Bamboo orb pendant lights - on/off

Apologies for my long absence. A month ago I landed a full-time job (gotta pay the bills) along with a 3-hour round-trip commute. Ugh. It’s left little time for crafting. Not to worry, I’m still going to keep blogging, but it might be on an infrequent basis until I adjust to my new schedule. For now, it feels good to be back! I’ve missed you. I have three more camp crafts to show you, and I’m excited to share this year’s Christmas crafts, plus much more, so don’t give up on me yet.

Inspired by the Cassiopeia chandelier.

Anyway, these bamboo orb pendant lights were inspired by the Cassiopeia chandelier from Ironware International that I saw on the cover of the April 2011 issue of House Beautiful. And I noticed today in the latest Restoration Hardware catalog a similar one called Foucault’s Iron Orb Chandelier. While both of these are gorgeous lamps, their price tag is out of my reach.

So, I made my own version using bamboo strips instead of wrought iron and a single CFL bulb instead of five candelabras. You might be surprised where I got the bamboo (click the read more link below to find out). And you’ll have plenty of bamboo strips left over to make those paper lanterns that I blogged about last spring. I know I still owe you a tutorial. Coming soon!

Two more things: I found that fabulous shabby-chic trunk on the side of the road with a “free” sign taped to it! And, yes, I will be watermarking my photos from now on. The plethora of plagiarizers on the web drove me to it. Not happy about it, but there it is.

Tutorial and photos after the jump!

How to make bamboo orb pendant lamps

bamboo roman shade

The bamboo for this project comes from an inexpensive bamboo roman shade, purchased from The Home Depot. The bamboo is surprisingly sturdy and bendable—and you can easily cut it with scissors—making it an ideal lightweight frame for paper lanterns or this orb lampshade.

Supplies and tools

*Choose the width of the shade based on the size of pendant you want. I used a 35-inch-wide roman shade for the smaller pendant and glued 1-1/2 pieces together to make the larger pendant.

**The most time-consuming part of this project is waiting for glue to dry. If you’re in a hurry, I recommend buying at least 15 clamps. In a pinch (like my pun?), you can try using bulldog clips, binder clips, or barrettes. They work, just not as well as spring clamps.

***I don’t recommend using more than an 11W CFL bulb (40W equivalent) because a brighter bulb can be blinding when you look directly at it.

disassemble the roman shade

1. Using scissors, cut the strings and unweave the bamboo slats from them. Discard the strings, hardware, and top and bottom pieces of the roman shade.

glue the bamboo strips

2. Apply wood glue to the last 1/2 inch of one bamboo slat. Curve the other end around in a circle and place the tip on top of the glue. Secure with a mini spring clamp. Let dry at least 2 hours. Repeat to make about 20 bamboo circles for each pendant light. Larger pendants may require more; smaller ones may need less.

Note: If you wish to make a larger lamp than your shade’s width allows, glue bamboo pieces together to form larger circles.

start forming the orb

3. Starting with three bamboo circles, intersect them into the shape of an orb. The intersections should create an equilateral triangle. Apply a dab of glue at each tip of the triangle and clamp in place. Let dry at least 2 hours.

add more bamboo circles

4. Continue adding bamboo circles until you have used as many as you desire. Glue and clamp each circle to the orb in 2-3 places. Let dry at least 2 hours. Be sure to leave an opening somewhere that is big enough for a globe light bulb to pass through.

insert the light bulb and cord

5. Screw the light bulb into the socket. Feed the plug end of the cord in through the large opening then out through a small opening on the opposite side. Pull all the way through until the top of the orb rests on the top of the light socket.

Bamboo orb pendants

6. Hang the light, and flick the switch. You’re done!