tutorial: DIY paper lamp hot air balloon mobile

I have been thinking of making a DIY paper pendant lamp shade hot air balloon mobile for months. Unfortunately, for months, I felt that I didn’t have the right materials to come up with what I had envisioned the hot air balloon to look like. But things have a habit of falling into place. And that is exactly what happened when I went to a local school supply store and bought THESE, when Wholeport sent me THESE jewelry-making materials, and when I bought fabric from Momiji Crafts and she gave me THIS red lovely freebie.


So, this:

To make your own DIY pendant lamp hot air balloon mobile, you will need the following:

Round paper pendant lamp shade (any color will do)

Rope (medium thick)

Hot glue

Super glue

3 pieces waxed cord

Printed fabric

Fabric or washi tape

Sewing machine

1. First, we’ll make the basket. To make the base, we do a coil-and-glue maneuver, as shown in the first photo.

2. Make sure that the base of your basket is not bigger than one of your pendant shade’s holes.

3. Once you’re happy with the size of your basket’s base, we continue to coil and glue the sides. Again, don’t make your basket too tall. We need a basket, not a barrel. Around 2.5 inches should be enough.

4. Take your fabric and cut a circular piece using your basket base as template.

5. Measure the circumference of your basket and use this as guide to cut a rectangular fabric piece, too. The width should be your basket height + 1 inch.

6. Fold and sew one long side of your rectangular fabric piece.

7. Sew the two short sides together.

8. Attach and sew the circular bottom.

9. Fit into your basket with the right side of the fabric folded over to the exterior of your basket.

10. Braid your three waxed cords. Tie it around your basket as shown above. Using super glue, secure the bit where the cords meet. Cut off the extra tails of waxed cord.

11. Loop the rest of the braided cord to the metal rung of your lantern shade. Three loops will do. Super glue the end of this braided cord to the other side of the basket. Adjust the distance of your basket from the “balloon” before gluing.

12. Take your favorite fabric and washi tapes and tape strips onto the seams of your paper lantern.

You’re done, woot!

Perfect for a nursery, methinks. Or your laundry room. I have placed this in our “dirty” workshop/laundry-sorting area and it has made the spot 10x more cheerful.

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8 thoughts on “tutorial: DIY paper lamp hot air balloon mobile

  1. This reminds me of something that was my brother’s when he was a baby…
    I love it–I’d go for a ride in it if you could guarantee my safety :)

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