DIY tulle pendant light

Gudrun Sjödén catalog

Inspired by Jonas Bohlin's tulle lamp, seen here in Gudrun Sjödén's catalog

Ever since I spotted Swedish designer Jonas Bohlin’s tulle lamp in Gudrun Sjödén’s catalog last year, I’ve been dying to make my own. I finally did it! I started with Ikea’s Melodi pendant lamp, then added tulle. Never having attempted anything like this before, I guessed four yards of tulle would be plenty. Boy, was I wrong. It actually took 10 yards. No worries, though. At $1 a yard at Walmart, the tulle is quite affordable. This lamp reminds me of a ballerina’s tutu. Imagine a pink one hanging in your little girl’s room. Or a black one in your modern bedroom. Jonas Bohlin’s lamp = $524. My lamp = $25. Woot.

How to make a tulle pendant lamp

Supplies

Tools

  • large embroidery needle
  • rotary cutter & mat (These are essential. It’s impossibly hard to do it without them.)
  • binder or bulldog clip
  • safety pins
  • straight edge

Supplies for DIY tulle pendant lamp

1. Gather your supplies. You can ignore the fancy beaded trim in this photo. It was superfluous in the end.

Cut the tulle lengthwise

2. Using your rotary cutter and mat, cut a 17″ wide strip of tulle lengthwise. The mat makes this easy because the tulle is see-through. You might not even need a straight edge.

Pin the layers of tulle together

3. Fold the larger piece (37 inches wide) so that one side of the fold is 17 inches and the other is 20 inches. Lay the 17-inch wide piece on top of the larger piece (17-inch fold facing up). Essentially, this creates three layers: two 17-inches wide and one 20-inches wide. Safety pin all three layers together half an inch from the edge of the fold and spaced every foot or so.

baste one inch from edge

4. Using your mat as a guide, sew a simple running/basting stitch one inch from the edge of the fold. Start sewing about 1-1/2 inches from the end. Space the stitches about 1/4 inch. Clamp your spool of embroidery floss at the end to anchor it and allow for adjustments in length later on. You can baste by machine instead, but I sewed it by hand (because my sewing machine and I are are sworn enemies at the moment), and it went surprisingly fast.

gather as you sew

5. Remove the safety pins and gather as you go.

safety pin the ends together

6. When you get to the end, overlap the right and left sides 1 to 1-1/2 inches and safety pin in place.

sew to the end

7. Continue stitching until you reach the other end of the floss. Remove the needle and trim your thread on both sides so you have plenty of extra to tie a knot.

wrap tulle around lamp

8. Wrap the tulle skirt you created around the lamp, pull tight, and tie a knot.

insert cord kit and light bulb

9. Insert the cord kit and light bulb.

DIY tulle pendant light

10. Hang it from the ceiling with a hook. Smooth and straighten the tulle. All done!