Get a free year on Tuts+ this month when you purchase a Siteground hosting plan from $3.95/mo
One of the most fascinating aspects in crafting is transforming simple or useless material and giving them new shape and a brand new use. I loved the idea of making something out of TPR (aka toilet paper rolls). So I decided to create a lamp out of them, with a pretty cool design. It's an easy and fun project with a stunning end product!
- About 20 empty toilet paper rolls
- Craft glue or hot glue gun
- Black spray paint
- Black acrylic paint
- Paint brush
- Clothes pegs
- Dust mask
1. Prepare the TPR Petals
Fold the empty toilet paper rolls. You need to crease them along two facing edges without completely flattening the center. Repeat the folding process for all your rolls apart from one.
Once the rolls are folded, use a ruler to mark measurements. Mark the roll, using a fine tip pen along both folded edges at intervals of 2.1 cm (0.8 in). This will divide the roll into five equal pieces.
Following the marks you made, use scissors to cut the rolls into strips of 2.1cm (0.8 in).
After a while, you will end up having about 100 strips of a cardboard petal shape. It is up to you how many you want to use to create the lamp.
The cardboard petal shapes should look sharp at the edges with a curved center, as illustrated in the image below. You also need to cut an extra strip of the same width (2.1cm or 0.8in) out of the unfolded paper roll.
2. Glue and Form the Lamp
Now, place the bowl upside down on your working surface. You will use the bowl as a base; the shape of the bowl will help you give a hemisphere shape to your lamp.
The starting point of the design is to form a flower on the top of the bowl. First, place the circular strip you cut from the unfolded paper roll in the center. Then add nine petal-shaped strips around it. Once your flower is formed, take each first strip and add some glue on the top of both sides. Now, glue it carefully with the strips next to it.
Once you have added glue to all the petals of the flower, use some clothes pegs to keep them in place, until the glue is completely dry.
For a faster process, use a hot glue gun and glue sticks. If you choose to use a hot glue gun, you may not need the pegs to hold the shapes together. However, you need to be a fairly familiar with using a hot glue gun, and it can get a bit messier than gluing with the craft glue. Just use the gluing process that works best for you.
Now the top part of your lamp, the flower shape, is ready. Well done!
Start gluing more petal-shaped strips to the design. Just add the strips between two existing ones. You don't need to follow a precise pattern. Keep adding pieces, filling in the gaps to form a pleasing design. You can even add two petals between two existing ones.
Glue them in place and secure with clothes pegs until they are firmly glued. While you continue to add the pieces, keep in mind to follow the shape of the bowl. Shift each petal slightly, so that gradually your lamp forms a curved shape.
Add petals to finalize the design of the lamp. The lower edge doesn't need to form a straight line. On the contrary, the more asymmetric it is, the more organic look your lamp will have. So improvise and when you are satisfied with the result, let it dry. If you used the hot glue gun, clean the lamp by removing any excess glue.
3. Paint it Black
Once your lamp is dry, it's ready to be painted. A black or metallic color works best for this project, but it's ultimately up to you.
It's best to move outside when spray-painting the lamp, and use a dust mask for extra safety. Lay the lamp on a drop sheet of newspaper or plastic. Spray paint is the best option because the lace-like design is tricky to paint with a brush. Just make sure you spray it from diverse angles. Try to paint the inner edges as well. Once it's all black, let it dry.
Use a paint brush and some acrylic black paint to correct any spots and corners that are still not black for a perfect end result. Well done!
Hang it and Enjoy!
Now your designer-style lamp is ready to hang. To do this, pass the cable through the central hole of the lampshade before attaching it to the ceiling. You can use some transparent thread or fishing wire to attach it to the cable. Place it slightly higher than the globe to avoid direct contact and heat.
In this tutorial, you learned how to transform toilet paper rolls into an impressive lamp. You learned how to fold, cut, glue and paint the toilet paper rolls. Using a similar technique, you could create gorgeous flower designs, wreaths and wall decor.
Let us know if you try this project. We'd love to hear how you go. In the meantime, do you have any cool design or craft ideas using toilet paper rolls?