Colorful Drinking Straw Drum Shade

So I was finally able to take some better pictures of this lamp shade, and so here is the project I wanted to show everyone last time, and I am so excited about it!!  If you remember my Drinking Straw Sconce and Large Straw Pendant Light, you’ll know that I’ve been interested in drinking straws for a while.  And while I loved the idea of making a pendant light out of straws, I wasn’t quite happy with how my large white version had come out.  But then I suddenly thought, what if I use the fantastic Lobbo shades from Ikea, but cover them with drinking straws instead of some of the other materials I’ve used in the past?!  And voila!

I could not be happier with the results, I think the shade is so cool!  Of course it used more straws than I could ever have imagined and completely wiped out my colorful straw stash, but I think the end result is pretty mind blowing.  One thing I really love is you get the gorgeous subtle light seeping out through the straws, but at the same time you get a lot of really functional light coming straight out the top and the bottom of the shade too. This shade could light up a table so nicely, as opposed to just being a pretty accent piece like the sconce.  

One thing I also love about drum shades like this, is it works equally well as a hanging pendant and as a shade for a table (or floor) light.  Here I photographed it with a very simple table light I bought at Ikea, which looks a bit thin compared to the shade, but with a larger and bulkier table or floor light I think it would really look stunning.

Basically the process was really simple.  I used the same mesh laundry bag I’d used for my white straw pendant, and actually I used the left over strip that I hadn’t needed for that first project.  I cut it open along the seam, so I had one nice big strip of laundry bag, long enough to wrap around the shade and wide enough to cover the shade plus overlap a bit. Next time I’ll probably leave a bit more extra mesh to overlap on the top and bottom, but for this first attempt it worked out just fine.

I decided I liked having the structural support of the shade, so I first glued one end of my mesh strip in a straight line down the side of the shade.  Then I decided that I wanted a bit more order to my straws, so I only folded and inserted them in a horizontal fashion, so they are all opening parallel to the floor/ceiling.  You still get a lot of interesting variation and overlap but I think it helps keep the edges neater and it also helps take out some of the thought involved in the construction process.  Basically then you just have to fold and insert hundreds and hundreds of straws into your mesh.  (Seriously, it was WAY more straws than I thought it would be, and it kind of took way longer than I expected. Easily 10-15 hours, though I only did a few hours of work at any given time.)

Now I can’t wait to think of other ideas, maybe a smaller version using the smaller Lobbo shades, maybe an all white version using the white straws from my first pendant project. Who knows, the sky is the limit!!  All I know is I thought I had successfully retired my drinking straw obsession, but here it is, rearing its lovely head again!  You know when you find a material that you love, its always fun to think of new projects that can use it in a slightly different way.

I hope you all love this shade as much as I do, and now I’m off to edit some photos I took for a fun and very different next post, hopefully later this week.

Ciao, and happy creative thoughts for the rest of this weekend, Allison

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5 Responses to Colorful Drinking Straw Drum Shade

  1. Jaimie Sander says:

    This is the greatest thing I ever saw! Love it!

  2. anna says:

    i love this so much! my english is not the best so it will take me ages to figure out how to exactly do this but i’m sure i will try my best! thanks for sharing your ideas here, they’re great.

  3. Pingback: How to reuse plastic straws | Modern Home Interior DesignModern Home Interior Design

  4. Pingback: ¡DÍA NACIONAL DE LA PAJITA! - Mi log

  5. Donna Smith says:

    I don’t know what a fortune teller is!?!?

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