Whirl-it lampshade

We really needed a new lamp, and we´ve planned to make one for months. This week we finally got around to it. It takes a bit of different materials, but it´s really easy when you´ve started. We recommend making it outdoors, as it gets quite messy. The result is pretty neat, especially at night when the threads cast shadow on the walls.

We planned to make the lamp using the yarn Garnstudio Ice, but it ran out really quickly, and we had to improvise by using a thinner yarn to complete it. Perhaps it happened for a reason - we really like the contrasts between the yarn quality and colours. Happy whirling!

What we used
One big, round balloon. We used really big one, but didn´t fill it completely. (You can get them from balloon-companies where you live, try Google...)
A pump to fill the balloon with
2 balls of Ice og 1 ball Lerke, or other yarn, preferably cotton or acryllic.
Water resistant marker
Wallpaper glue
An old box to mix the glue and the yarn in
Stick to mix the glue and the yarn
Gloves, if you don´t like it messy, we made it without...
Something to hang the lamp by. We used IKEAs ricelamp hanging device (bottom right), and cut the long bits off
Paper cloth
Wire with lightening bulb

How we did it
Gather all the materials.
Put the yarn into the glue and mix properly. Work the glue into the yarn without unveiling the ball.
Fill the balloon to a desireable size. Rub it in with a thin layer of vaseline.
Get your hanging device, and mark a circle at the top of the balloon that´s 1 -2 cm smaller than the hanging device.
Hang it and start whirling.
Whirl pretty tightly. Start out vertically and work more and more horizontally. Make sure it gets even. Make sure you stick to the circle you drew on top. Tuck the loose ends under the yarn at the top, and work the circle when you´re done so it´s all even.
Leave it drying for 24 hours, we recommend that you take it inside to dry.
Pop the balloon, place your hanging device and light inside the lamp, and let there be light!

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    nice post, this site's great!
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    Response: lamp shade

Reader Comments (108)

Sooo Neat! I'm going to give it a try, you make it sound achievable:)

februar 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

Today I posted an entry on my blog with a link to this tutorial.

I'd appreciate your letting me know if that's OK.


Nancy Ward

februar 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNancy Ward

Thank you so much for sharing this idea with us! I found this on Stumble Upon and i gave it a thumbs up :) I'm making it for my friend as a birthday present, because she is in need of a great light fixture!

I have a few questions relating to the assembly of this. I live in the U.S. and I was wondering what kind of wallpaper paste would be best for this project, seeing as i have no experience with it. Also, I was wondering how many balls of yarn are needed for this and why you used two different types. And one last question; are there any other hanging devices you could suggest because i can't find the one you used from Ikea anywhere on the website?

Thanks again and I'm super excited to make it!

februar 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAbby ♥

Can someone please answer the question of how to get the bulb and light fixture in if the space is 1-2 cm smaller? Thanks!!!

februar 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi

I recently posted an entry on my blog with a link to this tutorial.

I'd appreciate your letting me know if that's OK.


Nancy Ward

februar 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNancy Ward

Hi Nancy, that´s fine;) Thanks!

The hanging device is a cut off Ikea device (We just used the top). It is just kind of a stick, meaning that you can put it into the lamp easily.

februar 16, 2010 | Registered Commenterpickles

Great idea! i love it! thank you so much for the tips. :-)

februar 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteradobespain

I love this! Thank's for sharing! But, how do you change the lightbulb when it needs to be replaced?

februar 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

How did you mount it on just the cord of the lightbulb?

februar 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWill

I remember doing this as a child in school. We used sugar water instead of glue. I am now homeschooling my son and this is our next art project!

februar 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMHunt

Could you please tell us how to change the lightbulb once it's inside the lamp? Thank you for all the tips, can't wait to try this one out.

mars 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

The holding device for the lamp is easy to take in and out, so there´s no promlem there;)

mars 4, 2010 | Registered Commenterpickles

your work is very nice and fashion!
I don't understand how to fix the bulb.
Thanks, Francesca

mars 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFrancesca

Beautiful execution. Your string lampshade is by far the best of any I've seen yet.

mars 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShruti Goradia

Thanks so much for this. I had a go, with great success (I think):

mars 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Hi, I just wanted to say I have tried out this craft. It turned out fantastic! But, I did make a change. I didn't have any wallpaper glue around the house so i used regular Elmers Glue. I added a small amount of water to it to make it thinner and it worked out well. I just wanted to say thanks =)

mars 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie

Wow!! I'm so impressed! I love how this turned out. So gorgeous. I want to make one now. I'm going to add this to my Friday Faves post today.


april 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

This totally takes me back to elementary school...except this is so super cool. LOVE it! I have to make one or ten!

april 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHolly L

Can you use the lamp outside ?? or is the stuff you used nog good in rain ??

mai 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJorina

I love this. I am going to make these in many different sizes and use them instead of paper lamps at my wedding. Thank you for this tutorial.

juni 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarin

Great idea. How do you get the hanging device into the wired ball if the circle is 1 to 2 cm smaller? And how to change the light bulb?

juni 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterankie

Love this!

This is absolutely amazing. I want to make one now.

juni 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDamaris

whats up everyone

Just saying hello while I read through the posts

hopefully this is just what im looking for looks like i have a lot to read.

juli 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlocaDerrar

I want to try this so bad, but I still don't understand how you would get a light bulb in the hole and have it stay put.

juli 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkate

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