Inspiration really can come from anywhere. Sometimes I will see an odd product at a hardware store and just know, that could be a light. Sometimes I see a fully formed light idea and just know I have to try it for myself. That’s what happened with this project.
I may not have been posting over the last three months, but I certainly have been creating. My latest obsession has been with fortune tellers, you know those little folded things we made as kids? (Some people call them ‘cooty catchers’ but I’m not crazy about that phrase, and since I personally only used them as fortune tellers, that’s what I call them.) My best friend spotted these lights at Anthropologie and she just knew we had to try and re-create them. They had basically covered a standard paper lantern (only my favorite material) with hundreds of folded fortune tellers!
Well, the first time I had a spare moment I sat down and just knew I had to try this. Folding fortune tellers is really simple, here are some instructions. Then all you have to do is glue them to a lantern! When I first started, I tried to glue all four of the corner pieces down to the lantern, but I quickly discovered that this was really time consuming, and kind of difficult. Because the sphere is, well, spherical, it is hard to get the four corners to all glue down to the sphere at once. And what I actually found was that it was pretty much unnecessary. All you needed was a good dab of hot glue on the center point of the underside of the fortune teller, and then the four corners would just basically fit together on their own. There might be a few gaps, but that doesn’t really matter, and there are probably going to be more noticeable gaps if you try and get the corners to fit to the sphere.
For paper I used simple white printer paper, but I am kind of interested in trying one out of newspaper or some similar printed paper. I think it could be interesting to see how the printed layers overlap and blend into one another when you turn the light on. This would also be pretty stunning in a colored paper, maybe bright red or a lovely soft blue/gray. I guess you’d really have to test how the different colors of paper looked, especially when folded over into a few layers.
I love this big light, its approximately 18 inches across (I used a 16 inch lantern) and it really makes a fantastic statement piece. It would be cool to do an even larger, maybe 24 or 30 inch light, but since I could never figure out how to ship it, and therefore probably couldn’t sell it on Etsy, and my house is already overflowing with lights, it will probably be a bit of time before I try making one that large. But, if any of you out there attempt your own, I’d love to see the results!!
So with that I leave you to have a very Happy September, and good luck to anyone out there starting school! (And for a fun variation, check out my newest faceted light made out of road maps!)
**UPDATE: This light has been getting a lot of press recently, and its always fun to see people’s opinions or how they introduce the project. One thing I realized I didn’t explain carefully enough is my source of inspiration, which was Anthropologie. They were using these lights as part of their AMAZING store decorations, but they were not for sale as far as I could tell. I am certainly the type of person who sees something and instead of buying it wants to make their own, but I would never want to specifically copy someone’s product and simply sell my own. I probably would have made my own version no matter what, but I just wanted to clarify, since I am certainly sensitive to copying versus inspiration in the craft world and that’s why I always want to let you all know if I have found inspiration from someone or followed an existing tutorial for one of my projects. And of course whereas this light is more of a direct copy perhaps, check out my latest post for a project that takes this inspiration one step further for a somewhat different look that is really all my own.