Thursday, September 15, 2011

d.i.why not? danish modern dreams

well, this week has been so amazingly fab so far! i probably sound like a broken record with all of this gushing lately but i feel like i have to really celebrate these moments...  lord knows i have come a LONG way from the day i was crying in my laundry mat while reading oprah magazine, and talking to my sister in the midwest on the phone about just how unhappy and lost i was feeling in my (then) career and having no idea what would make me happy again... oh yeah, it was as pathetic as that description sounds, probably worse... a scene from a bad lifetime movie... and by the way, i still have that oprah magazine... the one that was the tipping point leading to that scene in the laundry mat... with the bold cover asking "who are you meant to be?"  i experienced a lot of tears of frustration in 2010 and so far 2011 is really rockin my world... anyhow, i am just really happy to finally feel like i am on the right path! very thankful to have had that opiphany (my new favorite word, coined by a very good friend, when i described what lead to my decision to start over)...

sooo... about that fab photo (if i do say so myself) at the top of this post... that's my latest diy project!  i hope you love it as much as i do!  if you have explored my blog you probably gathered that i love mid century modern design... i feel the shape of these is sort of a nod to that era... well, i also love beautiful stationery... i used to stock up on it to write to my grandma in iowa often (she really enjoyed sending and receiving letters as well!)... but she passed away shortly after i lost my job last year and i haven't written very many letters since then. since she is gone i just don't have a great pen pal anymore... so, i recently visited one of my favorite stationery stores in town and i saw these beautiful wooden sheets of paper... a thin veneer... made from so many different types of wood (cherry, walnut, birds eye maple, aspen, red cedar... you name it!) and was really inspired by it.  i thought it would be perfect for creating a light fixture (clearly i am on a lighting kick lately!)... so, i did... two of them to be exact... and, i didn't think it was possible but i love these just as much as my brass pendant diy!

if you like what you see above, here are the directions on how to create your own...

materials needed:
  • sheets of  11x17" two ply wooden paper (for the smaller lamp i used 1 sheet of birds eye maple and 1 of red cedar and 1 of walnut and for the larger i used 3 1/2 sheets of the cherry)
  • 2 embroidery rings
  • 1 piece of basswood measuring 1/16" x 4" x 24"
  •  glue (E-6000 is my favorite)
  •  bulldog clips (i used both size 0 and 1)
  • x-acto knife (i used size #2)
  • pencil
  • measuring tape
  • long ruler or straight edge to cut against
  • pendant light
larger pendant: 
  • start with two embroidery hoops, one measuring 12" diameter and the other 5" diameter (i only used the fully formed hoop and did not use the outer hoop with the metal hardware attached)
  • cut 4 pieces of the paper measuring 1" wide and 11" long
  • measure the hoops and divide them into 4 equal parts and and mark each. then attach each piece of the wood strip to the top and bottom with glue and cover each end with bulldog clips until it sets

  • while that part is drying cut 1" strips of paper that are each 17" long.  note: i was careful to keep them in order because i wanted the wood grain to match when i glued them.

  • begin attaching the wooden paper to the large hoop first. as you attach them, line them up with the top of the hoop, clip the outside of each piece in order to hold it. note: i ended up buying and using a bunch more clips than i started with in order to be more efficient with my time. 
  • after finishing with the large hoop, move on to attaching each end to the smaller one. note: here i had to overlap the strips of paper in order fit onto the smaller hoop. i was careful to keep the grain lined up.

  • once dry, use a 17" long 1" wide strip of paper to wrap around the outside of the smaller hoop to cover glue and seams and use two 17" strips to wrap around the outside of the larger hoop
  • to create the piece that will hold your pendant, trace the inside and outside of your smaller hoop onto a piece of basswood. 
  • use your straight edge to draw a line from the inner hoop tracing from corner to corner to find the center of the piece. this is where you will draw a circle large enough to thread your pendant wire through (should be big enough to allow the plug to pass through)

  • cut where you traced the outside edge of your hoop as well as the circle in the center
  • slide the piece into the top of your fixture from the bottom
  • you shouldn't need glue as it will be stable with your paper strips holding it.
smaller pendant:
the directions are the same but instead of using a large and a small hoop, i used 2 small hoops. and instead of using one type of wooden paper, i used 2. and instead of 1" strips that were 17" long i cut 1 1/2" strips.  and i used 2 short braces instead of 4.

for these lights i am using a super duper low wattage bulb... i did order fire retardant spray to apply to them as a precaution but it didn't arrive in time for this post so i don't know if it will affect the wood...

before i forget, a big big thank you to curbly for highlighting my office/closet makeover on tuesday! well, i am off to my internship now....

oh, and for those of you just tuning in and wanting to know more about me you can by going here... and if you didn't already know... i created a facebook page... check it out and "like" it! and follow me on twitter

until next time...
the almost 40 year old intern


  1. Girlfriend - you have mad skills!

  2. I still have so many of Grandma Izzy's letters- she was a great penpal!

    Fabulous job! Those pendants are gorgeous!

    And coming up next- a great tutorial of items made from all those bulldog clips....ha!

  3. Fab. Awesome. Woot. Wanna come up to SF and make me one while we commeserate on AutoCAD? FYI, I am not loving the FILET command.

  4. thanks courtney! as for auto cad, i wish i could say it gets easier.... the designers at my internship said it takes more than one level of classes to really get comfortable with it... my biggest problem was that i kept forgetting that the space bar functions as "enter" and kept adding a space after a comma (proper punctuation, you know!)... practice practice! xo

  5. WOW I'm impressed........the lights look fantastic. I'm now following along with you on Pinterest.

  6. Wow this is amazing seriously my friend i like it so much great work.


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