A few months ago, I went through a phase of making origami cranes. (It’s very therapeutic; I’d highly recommend it!) Soon afterwards, I decided that what I really wanted was a lamp made out of cranes. I trawled the interwebs for a design I liked, but to no avail. For a while, I just felt really uninspired. I didn’t even know if I wanted a pendant or a table lampshade. I tried a few things that didn’t work, and after staring at a pile of little paper birds for two months I was ready to throw in the towel. However… there are some lessons your parents just drum into you too deeply for your impatience to override, and one of my dad’s was “if you start something, finish it”. So I reluctantly kept working on it. And, hey, I’m glad I did, because it ended up looking like this:

This is basically a bunch of paper cranes glued to a Pandora lamp that I picked up at B&Q for about a fiver in one of their fabulous sales. When I got it home I discovered the reason for the reduced price – a standard lightbulb is taller than the height of the globe! So there was about a half-inch gap underneath the shade where it doesn’t sit flush with the lampbase. Needless to say, I was pretty unimpressed. Until I discovered that I could slot a crane’s tail underneath the shade and it would just sit nicely in the gap like so:

I put a little dot of UHU glue – the clear liquid stuff, not the sticks – on the tail to hold it in place.

Oh — it’s probably worth mentioning that I put an energy-saving bulb in this lamp, so it never gets real hot. This also means that the bulb should last about 10 years, which is good because the shade’s awkward to remove once it’s covered in cranes.

Essentially then you just glue a whole bunch more cranes all over the shades at various angles. I found it easiest to work from the bottom up in “rows”. Don’t make the rows too neat; you want it looking kind of haphazard. About halfway through, mine looked like this:

I found this to be quite a time-consuming project. The glue was great, in that it dried really fast and held everything well. But it was time-consuming to figure out how to place each bird to get the amount of disarray I wanted without it looking like total chaos. In all, not including making the birds, it probably took about 2 hours, but it was totally worth it 🙂


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