So many things to love about Trader Joe’s – yummy foods, happy people, and those chic paper grocery bags!
Yes you can recycle them, but why not Up-Cycle them into a functional work of art? How about an unique pendant lamp with a paper origami lampshade??
This pendant is made with one and a half paper bag. All you need is a little folding!
No worries if you are not familiar with origami, I made an easy-to-understand folding pattern and diagram for you to download!
Print it out on a piece of letter size paper and practice a little. The key here is to get comfortable with the “mountain” and “valley” folds. Mountain folds are towards you, and valley folds away from you!
Important: when choosing bulbs, it’s important to choose those that does not generate too much heat, such as these LED Light Bulbs, they are 7.5 watt but light up like 40 watts. If you want something brighter for a larger room, these 10.5-watt LED Light Bulbs will light up like 60 watts! We prefer the 7.5 watt LED for over a desk area. NO incandescent bulbs should be used near paper!
Had fun practicing? =) Now let’s begin with 2 paper grocery bags you like, remove the handles carefully, cut off bottom of the bag and open up the one side that is glued so it’s ONE continuous piece and ready for folding. Use the dimensions in the download diagram as a guide. It does not have to be so exact since your grocery bag might be different in size.
Start with the long ( full bag) piece. Fold it lengthwise in half, then fold each of the half piece in half, repeat till you dived the whole length into 16 equal parts with these accordion folds. See photo above.
Tip: be as precise as possible in this first step!
Next, fold the first row of diagonal folds, don’t worry about mountain or valley yet, just make some good creases. You can mark the next folding points with light pencil marks if that helps. After all the creases are made, fold them according to the diagram, the photos below might be helpful as well.
This is what it will look like after all the folds. Next, cut the second bag to half the length of this piece, and start with the accordion folds, this time into 8 equal parts since it’s half the length. Repeat with all the folds. Pay attention that the accordion folds start and end differently than the first piece, this is not required but will make the gluing a bit easier.
Next step is to join the 2 sections together using either glue or double sided tape. Just find the parts that matches, overlap them, and glue them together.
Tie a knot that can be loosened so you can insert a pendant cord easily.
OK back to the fun! =) This pendant can “shrink” to a tiny size for storage – magic or origami! Choose a nice bracket, like this tree branch from the lovely tree trimming people, and hang your pendant!
Hope you are in love with paper bags as much as we do by now! Again, remember it’s important to use low heat LED light bulbs near paper, such as these 7.5 watt LED bulbs!