How To Make Paper Starburst Pendant Lighting

So I had a different project that I was going to post today, an update version of my Book Pages Pendant Lantern from Project 19, but then I started working on this light idea, and I am so excited by the results I just couldn’t wait to show you guys!

My inspiration and guide was this light from Design*Sponge, that I spotted on Pinterest. I really liked the idea, and I had a roll of white vellum lying around left over from college that I thought would look beautiful.  So I started cutting triangles.  And then I started glueing.  And cutting more and glueing more.  And it was at about the third round of this cycle that I realized, this light was going to take longer than I had anticipated.  But honestly, all the work was worth it in the end because I love it!

The roll of vellum that I was using was 24 inches long.  I would unroll a manageable size piece maybe 12 inches or so wide, and cut it off the roll.  I cut off two pieces roughly the same size and then cut those down to be 9 inches long.  Of course if I had just decided to use an 8 inch long triangle, then I could have gotten three pieces out of my 24 inch length instead of just two, but I was tired when I first started this project and I missed that point.  But anyway, I then had a bunch of pieces of vellum that were a roughly random width, and all 9 inches long (or tall, however you think about it.)  The top and bottom edge of my pieces were the curled sides, so if I had let all my pieces curl back up they would all be cylinders exactly 9 inches tall.  The reason I’m obsessing about this detail is because once I cut my triangles (3 inches wide at the top, the full 9 inches long) the curl was side to side along the 3 inch edge, and wasn’t down along the length of the triangle.  I think this really helped give each piece strength, and was one of the reasons they stuck straight out from the lantern.  Its just a theory, but I think cutting the pieces in this direction is certainly better than having each long triangle be all curly.

I think I glued the pieces on much closer than they did in the Design*Sponge tutorial, but I wanted a really full look.  I’d say each new row was approximately 1/2 inch above the layer below, starting at the bottom and working upwards.  I would usually leave a bit of space between each piece, but I wasn’t super exact.  I did make sure to off center each new row so that the spaces between each piece were covered with the overlap, though eventually each piece was covered by so many compiled rows it didn’t really matter.  Honestly, there wasn’t a lot of room for error, and while it was a lot of work, it was also a pretty fool proof concept!

All in all I think the light is pretty awesome, and I can’t wait to post it on Etsy, though I’m a little bit worried about shipping.  It will easily fit in a box, but the upper layers will be pushed down to follow the curve of the original paper lantern, and I’m a little worried that they won’t bounce back.  I think I’m going to place the light in a box overnight or maybe for a day or two, and then see if the shape is still there, before posting it for sale.  I wouldn’t want someone to expect one thing and get another in the mail!  And if the shape completely flattens, well I’ll just have to re-photograph it.

So I know I need to get back to my 30x30x3 projects, but this light took me by surprise with its shape and fantastic outcome, and I just couldn’t wait to share!  Hopefully I can spend the weekend coming up with my next project and will have something new to show everyone early next week.

For now, have a lovely weekend and hopefully the weather is warmer where you are, since NYC is having a bit of Winter 2.0 at the moment and I am not happy about it!