DIY Lamp shade {balsa wood}

I was in a shady contest… As in a lamp shade contest, hardy har!   I posted about the diy shade contest last week, but left you hangin’ with no deets. So, I’m back today with a shady tutorial!How to make a balsa wood lampshade

Let’s start with the inspiration shade from Pomp and Circumstance. It’s awesome and made out of balsa wood.   lamp shade Of  course, I wanted to make the shade my own, and I’ve been really into mixed woods lately. I made a jewelry organizer out of leftover floor samples last year and decided to go for the same multi wood shade look with the lamp shade. CRAFT Jamie Dorobek

For the contest, gave each of us this free shade for the contest:

diy lamp shade
Here’s what you need:

  • 7 strips of as wide and thin balsa wood that you can find  (I got mine from Hobby Lobby. 7 strips cost me $17)
  • brown acrylic paint and water
  • bowl
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun

First, I painted my strips of balsa wood with acrylic paint. I painted a few strips a darker color, then watered down the paint, and painted a few more strips, etc…
diy lampshade



Here are my painted and dried balsa wood strips ready to be cut.
lamp shade makeover


I used scissors to cut each wide strip into multiple pieces. This saved money! I made my strips all different sizes. The thin balsa wood can easily be cut with scissors!
lamp 12

Now it’s time for assembly. Be patient, it will get frustrating. First, hot glue one piece of wood around the top and bottom of the shade. If you have a large shade, like me, one piece will not fit… cut up another one and  do a little patch, like so…

lamps shade diy


I only glued the edges of the balsa wood down. You need to be able to tuck the ends into each other. Also, only the first few strips can be put on all in one piece. After that I started cutting the strips to fit specific spots and go under/ over certain pieces. I tried to keep the pieces as tight to the shade as possible.

diy lamp shade

The weaving process takes time and patience! My mom helped me a lot… I was getting frustrated! Many of the pieces in the pic below are only a few inches long. It’s not going to be perfect… it has issues… and that yellow wall was not helping the color in this picture either : /

lamp shade

Here she is full view, and you can’t really see the issues. I’m love her. She’s pretty. I’m hoping one day she might be a pendant light! We’ll see…


diy lamp shade


Once upon a time I was in another lamp contest… this was to win the ugly lamp award, ha! I also recently did a lamp makeover with paint and water and gave it a giant yellow shade. Anyhow, what do you think about my balsa wood beauty queen? I smitten with my new shade, and I hope you are too. Oh and if you liked this lampshade makeover, check out 22 more really awesome lampshade makeover ideas!



DIY Lamp shade {Contest Closed}

I’m a little competitive. I can’t help it. My family won’t play Pictionary with me and my sister because we’re as so good (and a little obnoxious)!  So, when asked me to be in a shade competition, I couldn’t turn ‘em down and of course I want to win!

—->You can vote for C.R.A.F.T. HERE<—-

Here is the shade they sent us to craft up:


diy lamp And here she is wrapped in different shades of wood! I’m going to give you the low down on the DIY shade soon. But for the super curious people out there (me!) it’s made out of super thin pieces of balsa wood and hot glue!


diy lamp



Since we’re currently homeless, and living at my parents house… photo shoots are tricky. My DIY shade is sitting on my bedside table where my blogging computer has been living. We went from a 2 bedroom condo in Austin, to a one bedroom apartment in Fort Lauderdale to one room in my parents house all in one year… wowza!  Where looking for houses to buy in Austin, but until then… this one room is home! Needless to say, our one room is a big fat mess with crafts, clothes, Christmas gifts, and suitcases. Mess is an understatement… tornado is more like it. I picked up the room just enough to get a few decent pics… you should feel special : ) You can see some accidental mess in the reflection of the mirror!
diy lamp

—->You can vote for C.R.A.F.T. HERE<—-


I love this shade, seriously. I think it’s awesome. I can’t wait to find a permanent spot for her in our new house (wherever/ whenever that may be)! I’m kind of thinking she might end up as a pendant over a kitchen table… who knows! So, vote for C.R.A.F.T. HERE, please!  Oh yea, and if my shade wins, we both win! I will get to giveaway a $100 gift card to! Yay! Have you ever had to move back in with your parents? Was it fun, ha?! Are you uber competitive? Are there board games your family won’t play with you? Have you ever DIY’ed a lamp shade? What do you think of my balsa wood shady delight? I’m smitten!
UPDATE: Here all the deets to make your own balsa wood lamp shade.

Lamps and light fixtures at

C.R.A.F.T. #92: DIY Puzzle Cube

Puzzles and games have always been a thing in our house. Canasta, scrabble, words with friends, connect four, Cranium, Tripoli, Cribbage,  memory, Pictionary… Although no one will play with my sister and I because we’re kind of awesome and perhaps a tad obnoxious and a lot competitive! I’ll play any game that does not involve singing, and that is only because I would big time lose, and what fun is that! (humdingers in Cranium are as close to singing as I’ll get, and still there is an 80% chance I either will not know the song or have no idea how to hum the tune!) My youngest brother, Steven, taught himself the Rubicks cube a few years ago (with the help of youtube videos), and I know he would enjoy this easy homemade gift…
easy homemade gifts
Here’s what you need:
  • wood glue
  • q-tips
  • paint
  • wooden cubes
The best dea lon craft cubes I’ve found is at Hobby Lobby. Each pack has 72 individual cubes, each 3×3 cube needs 27 individual cubes. (insert nerd voice) According to my calculations, if you bought 3 packs (72 x 3= 216 and 216/27=8) you could make 8 cubes! A few more calculations tell us that each 3 x 3 cube costs only $1.12 a piece to make.
easy homemade gifts
Here’s what I did to make my cube puzzle…
easy homemade gifts
Let me explain:
  • Step 1: Count out 27 cubes
  • Step 2: Build your 3×3 cube so you have something visual to work with…
  • Step 3: Use a q-tip to carefully start gluing your cubes together. It gets kind of tricky.
  • Step 4: A few times I glued only 2 cubes together so I could  keep the 3×3 cube shape, and better see what I’m working with.
easy homemade gifts
Here are my 5 puzzle pieces (picture them not yet painted)…
easy homemade gifts

Now, it’s time to paint… I picked an Americano theme only because those are the Plaid paints I had on hand :) I don’t suggest painting with q-tips… I tried since the Q-tips were out and I didn’t want to dirty a paint brush… trust me on this one, it’s not worth it  :) Not to mention why I tried to paint and glue on a magazine, another dumb move…  I could have at least opened the magazine up for more surface area!

easy homemade gifts

I used sand paper after the cubes dried because a few pieces were clumpy. I like how it turned out. Take a few pictures like the ones below so that you can remember how the pieces go back together!

easy homemade gifts
easy homemade gifts
easy homemade gifts
I think it might also be fun to give someone all the materials to make this little craft! Are you a puzzle person? Do you think someone in your life would enjoy this toy? I think this would make a great stocking stuffer too.