DIY Cut Paper Ceiling Light


We had 4" of snow yesterday so I spent the day by the woodstove, watching Masterpiece Theater's Wuthering Heights with my roommate and being a complete bum. Somewhere at the bottom of my massive to-do list was finding replacement lighting for the less-than-cute 1980's ceiling light my parents left in the hallway (they have since moved to CA and left me to rent and redecorate their 1940's cape cod where I grew up). I found a very basic mod-looking white globe light at the thrift store and decided to fix it up it in some way -- plus it was only $3.00 so even if I ruined it, I figured it would make for a good snow day craft.

I'm in love with the end result! After mulling over what to do with it all day I decided to use cut paper and liquid starch (inspired by some liquid starch fabric wallpaper ideas).


You'll need basic white light fixture, liquid starch, scissors and thin paper (test with light bulb), clear gloss spray paint. I got my light from a thrift store but home depot sells the same globes for $15.00. IMPORTANT: only use a CFL bulb in the light since they don't get hot.

As for paper, I was sorting through some 1940's magazine ads and noticed a lot of them had dark ink and the thickness is perfect for the project. I also like he way the light shows the back of the ad which was unintentional.

I chose a design that could be done with easy accordion folding but I'd love to try a more elaborate cut paper design with an exacto knife at some point. After you cut your design, using a brush apply a thin layer of undiluted liquid starch to the area you are working on. I liked this because it was easy to move designs after placing them down by simply rewetting. I kind of winged it in the design area since this was just an experiment- next time I'd probably use a measuring tape when applying my designs. After your designs have dried, use a q-tip or tissue and remove some of the extra starch around the edges of your designs. Spray with clear gloss spray paint to finish.