DIY Origami Lampshade

This DIY has been long in the making! I love the graphic look and simplicity, yet I’ve been hesitant to jump on the origami bandwagon. As the trend has been around for quite some time now and DIYs are getting more popular than ever, the internet is full of origami DIYs – one better than the other. But for some reason, today I felt like giving it a go, and share mine with you all.origamilampshade7

Sometimes origami DIYs tend to be more of a hassle than fun, with all the stress of getting the folds exactly right and for someone who’s not so experienced at it, the whole process might seem a bit taunting. But trust me, if you follow these simple instructions, there is very little room for error.

Once again you can use which ever paper you happen to have, just make sure it over 160 gsm, as lighter versions will not stay in shape. I opted for  bright colors and brown. Because I only had A4 sheets of paper at home, I decided to simply tape two together. It worked just fine, but of course you can also use A3 or larger. I made two different versions of the lampshade: for the rounder version I used IQ color medium blue and brown/grey SH Recycling, and for the longer one I opted for IQ color dark green, all in 160 gsm, available at Europapier. Both of the shades take about 20 minutes to make, so not too long. Make sure to try out the folding pattern first with an extra sheet of paper, so you get the idea.origamilampshade3

Version 1. (blue & brown)
Fold the paper in three different directions. First the black lines. Then the red lines, and then blue lines. The paper naturally folds into place.

Version 2. (green)
Same as the first one but with slightly different fold lines, making the all-over shape longer.

To keep the structure from moving or opening, use a piece of string and sew the top end of the lampshade closed. Using white or see-through plastic string the result is almost unnoticed. And that’s it – as simple as that!origamilamshade-main

Images © Design&Paper

  1. They look fabulous! Make sure you use a really low-wattage bulb or LED lights to make sure they don’t burn or catch fire…

  2. I looks lovely and quite easy, but i still can’t figure out how it should “naturally folds into place” how to come from a folded paper into a 3d object. Would anyone mind helping, please?

  3. Hi Zo

    Sorry it’s taken me so long to answer, we’ve been caught up in the Holiday fever. The DIY origami Lampshade is quite simple in the end, it is all about getting the folds exactly right! It took me a few tries before mastering it, so don’t give up! If you do the folding in right order, and precisely, using 160 gsm paper, the lamp starts to form while folding. Of course you need to help and guide the folds with your fingers, and here’s a tip: try squeezing the top end of the lamp (the tighter one) to a tight bunch while widening the folds at the other end. Hope I was some help, good luck with the lamp, and a great new year!

  4. Hi Fakchan
    The Origami Lampshade is doable, but it might need some practice to master. The key to succeeding is to make sure the folding is done precisely. And remember that each “colored line” is folded to the same direction. So after you’re done with the “black lines” you should already have the paper in a circular shape. And when you get further, keep checking what the finish shape should look like and make sure the cross folds are exactly on spot. Of course it wont magically fold into place but with a little help I promise it can be done 🙂

  5. I love your website… I started origami 3 or 4 years ago and I love it! Recently on Pinterest I saw a Origami Ceiling Rose but I can’t find any instructions or tutorials on it…Do you know how? Or at least lead me in the right direction. Again, I love your work!!! Thanks!!!

  6. Hi there – Thanks for sharing this tutorial. I am a bit confused about it too…but maybe I’ll try it out on spare paper first too. I guess looking at photos of your finished-product, the vertical black lines are always concave, and the red lines, and blue lines are opposite, i.e. Convex? Or have I got the wrong end of the stick? I’m excited to make the ‘green’ version to go atop table-lamps. Thanks again, and hope to hear from you soon! Maya.

  7. Hi!
    I just finished my lampshade! And yes, Maya, you are right, that the black lines fold one way, then all the diagonal lines are folded the opposite way. If you look closely at the picture, you will see that is how it’s done. Another way to explain is that the ‘inside’ of each diamond is folding towards the center of the lamp and the ‘outside’ or outline of each diamond is folding towards the outside. I hope this helps! (try it with one side of a file folder first to get the idea.)
    The paper I used is what we in Canada call Bristol Board or Posterboard, but a slightly flimsy kind, not a super stiff kind.
    Hope that helps!

  8. Hi there,

    thanks for the tutorial, they look great!

    Just a few questions: Which way did you tape the A4 pages together? The short sides or the long sides (so they form A3)? On the drawing the proportions look a little strange.

    Thank you!

  9. I have a short lamp with a CFL light bulb screwed into the top of it. Its way too bright because there’s no lampshade over it. I’m afraid that if I put the origami lampshade over it, the paper will burn. Any thoughts? Thanks! Excited to try!

  10. Hi Cassie

    The A4 papers are ajoined horizontally, by the short side, to form one long piece of paper.

  11. Hey, thank you for the post; a question though, I’ve made the first half, will get an a0 and cut it in half, but once done how to glue them to close the circle? I men neatly and cleanly … i would want to do it from the inside … right? Any hints for that.

    Also I used staples to keep the top part closed, but Im afraid it’ll look lumpy once hanged, is there a

  12. Hi Mayz,

    I’m hardly experienced with paperfolding, but I’m also giving this awesome lamp a go today. I would recommend to use a litte excesspaper (i believe it is called a ‘tab’) to glue the parts together. You can glue togheter quite easily if you keep the papers flat so you can form a cilinder, before re-folding al the folds again to get the shape. This is how i just closed my scrappaper-try-out. Hope this helps.

    Kind regards, Suhela

  13. Hi

    Do you have any instructions on how to make a pleated accordion origami ball/lampshade or a curved accordion pleated half moon crescent or can you recommend an origami book to buy on spheres balls and curved dome shapes please! Wish I could attach pix of my interest.


  14. Hi
    Thank you for sharing
    I read all the comments before making these lampshades.
    I then made them smaller to suit my project in the room.
    Worked out just right. Enjoyed the challenge.

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