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Stiffened Yarn Shade

Modern decor is definitely on the upswing! The use of simple forms and shapes is popular in furnishings and even more excting as lighting. I am a designer at heart and especially enjoy when I can control most aspects of the final design. The sphere shape is perfect and makes a great light shade. Follow along as I show you how I made a new light for a special person.


The materials needed for this project:



Be prepared; it’s a messy job! Blow up you form (I used a beach ball as it was the largest deflatable sphere I could find. I suppose you could also use a yoga ball! Check out your socket size and if it will allow replacement of bulb through the hole. If not, you could plan to have an extra “hole” near the top for bulb replacement.


To make sure that the form becomes stiff enough, you want to make sure that it has enough of the stiffener, therefore soak and squeeze to saturate the yarn. Do not lose the end!


My socket from an old light is tested for size. Then just start wrapping… and wrapping and trying to cover areas that are thin. It becomes a bit like juggling, turning and balancing and keeping the yarn from getting too “off-center”, as this will make it slide off. I would add more to the bowl to saturate the yarn. If it gets too gloppy, run the yarn through your fingers as you wrap. It’s a bit of trial and error. And some crazy geometry rules! I thought I had enough and let it dry. Find a bucket or bowl that supports the ball without flattening or “denting” it.


Make sure it is bone-dry and test for stability. If you do not want to see the bulb you need to be more dense with wrapping and this also adds strength. I was really worried that it wasn’t strong enough, so I added a brushing of stiffener after it was dry and let it dry again. Last thing you want is a “dented” light!


When all is good and stiff, it’s time to deflate! Another reason to make sure it’s good and hard… Squeeze out the air…


…until it can be pulled out. I cleaned up the opening hole with some cutting and sewed my ring into place with the same yarn. Some sockets have a ring to hold them tight. In a pinch, 5 minute epoxy is a great way to stabilize and attach.


Some sockets are able to swag and plug into the wall. I had my favourite electrician wire it into the ceiling junction box. It looks great! I bought the largest wattage LED bulb, it looks and works great! ‘And especially with the modern decor. Stay tuned to see how to make the art shown here…

I'm an artist & I make things... all kinds of things.

This Post Has 9 Comments

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    1. Well, it’s funny you should ask… It IS a lot of work. I was ‘making’ all the time anyways’ and I enjoy photography, digital editing and writing. So for me it all came together. Learning the software for a blog is not that hard. With a bit of persistence, I am sure you could do it as well. The biggest hurdle is not having self confidence! I wish you luck!

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  4. Hello! I’ve been reading your weblog for a long time now lastly got the courage to go on and provide you with a shout from
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    1. I used an existing plastic part that is shown in the earlier pictures. The ikea ones are readily available so I did not want to confuse people. Whatever light kit you get will need to be planned into the form and hole.They can be ‘sewn’ in or even epoxied in afterward, all depends on the shape.

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