How to Make a Balloon Lamp Shade

Written by angela neal Google
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How to Make a Balloon Lamp Shade
Make a balloon lamp shade out of papier-mâché. (blue balloon image by Vita Vanaga from

If you want to make a lamp shade for a kid's room, or a round lamp shade for your hanging lamp, you can make a balloon lamp shade out of papier-mâché. You can use a balloon lamp shade for almost any kind of lamp, and you can make it into any colour that you want. The supplies you need to make a papier-mâché balloon lamp shade are inexpensive and easy to find.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Large balloon
  • Black permanent marker
  • String
  • White paper
  • Scissors
  • Coloured tissue paper
  • Bowl
  • Liquid cornstarch
  • Salt
  • Sponge brush

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  1. 1

    Blow up a large balloon and tie the end. Measure the socket of the hanging lamp you will be using. Draw a circle at the top of the balloon, around the tied end at the measurement you determined, with a permanent black marker. Tie the end to a string and hang it so that you can easily work with it.

  2. 2

    Cut 30 or more strips of white paper and strips of coloured tissue paper in the colour you want to make your lamp shade. The strips should each be about 2 inches wide or less.

  3. 3

    Pour some liquid cornstarch into a bowl with 2 tbsp of PVA glue and 2 tbsp of salt to prevent mould from forming on the papier-mâché lamp shade. Mix the ingredients together thoroughly.

  4. 4

    Dip the white strips of paper into the papier-mâché mix. Hold them over the bowl and gently run your fingers down the strips to remove the excess mix. Place the first white strips vertically on the balloon from the edges of the circle you drew with the permanent marker. Work slowly, and smooth down the edges of the overlapping pieces.

  5. 5

    Add the coloured tissue paper to the balloon after you've covered the whole balloon with the white strips. Since the tissue paper is more delicate than the white paper, you only need to touch one side of it to the mix and apply it to the balloon. Smooth them down the best that you can and brush some of the mix over them with a sponge brush. Wait at least 24 hours for the paper strips to dry completely.

  6. 6

    Grab the tied end of the balloon and pop it with the end of a pin. Gently pull the balloon out from the inside of the papier-mâché lamp shade. Your lamp shade is ready for use.

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