How to Make a Funky Pendant Lampshade from a Paper Bag

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A paper bag pendant lightshade might only sound like something you’d put together in a pinch if there’s nothing else around. However, use the right tricks and you can create a cool and funky light that really catches people’s attention. All you need is two large paper bags, some string or yarn, and some glue or double sided tape.

Start by taking a long paper carrier bag without handles. Fold it half lengthwise, then fold each of those half pieces in half. Continue doing so until the whole length has been divided into 16 parts that accordion outwards. Next up, make folds along the first row of your diagonal folds. Start at the centre of each one, then fold down in a long triangular shape to each side.

Now you’ve finished with the first bag, it’s time to start making use of your second one. Cut this bag to half the length of the first one, and then start folding again until you have 8 accordion-style folds. You can now join the two pieces together using either double sided tape or some strong glue. Find the ends that match, then stick them together.

You should now have a globular shade, but you still need to poke some holes through the top. After doing so, threat in some string or yarn so you can open and close the top at will. You can now hang the shade.

If you want to take things a little further, you can simply connect a bulb to a length of wire and then wrap that wire in twine to make sure it looks the part. No matter what you do, you need to take one important thing into account: the type of bulb you use. It’s best to pick ones that aren’t going to generate too much heat, such as LED bulbs. Incandescent bulbs should never be used near paper, so make sure you give these ones a miss.

For the best look, try positioning your lamp with paper bag pendant shade in a place where it will be used more for accent lighting than for illuminating an entire room.