Saturday, April 20, 2013

Kraft Korner - Paper Lampshade

I was never the 'craft'y type in our house.. My mom used to do embroidery, toy making, crochet work, wire bags, baskets and vases, bead work etc. All this before marriage, she says. We still have her creations at home and I remember playing with the wire-crocheted dolls when I was small. But after marriage, me and a full time job on her hands, she slowly stopped making time for these trinkets.

Thankfully my sister (younger) carried on with the tradition with gusto. She loves creating things out of almost anything and everything.. waste paper, broken bangles, chocolate wrappers, egg shells, wires, beads, silk threads, clay, shreds of wool... give her pretty much anything and she'll make something cute and beautiful out of it. (She is not really known for patience otherwise but it's amazing how much patience she has when it comes to her creations. :) Are u one such crafter too? )

 I've often felt jealous of her tiny, nimble fingers weaving out so many types of patterns with wool or crochet wire.. What magic the mind can create with just a needle and thread! My paternal grandmother, mom and sis would discuss on some knitting pattern or weave and I'd just watch with amazement! After I've managed to elude it for so long (on the pretext of being 'studious', 'reading type' and all.. how pretentious of me!), the bug seems to have finally bitten me too... I find myself imagining things that I can do/make and sudden inspirations seem to spring on me out of the blue! And food bloggers would very well identify with me when I say cookware-gazing, recipe-reading, food-pics-watching all make me go dreamy... You know, the same thing is happening to me when I come across art supplies and handmade creations!

Well well, as long as it helps in using my time after work (away from hubby that is) in a much beautiful way than cribbing about not being able to go home, I am going to INDULGE :)

Now, to today's post.. We had moved to a rented apartment and were getting the electrical fixtures done. The lampshades that were already there in the living room were too grimy and almost black, so we decided to replace them. But imagine the shock we got when we inquired about the prices for some glass lampshades! Of course, they were very beautiful, sobre and classy. But almost thousand bucks for a single lampshade? (Similar prices in a few other shops we went too.. Drawback of moving to a big city, i guess) The idea of buying a new set got postponed.

When we went to Jaipur on a vacation a couple of months back, a pack of handmade paper in a local market shop caught my eye.. They looked very alluring to my newly-acquired-artsy eyes and I bought a pack of 20 sheets for Rs. 100. So many ideas had started forming in my head even before we reached our hotel room! And as soon as we came back home, I made this lampshade :)

Things required:

Handmade paper - plain or patterned (preferably of a light colour)
Acrylic paint set
20 gauge wire piece - 50 cm long
Fevicol/any adhesive good for binding thick paper

If using a plain handmade sheet, you could draw or paint a pattern that you like on it. I did a combination of block printing and painting on a plain yellow sheet of thick handmade paper.

Let the paint dry for 2-3 hours before proceeding. Now, decide on the shape that you want your shade to be. I wanted mine to be hexagonal. The next step is to make folds on the paper according to the shape you want. I made six folds like this:

Notice that I've made one thin extra fold on either side of the paper. This is for bringing the two ends together and pasting. Now, make regularly spaced holes on the sheet in the sheet. You could use small paper punches. I just made rhombus-shaped (diamond) holes by cutting with scissors. Also, made three fine holes - one each on the topside on fold no. 4 and on the thin extreme folds. These should be of uniform distance from the edge of the sheet (say 1.5 cm) and will be used to secure the shade around the bulb using the wire.

Now, wind the wire around the insulated portion of the bulb-holder. Use insulated wire preferably. The picture below shows a thick wire. But it was slightly difficult to shape it properly. So use a thinner 20-gauge wire preferably.

Now, hold the paper in place by inserting the ends of the wire through the fine holes we made for the purpose. That is, the left end of the wire in the pic above will be inserted into the hole on fold no. 4 and the right end of the wire will be inserted into both the holes on the thin folds which will be held overlapping the first and last panels of paper.

Adjust the sheet to hold it the shape straight, (making holes on the first and last panels too with the wire itself as and where required). Fold and press the ends of the wire to a nice finish and seal the overlapping thin folds with Fevicol. Let it dry completely before testing. . And then... Voila!