing room

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