How to Make an Origami Paper Lamp Shade

Updated September 14, 2017

This pattern to make an origami paper lamp shade can be done with any size paper as long as the short edge of the paper is 7/11ths the length of the long edge. For example, you can use paper where the short edge is 7 inches and the long edges measure 11 inches, or 14 and 22 inches respectively, and so on. Using baking waxed paper, which is intended to withstand high heat, to make your lamp shade helps reduce the risk of fire.

Lay the paper out so that the long edges run from side to side in front of you.

Fold the bottom left corner up to the top edge. Then fold the bottom right corner up to meet the edge from the first fold.

Crease both folds you just made, then unfold them again.

Bring the top left corner down to the bottom edge, then fold the top right corner down to meet the first fold.

Harden the creases, then unfold.

Fold the bottom left corner up to the point where your creases on the left-hand side meet. Fold the bottom right corner up so that the bottom edge parallels the previous fold. Crease and unfold.

Fold the top left corner down to the same crossed-crease point, then bring the top right corner down so that the top edge parallels the fold you just made. Crease both folds and unfold.

Turn the paper over. Make a horizontal fold along the first row of intersections, crease, and unfold.

Make folds along the other rows of crease intersections. Because you're using waxed paper, it's easy to line up the creases through the transparent paper.

Roll the paper into a loose cylinder, short edges together and overlapping by about 1/2 inch. Tape the edges in place so that the creases line up as closely as possible.

Stand the cylinder on its edge and adjust the creases so that the horizontal creases are valley folds--just like the shape of a valley in the mountains--and the diagonal creases are mountain folds, protruding from the paper.

Stand the lampshade over a light bulb or tealight candle. If you've made the shade with large enough paper, you can place it over a larger bulb fixture or larger candle; just make sure that the bulb or candle flame doesn't contact the paper.


Never leave a paper shade over a lit lamp or candle unattended; it may be a fire hazard.

Things You'll Need

  • Waxed paper
  • Clear tape
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