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This is the second project we’ve shared from designer Kara Paslay in recent weeks, and again she’s managed to reintroduce me to a cool technique I had long forgotten about. Inspired by the ocean, Kara decided to transform a simple paper globe into a beautiful sculptural pendant lamp. By dyeing and dipping cut paper rounds into wax, Kara has transformed the material into an almost unrecognizable state. The “scales” have a glowing, translucent finish and a gorgeous deep watery hue, giving the lamp a beautiful texture, whether it’s unlit or switched on and glowing from within.

I can’t get over how far removed the end result is from a simple paper globe, and given that the whole project cost around $20 and can be done in an afternoon makes it even more appealing! If you’re looking to add some oceany colors and textures to your home for summer, this inexpensive and easy project might be the perfect choice. Thanks for sharing, Kara! — Kate

Have a DIY project you’d like to share? Just shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

Read the full how-to after the jump . . .

Every year around this time, I start to daydream about the beach and the beautiful scenery that surrounds it. My beach dreaming, coupled with my love for the fish scale pattern and obsession with unique lighting fixtures spurred the idea for this fresh and fun DIY project. The different dye baths used in the project create a ton of watery texture, while the wax technique allows light to filter through the piece and adds to that “scale like” feel. The project can be completed in an afternoon for about $20, which means all of us who can’t make it to the deep blue sea this summer can at least surround ourselves with something sea inspired! Happy creating! — Kara Paslay


Materials

  • 110# paper
  • circle cutter (available at most craft stores)
  • Rit Dye
  • paraffin wax
  • mineral oil
  • crock pot
  • extra bowl
  • white paper lantern
  • glue gun

Instructions

1. Use your circle cutter and use 110# paper to create around 200 circles. The 200 circles will cover a 14 in. paper lantern.

2. Place the cut circles into a bucket of Rit Dye (I used the purple and purple mixed with teal) and allow them to darken to your taste. I chose to make my circles different shades to enhance the texture of the final piece.

 


3. Create a double boiler with your crock pot and extra bowl. Put a block of the paraffin wax in the extra bowl to melt. Once the wax is melted, add mineral oil to thin the wax. Make sure your circles are dry and then dip each one into the wax, making sure to leave a portion of the top clean and clear of any wax. Lay the circle on wax paper to dry.

 


Note: Dipping the circles in the wax makes the paper transparent and allows the light to pass through it more easily.


4. Once the wax has dried, start attaching the circles to a white paper lantern. Use a glue gun and be sure to place the glue on the portion of the circle that does not have wax on it.

 


5. Work your way around the lantern until it is fully covered. I started at the bottom and overlapped my circles in a fish scale-like pattern so the top layer would be at the top of the lantern.


6. Use the lighting kit that comes with the lantern to create an amazing light fixture!

Note: I tested the lantern using a 60 watt compact florescent lightbulb, and the wax stayed cool and completely intact. I recommend sticking with compact florescent bulbs to keep the heat in check.

 

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