In the 1970s, string lamps were all the rage. But, as the decades progressed, the yarn lamp fell out of the limelight. In the 21st century, with an increase of retro looks, string lamps are making a comeback. Instead of paying a fortune for a store-bought string lamp to hang in your dining room or bedroom, create your own lamp in the size and color you desire.
Inflate a round balloon. The size balloon you choose determines the finished size of the lamp. Use a smaller party-sized balloon for a small to medium-sized lamp or a large balloon, such as a weather balloon, for a large to extra-large lamp. Tie the balloon to seal it.
Tie a piece of 12-inch yarn to the tied end of the balloon. Tie the other end of the yarn to a ceiling fixture, such as a ceiling fan. Alternatively, utilize an eyehook to hang the balloon. Line the space under the hanging balloon with newspaper or trash bags to protect your flooring.
Cover the surface of the balloon with a thin layer of petroleum jelly. The petroleum jelly makes it easier to release the balloon from the yarn covering once the project is complete.
Dip skeins of yarn into a container of wallpaper glue. Use your hands to work the glue into the yarn, keeping the skein intact. Use one skein of yarn for a small to medium-sized lamp and two skeins for a large to extra-large balloon.
Wrap the yarn around the inflated balloon, starting at the top of the balloon. Wrap the yarn vertically at first and then horizontally. Use a random placement for the yarn to create an abstract pattern. Leave spaces in the yarn to allow light to shine through the completed lamp. Leave a gap at the top of the balloon to allow an entry point for the lampshade ring holder. Make the hole 1/4 inch smaller than a lampshade holder ring. Once happy with the look, cut the yarn from the skein. Tuck the loose end of the cut string under the nearest overlapping piece of yarn.
Leave the yarn to dry overnight. Use scissors to cut the tied end of the balloon and deflate it. Remove the deflated balloon from inside the lamp structure and discard it.
Insert a lampshade ring holder inside the completed yarn lamp, using the hole you left in the top. Install an electrical hanging lamp fixture according to manufacturer directions.
Tips & Warnings
- Use cotton or acrylic yarn in any color desired.
- Hang the completed lamp from the ceiling using eyehooks. Alternatively, use a stand lamp fixture, and place the completed yarn lamp on a tabletop.
- Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images