How to build a Japanese paper floor lamp

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How to build a Japanese paper floor lamp
A Japanese lamp shade has irregular spiral wires inside and a paper covering. (Japanese lamp image by isatori from

A Japanese-style paper floor lamp is an attractive way to add ambience and atmosphere to a room. Its gentle glow can lend an air of calm to a room while the lamp itself is an eye-catching conversation piece. Made of simple materials such as paper and some wire, these lamps add style and flair to home decor as well as office surroundings. You can make your own Japanese-style paper floor lamps from paper and wire found at DIY centres and craft shops.

Things you need

  • Flexible wire
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Floor lamp base
  • Craft knife
  • Glue
  • Paintbrush

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  1. 1

    Make a lampshade frame out of wire. Use 10-gauge wire for the best support. Use photos of Japanese floor lamps from magazines, catalogues and websites for inspiration for the shape of the lampshade. It should be modern with the wire bent in gentle curves.

    Make at least four vertical struts with the wire in your lampshade for proper support. Next, wrap 18-gauge wire around the 10-gauge wire frame in a loose, irregular spiral pattern. Also make sure the lampshade will attach easily to the floor lamp base. Use a manufactured lampshade frame as a reference.

  2. 2

    Cut the paper into wide sections that are slightly larger than the space between each strut frame. Cut enough paper to cover the entire lampshade. If the shade is spherical, you will need petal-shaped sections. Hold the paper up to the shade frame as you cut them to make sure of proper coverage.

  3. 3

    Brush glue onto the outside of the wire frame. Do this in sections, coating all the wires in a section between the struts that one piece of paper will cover. Carefully press the paper section to the glued frame before the glue dries. Make sure all the wires come into contact with the paper. After the section dries, you can trim any excess paper from the section with a sharp craft knife. However, do not trim paper from the top or bottom of the section.

    Repeat this procedure for each section of paper until the lampshade is completely covered.

  4. 4

    Brush glue onto the top wire inside the lampshade and fold the edges of the paper sections over to the inside of the shade, pressing down and making a finished rim. Repeat for the bottom rim. Make sure to leave the top and bottom open.

  5. 5

    Place the completed lampshade on your base, and your Japanese-style lamp is ready for use.

Tips and warnings

  • To keep the lamp as authentic as possible, use the traditional mulberry paper. You can buy this type of paper online or at hobby supply shops.
  • Use energy-efficient fluorescent light bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs that can burn too hot to use near paper.

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