There are so many fun crafty things that can be done with paper pulp egg cartons. When I came across these unique purple ones in the trash at my office (yes, I dug them out of the trash), I just knew they could be turned into something really spectacular. My idea? This paper pulp egg carton flower pendant light. I think this flower pendant light would add a pretty feminine touch to a girl’s room or any room that needs a pretty, feminine touch . This pendant light gives off a soft, beautiful ambient light.
Tools & Materials:
- 15-foot extension cord,
- One strand of 50-count miniature white Christmas lights,
- Paper pulp egg cartons (at least 80 cups, plus a few extras to allow for errors),
- Metal hardware cloth with 1/2-inch grid,
- Approximately 50 4-inch zip ties,
- Scissors (they need to be sharp!),
- Sidecutter wire snips,
- High temp hot glue gun.
Prepare the flowers (you’ll need a total of 40 flowers):
1. With your scissors, cut apart the individual cups of the egg carton.
2. Round off the corners, and cut a “V” between the “petals”.
3. Using your hot glue gun, assemble the flower using 2 cups per flower, and arrange so that the petals are offset.
4. Gently bend each petal back to open up the flower.
5. Using your scissors, gently poke a hole in the center of each flower large to fit over a light on the strand of miniature Christmas lights.
Prepare the lamp base:
1. Cut a piece of hardware cloth that is 26 squares wide by 13 squares high. Roll the hardware cloth into a cylinder, overlapping 2 rows of squares, and use zip ties to secure in place.
2. Feed the strand of Christmas lights through the top of the cylinder, and begin working on the bottom row. Starting anywhere on the bottom row, poke a light through one of the holes, and use a zip tie to secure the light in place.
3. Count over three spaces on the bottom row, and poke another light through that hole, and use a zip tie to hold in place. Repeat this all the way around the bottom row.
4. Once that row is completed, count up three rows and repeat the process, but be sure the lights on the second row are offset from the bottom row. See the grid below as a guideline. The yellow squares represent the spaces where lights go.
5. Once you have all of your lights in place and secured with zip ties, place any extra lights inside the cylinder, and ensure that the plug is accessible at the top of the light. Plug the light strand into the extension cord.
6. Cut a piece of hardware cloth that is 8 squares by 8 squares. Then cut the three corner pieces from each corner to form a rough circle. You will also need to cut out the four pieces in the middle to make a larger hole. See diagram below.
7. Feed the extension cord through the middle hole (it will be a tight fit, but it should go through). Once the extension cord is fed through, center the mesh circle on top of the cylinder and secure with zip ties. This will hold the receiving end of the extension cord inside the cylinder.
8. When the wiring is finished, it may be easier to hang the light before continuing.
9. Attach your flowers by slipping one flower over each light. If you have some flowers that won’t stay put, simply secure them with a bit of high-temp hot glue on the bottom of the flower.
10. Once all of the flowers are in place, plug in your light, and enjoy!
- This project is not appropriate for small children. The hardware cloth can be difficult to work with, and when it’s cut, it leaves sharp edges that can injure children (and adults!). Please handle the hardware cloth with caution.
- Due to sharp edges on the finished product, please keep this lamp shade out of the reach of children. It should be hung in an area where it can be enjoyed, but not touched or handled.
- I tried several different tools for cutting the egg cartons, and had the best success with very sharp scissors.
- Be sure that you’re using high-temp hot glue. Although this light does not get very hot at all, low-temp glue may not hold with any amount of constant heat on it.
- If your lamp will be hung high enough to see up through the cylinder, you will want to cover the bottom. You can do this by having a small circle of frosted plexiglas cut, drilling three holes around the perimeter, and attaching with zip ties. Be sure to trim the zip ties really short so that they’re not noticeable.
- Search your local stores or restaurants for egg cartons if you don’t consume enough eggs yourself to have enough cartons for this project. Don’t spend money on them! You’re sure to find egg cartons somewhere. They generally come in neutral colors (which I imagine could be painted), so keep your eye open for other interesting colors. I just happened upon these purple ones in the trash in the furniture store where my office is located. What a lucky find!