Paper fish scale lamp DIY

11:26 AM

Give a makeover to an old Chinese paper lampshade with just paper and glue.
With Diwali fast approaching, the time has come with me to share another DIY project that involve turning something old into something new and fresh.

As stated in my previous post, I decided not to buy any lanterns and lights this Diwali, preferring to re-use what I have.

This gorgeous paper fish scale lamp started as an old faded ugly paper lantern that spent too much time in the sun.
This pretty "fish scale" lampshade started as a faded paper thing we bought last year and didn't pass the test of time and the elements very gracefully (no surprise there):

Once upon a time, it was hot pink and went with our whole pink Diwali balcony decor. A year later and the paper is brittle and washed out, but the structure of the lampshade was still good.

A little Pinterest inspiration later and I was cutting little circles in blue paper and gluing them away.

I used what is commonly called "Kite paper" in India, aka the super thin almost tissue like paper I knew as "silk paper" growing up.

For this project I bought 10 big sheets of blue kite paper, but have some leftovers so I guess I could have done it with 8 sheets.
I cut strips of paper across all 10 sheets and secured them with a binder clip. Then, I used a drinking glass to draw circles on the top sheet and cut them all in one go.

Starting at the bottom of the lampshade, I applied regular white glue (Fevicol MR) along the wire that ran all around the lampshade and applied my circles of paper on the glue.

The wire goes in a spiral from top to bottom, you simply keep following it as you go. By the end of it, your entire lampshade will be covered in blue overlapping circles of paper giving it a fish scale appearance. Don't worry too much about the glue dripping a little, it's fine, each overlapping layer will cover the drips, just make sure it doesn't reach the unglued tip of your "scale".

To complete this project I took 2 hours, including the paper cutting and pasting.

That lampshade went back in the exact same spot it was in before and is ready to be lit this Diwali. And since it will probably stay there long after the festivities are over, the blue hue will make it match my decor.

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  1. That looks like fun!
    You could go all wild & make different color scales too.
    Usually by this time our neighbors have all their fairy lights up on their houses. This year only one house has a single string of lights on their roof.

    1. Yeah I saw some pretty colour combinations on Pinterest, my craft supplies store only had that shade of blue left. Comes the festive season and people raid that store as it is the only one in the area. All the schools around said store keep asking parents for special projects and material, the guy is doing brisk business :-)

      We are yet to put our lights up this year. Our building is installing them now, and a few residents have already put theirs, so I guess I'll get around to do it on Friday or Saturday. I still need to test which of my fairy lights still work or not.

  2. Anonymous9:00 PM

    Wow. They're so pretty. Ypu did an awesome job! Obviously they will be a lot cheaper than buying new ones. Nice blue theme! I gather even the previous pink theme must have looked beautiful from those old pink lamps pics.

    1. The pink theme from last year did look good before the lamps got all faded from staying in e sun the whole year :-)

      I tend to leave those lamps out without the bulb to brighten the balcony decor a bit, otherwise it looks a bit sad.

  3. Anonymous12:37 AM

    Oh this is so sweet, I love it ! It reminds me of the story "The Rainbow Fish" by Marcus Pfister. Love -Pad

    1. Oh yes! It indeed looks like the Rainbow fish's scales! Using the colors from the book I think it would make a great decor piece for a kid's room.


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