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How to Make Your Own Papier Mache Light Shade: A Step-by-Step Guide

A Step-by-Step Guide


If you are looking for a budget-friendly way to add a unique touch to your room’s lighting, then you might want to try making a papier mache light shade. This project not only allows you to express your creativity but also helps you recycle old newspapers and magazines. In this article, we will guide you through the process of creating your own papier mache light shade step-by-step.

Step 1: Collect Material and Tools

Before you start making your light shade, you need to gather all the necessary materials and tools. Here is what you will need:

  • Newspapers and Magazines
  • Balloons (in the size of your preference)
  • Modge Podge
  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • Rope
  • Lighting Kit

Step 2: Prepare Your Workstation

Now that you have all the materials and tools ready, let’s start by setting up your workplace. Choose a well-ventilated area, cover the working surface with newspaper to avoid making a mess, or you can work outside.

Step 3: Inflate Your Balloon

Inflate your balloon to the size of your choice, and secure it on a stand using rope or any other material you have.

Step 4: Tear Your Newspapers into Strips

Tear up your newspapers into strips about 1-2 inches wide. The length should be enough to cover the balloon.

Step 5: Apply the First Layer of Papier Mache

Dip your newspaper strips into Modge Podge and apply them to the balloon, starting from the bottom working your way up. This layer will help give your light shade some stability.

Step 6: Repeat the Process

Once the Modge Podge dries up, apply a second layer of papier mache. This layer will help give your light shade a more detailed look.

Step 7: Let the Papier Mache Dry

After the second layer, your light shade is pretty much taking shape. Let the papier mache dry for about 24 hours to ensure it hardens well.

Step 8: Pierce the Balloon and Remove it

Once the papier mache has dried, it is time to remove the balloon from the center. Pierce the balloon with a sharp object and gently remove it.

Step 9: Cut out the Top and Bottom of the Light shade

Use a pair of scissors to cut out the top and bottom of your light shade. You can choose any shape, size, or design that you think will look appealing.

Step 10: Add the Lighting Kit

Attach your lighting kit to the inside of the light shade. You can choose to wire it through the top or bottom depending on the style you want.

Step 11: Decorate Your Light Shade (Optional)

You can add any personal style to your light shade by painting, adding ribbons or any other creative ideas that you have.


In conclusion, papier mache light shades are a fantastic way to add a personal touch to any room in your house. This simple, budget-friendly, and environmentally friendly project allows you to recycle old newspapers and magazines and bring beauty and creativity to your home. So, go ahead and create your own, and don’t forget to share your amazing results with us!