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How to create your own DIY origami pendant light

22 Jun 2022

Try your hand at origami and create a pendant light to hang – this kind of paperwork is the fun kind! The light is striking and elegant painted in colours like Resene Wax Flower and Resene Hot Toddy, but feel free to use your favourite Resene hues and experiment.


The finished lamp glows in Resene Metallic Stun, Resene Half Opal, Resene Wax Flower, Resene Japonica, Resene Waikawa Grey, Resene Wild Willow, Resene Hot Toddy, Resene Koru, Resene Bunting and Resene Kamikaze.

You will need:

  • Resene Wallpaper Collection RD314
  • Pencil
  • Ruler – a long metal one is super handy if you have one
  • Resene testpots in the paint colours of your choice (Fleur used Resene Metallic Stun, Resene Half Opal, Resene Wax Flower, Resene Japonica, Resene Waikawa Grey, Resene Wild Willow, Resene Hot Toddy, Resene Koru, Resene Bunting and Resene Kamikaze)
  • Paintbrush
  • Metal skewer or hole punch
  • String
  • Glue or stapler
  • Old light shade (optional)

How to:


Step 1: Start by cutting the wallpaper to a length of 165cm. Working on the back of the paper, measure and mark 5cm intervals along the two long edges. Draw vertical lines from one edge to the other.


Step 2: Next you need to draw in the diagonal lines. Start in the top left hand corner and draw a diagonal line to the fourth vertical line, meeting at the bottom edge of the paper. Repeat this for every second vertical line. 


 Step 3: Do the same for the diagonal lines that go in the opposite direction. 


Step 4: Once you have all the lines drawn in, you should have lots of diamond shapes. Now you can start folding. Start by folding all the vertical lines, then flatten these out a bit and then fold all the diagonal lines. Once this is done, you’re ready to start painting.


Step 5: Paint the back of the paper with a coat of Resene Stun metallic paint. If you want a more intense finished colour, apply an undercoat of Resene Coriander before the metallic paint. 


Step 6: Once the paint is dry, flip the paper over and paint on Resene Half Opal.


Step 7: Once the Resene Half Opal is dry, paint on triangles within the fold lines with Resene Wax Flower, Resene Japonica, Resene Waikawa Grey and Resene Wild Willow. Fleur painted hers on in random places, but aimed to make them reasonably evenly spaced out.


Step 8: Next, paint some of the leaf patterns of the anaglypta paper with Resene Hot Toddy, Resene Koru, Resene Bunting and Resene Kamikaze. 


Step 9: Once this paint has dried, it’s time to turn the flat paper into a 3D shape. Refold the vertical folds, punch a hole along the top and thread a length of string through the holes as shown. Fleur used a metal skewer to make the holes but you could also use a hole punch.


Step 10: Invert the top folds to form a sunken triangle as shown.


Step 11: Next you need to form a sunken diamond.  Do this by inverting the vertical ‘mountain folds‘ into ‘valley folds‘. This stage is a bit tricky and requires some patience and perseverance, but just work along, forming the diamonds and swapping the direction of the vertical folds. 


Step 12: Once finished, the folded paper should look like that shown here.


Step 13: The extended shape should look something like this.


Step 14: To finish, glue or staple the two short ends together. Fleur stripped the fabric off an old light shade so that she just had the frame and attached this to the pendant light fitting. She then slipped the origami light up and over the light shade frame and pulled the string tight at the top, tied a knot and cut off the excess string. The light shade frame helped hold the origami shade in a good shape, and it also meant the light bulb was held away from the paper.

project and images Fleur Thorpe


Published: 22 Jun 2022