DIY Curly Paper Lantern

This is our the space formerly known as the Playroom.  Now that my boys are older and only play with legos and roller blades and SCUBA gear and iPhones we don’t have that many actual toys.  But we still use this room a lot for guests and spend the night parties that the boys have.  So I want the space to be functional, kind of masculine but good for girls too, and great for guests.  It’s full of cast offs from all the other rooms in the house so mixing pattern and color was a natural way to make it look like it was planned that way.  When we moved in there was a big hole in the center of the ceiling–I’m guessing a ceiling fan went there.  And really, there are so many huge pot lights that we don’t need any more overhead lighting, but I wanted to do something besides just cover up the hole with a plastic cover.

Gabrielle Guy via Design Sponge

I was inspired by this light that I pinned from Design Sponge months ago.  So I scrounged around my house and I didn’t have a big huge paper lantern but I did find a small one.  Here’s what I had around my house::

Small paper lantern, hot glue, a roll of brown paper.  I didn’t want to have to buy white flat paper and besides, I figured it would be fun to see if the rolled paper would hold its curl.  It did…

Want to make one?  Here’s how::


This lantern took an hour and a half between both me and Karrie and was well worth it for the charm and interest it creates.  I imagine I could put a non getting hot lightbulb inside it, especially if I would have used a larger paper lantern base (I think I used a 12 inch lantern to start).  But we don’t need a light and I like it more as sculpture.

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  1. That’s pretty cool!

  2. I love it!

  3. My only concern, coming from a house of fire-fighters, is it fire retardant??? I worry about air circulation and overheating the light bulb, in turn possibly causing a fire or melting???

  4. Merri Jo says:

    That is so cute–& you deserve the ‘perseverance award’ for making it! ;-). I agree, it’s eye-catching just as a sculpture (safer, too)

  5. Very Cool – Love it as sculpture!

  6. What a great project. I might put my kids to work on something like that. It is the perfect non girly chandelier for a boys’ space!!

  7. ooooo….very architectural and artsy! Thanks for sharing how you made such a cool decor item.

  8. You crack me up. It’s so weird and totally cool. I made about a zillion of those tissue paper pom-pom things and hung them all over our living room and dining room for a New Years Eve party. I may see a paper chandelier in my future too . . .

  9. Oh my goodness I LOVE it! How cool and fun – and that room looks amazing for being a mis match of cast offs. Actually it’s amazing regardless.

  10. very impressed nester girl.

  11. so quirky and cute, i love it!!! been looking for something to hang over my girl’s beds in their nursery- will probably do these in white. thanks for sharing! btw, LOVE that blue area rug.

  12. It’s really cute!

  13. your former playroom is prettier than any room in my place. color me jelly!

  14. Christie says:

    I like it better than the inspiration. Has interesting texture. It has me thinking…

  15. You never cease to amaze. I was listening to Eric & Erica this morning on the way to school. Erica was talking about wanting to be a cone person instead of a cup person. As in, some people want everything controlled and perfect and tidy (cup people) and some people love the imperfection and frenzy that comes with eating their ice cream the exciting way (cone people.) You, my dear, are a cone person for sure.

  16. Oh I live this SO SO much!

  17. SO UNIQUE! And I am dying for your denim sofa….I just blogged about wanting one the other day, but will make due with denim pillows….Such a cool room!

  18. Don’t hate me Nester!

    It reminds me of dried corn husks! It might grow on me though…


  19. I think it’s pretty cool. It wouldn’t work in every room, but it definitely works in the room where you have it. What a great conversation piece too!

  20. I like how you transformed your playroom into a new room that better suites the needs of your family. I could see a similar transformation taking place in our playroom someday. I like the bed and the sofa and would love to see more pics of the entire room and hear your thoughts on transforming a room like this.

  21. It turned out very cute!

  22. Love the picture collage…so cottageeeee and cozy…….

  23. That is so fantastic!! I am currently in the process of helping our playroom to “grow up” a bit too and this was so inspiring. It looks beautiful yet still so fun! Well done! :-)

  24. And you do it again! That is just too stinkin cool!

  25. Small error in the instructions. I think you mean rectangles, not triangles. Either way, it’s a lot of cutting :)

    Very cute idea! No way would I have the patience to finish it though.

    • *blushing* I need to get to bed. Just re-read the instructions and yes, it is indeed triangles, otherwise there wouldn’t be much curling of the ends happening!. Oops. Never mind me

  26. wow… i LOVE it… more than the original!! way to glue!

  27. Wow! That’s pretty cool!! Thanks for sharing. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  28. I had two great sleeps in that room. Can’t wait to come back and sleep under that curly lantern!

  29. Wow! Now THAT is creative! Very cozy little space. :)

  30. It is interesting. I know I am strange, but all I can think of is ‘how do you clean the thing’ because around here there is dust and dirt on everything.
    Enjoy it. It looks great in the room.

    • am I the only one who doesn’t clean every single item in my house? whoops!

      • Far from it I am sure. But in this area if you are not careful to get rid of the cobwebs the dust bunnies will come carry you away.
        It is nice, but my first thought about anything I have hung up is cleaning the darn thing. My light fixtures are often a mess. I take them down and wash them a couple of times a year.

  31. Really cool idea! Don’t you love the projects you get half way through and then think “please let this be over!”

  32. Please, please, please could I come and spend a night/weekend/year in that guest room? So cozy and inviting. I can imaging getting through several books in there. Gorgeous!

  33. I just have to give a shout-out to your hubby for encouraging your decorating ideas ~ my husband is very practical and if I made this I would for-sure get the eye-roll. He does put up with a lot of my endeavors, though, but certainly not as much as I would like ~ I think sometimes it is a good thing! I can get carried away at times!

  34. you have a thistle growing out of your ceiling!! does this fit in with the “plants in your home” series?? creative.

  35. I’m sorry but it looks like a plant died on your ceiling. Creative, but not my fave.

  36. That’s adorable! It looks a little like it came from who-ville, with the curly bits! I did something similar for a baby shower, only using beach balls from the dollar store instead of lanterns.

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