So you are all probably getting a bit sick of these soda can tab lights, but this should be the last one for a while because my obsession seems to have run its course, at least for the time being. Since I was exploring a new concept, I started with a small drum shade to see if the concept would work and if I was happy with the final results. And I am!
Personally I think the diagonal design is a bit more ‘shimmery’ and sort of reminds me of a fish. Though then again maybe I’m just nuts… Anyone else see a goldfish of sorts? No, just me? Maybe its this photo, something happened between the ambient light and the dimmed low level incandescent bulb, the orange color sort of reminds me of this goldfish hanging light I saw somewhere. It certainly is a pretty result! (Then again it also reminds me of chainmail, which isn’t connected to goldfish, so who really knows.)
I used the trusty Lobbo shade again, which I just love, especially because it comes flat so it is easy to store before use, and its especially easy for drawing guidelines on. That’s how I made this light, I carefully drew guidelines onto the shade using a triangle I have left over from my architectural drafting days.
I spaced the lines 1/2″ apart, horizontally, though I found out in retrospect they could have been a bit closer together for a proper overlap. Though it does leave more white space which is an interesting and different look so its hard to say if it was a ‘mistake’ or not. I’m still deciding that.
I discovered early that because of the diagonal, you ended up with a jagged bottom (and therefore top) edge, but I actually think its pretty cool looking. To glue the tabs onto the shade, I picked an arbitrary spot and started by gluing two tabs in place, and then overlapping one tab on top of those two, plus extending it further towards the bottom of the shade. Its a bit hard to explain, but it should make sense when you are looking at the physical pieces in front of you.
The width of the tabs then widened slowly as I went around, working along in a growing triangle shape. Because each tab is overlapping another one and there isn’t a ‘bottom row’ to start with you have to build it up slowly, rotating the shade as you go. For me the right edge of the tabs basically started making a straight line, but because it is going diagonally up the shade the number of tabs needed for each row increases as that right edge gets further from the horizontal bottom edge of the light.
One thing I’m left wondering, though, is if this design would work well in a larger size. I know the straight edged look worked really well in a wider shade but I’m not so sure about the diagonal. There’s something about the vertical shape of the small shade that really helps accentuate the diagonal lines. Maybe if I kept the largest Lobbo shade in its original squarer shape instead of cutting it down like I did for my large version, but I just don’t know. I guess I’ll see if I get any nibbles on Etsy before exploring the idea.
I hope you enjoyed this newest iteration, and as I said I promise that this should be the last soda can pop tab light for a while, unless of course inspiration strikes!
Check back early next week, I hope to have some fun photographs to show everyone, followed by a bright and colorful new project (that isn’t a light!) Ciao, Allison
Pardon my ignorance and/or stupidity – how did you glue the tabs together? A hot glue gun or did you use a soldering iron? Very excited about starting this project!!
It isn’t ignorance or stupidity, I used a glue gun. Basically this post was a follow up to two previous lights I had made (here’s the first one: https://the3rsblog.wordpress.com/2011/10/17/soda-can-tab-small-pendant-light/) where I had gone into a bit more of those details, that’s why I didn’t talk about it in this post, but that is my mistake not yours. Hopefully this other post has some additional helpful information, and then if you still have any questions let me know.
You’re a star, thank you SO much! I hadn’t seen the other posts from my “not so smartphone” – I’ll go digging through the other posts and check it out!
Thanks again, I’m really pumped to try it out x
This is great! I’m not quite sure that you and I share the same patience level and this looks pretty tedious. The larger, drum shade is great too, but I think I like the diagonal version better. It gives it a little more funk! Did you use spray paint on the tabs or were they already painted when you bought them on Etsy?
Yes, patience is definitely required!! No spray paint, the tabs are just their natural metal color.
Wow this is so cool. I like the slick and elegant look of it.
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I love it! Iam thinking of making one myself! So I wonder if you don’t mind sharing how u put them together??? Plzzzz
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