Coral Inspired DIY Paper Lamp {in 20 Minutes!}

This super easy and almost free DIY paper lamp is  inspired by the beautiful organic shapes of coral reef. It is also quite versatile: you can use it as either a table lamp or a pendant lamp.

I think paper and light are a magical combination for people throughout history. The creating of paper lantern started in China somewhere in 230 BC. Many popular Ikea paper lamps are inspired by historic Japanese rice paper lamps.

Before we begin, I want to mention something very IMPORTANT when making a DIY paper lamp: Always use quality LED light bulbs, which are low heat, and less danger of fire. Do not leave your paper lamp unattended, and always follow good safety practices!

Materials and tools to make DIY paper lamp:

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  • glue or Mod Podge, and paper clips to help with the gluing process
  • compass to draw (you can also use circle lids of many sizes) and scissors to cut paper
  • pendant cord, optional yarns to transform the cord
  • LED bulb : it’s important to use LED bulb with paper, because it generates much less heat. 7.5 watt LED bulbs like these light up like 40 watt bulbs, which is plenty bright. Again- NEVER use incandescent bulb with paper!

Step 1: cut and glue paper tubes

Draw a series of curves on the paper. These are about 1″ wide. Cut them into smaller sections anywhere between 2″ to 5″ long arc to get various sizes of little “tubes”.

Glue each piece into a little tube like shape. One end of it is smaller than the other. So when we glue more together, it will start to form a dome.

Step 2: make DIY paper lamp shade

Start gluing a few pieces into smaller clusters, then into bigger clusters. The paper clips are so helpful in holding clusters together as the glue dries.

Once we get enough of them to form a circle, we can finish the form with some final touches – add some more tubular pieces till it looks complete. I left about 7″ diameter of opening at the top and bottom. Feel free to improvise. The organic look is very forgiving!

Step 3: add light to DIY paper lamp

Now let’s give this mass produced pendant cord a beautiful custom look! We can accomplish this easily by wrapping some nice colored yarn around the cord. Use a clip to hold it when you go take a break =)

It only took 20 minutes to wrap this cord. I stopped at the switch since the rest will be behind a table. Put a little dab of glue, or tie a knot at the start and at the end.

Step 4: finish the DIY paper lamp

If you want to use this as a desk lamp, we are done!

If you want a hanging pendant lamp, use a paper clip and some fishing line. Tie a few knots like shown in photo below, so the triangle made from the paper clip can sit on top of the pendant socket. Easy, right?

Important tip to remember: NEVER use incandescent bulb in close contact with paper! Paper lamp shades are sold at many fancy stores. But always remember to use LED bulb, which generates much less heat.

For the hanging pendant, I used a branch and just propped it between a desk and the wall. You can add a wood or concrete base to it to fit the need of your space. Now let’s enjoy the beautiful glow of our one-of-a-kind DIY paper lamp!

More DIY paper lights ideas: 

these paper house luminaries I shared here recently.

printable paper houses | a piece of rainbow

If you love paper and goemetric designs, this DIY space-saving shoe rack is so chic and useful! 

SUPER space saving and surprisingly sturdy DIY shoe rack! | A Piece of Rainbow

And this grocery bag DIY pendant lamp is a conversation piece for sure!  Can you guess what it is made of?

Make Origami Lampshade | A Piece Of Rainbow

Or download the free template to make these dimensional paper flower lanterns! 

apieceofrainbow23- (8)

Happy creating!


  1. Я сначала подумал, что это настоящие кораллы. И только разглядев картинку, понял всю тонкость задумки автора! Блестяще!

  2. This is so neat that I’m going to try one this weekend but I’m going to do tried colors and hope it comes out as beautiful as yours happy crafting

  3. My goodness, you are super talented. I love everything you featured her, but most especially your coral lamp. Love it. You should open an Etsy shop.

  4. Those lamps and candles are fantastic and creative! I think I want to try out that first one. It would be a great group project for my students (I’m a teacher).

  5. These DIY ideas seem so adorable and pretty easy to try at the same time. The results are stunning chandeliers that will fit my room decoration and style completely and bring many positive emotions in my interior as well!

  6. Creative idea! Incidentally I just bought a wooden lamp. I’ve not gotten my order yet, but it’s a wooden lamp with the name of my girlfriend on it! I intend to give it to her on a valentines day! I hope I could get it soonest. 🙂

  7. I LOVE how unique that coral lamp idea is!! Also, wrapping the cords in yard- hooooly moly, how have I not thought of this? I have all these hideous cords under my desk.. at least they’d be prettier in a bright pink or blue! 🙂

  8. Wow this is really creative and beautiful! I love this I also love that you can do it on your own and don’t have to spend a fortune which I’m sure you’d have to at the store, very very cute!

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