Last week I showed you the lounge. This week, I'll show you how I made the pendant shade.
This isn't a new idea. You can search youtube for "yarn pendant," or something similar, and find a bunch of tutorials. Most of them are small - they use a balloon as the frame for the pendant shade. I wanted something much more substantial. The first thing I did was think about what to use instead of a balloon. What I landed on was a yoga ball. I got the biggest ball I could find, which was 85cm - around 33 inches. Check it out here.
After I got the ball, I headed over to the craft store and bought the thickest yarn I could find. Since this shade was going to be BIG, I figured it would hold up better if the yarn was thicker. While I was there, I also got a jug of Elmer's glue and two cans of navy blue spray paint - colors for the house are white, navy blue, and gray, so I thought it would be fun to paint the shade blue.
Armed with the materials, I set up my work space...two contractor trash bags cut open and taped together to create a large surface on the floor to work on. I poured the glue into a plastic container and mixed in some water to make it easier for the yarn to soak it in. It was probably 2 parts glue, 1 part water. Next it was time to assemble.
I put the yoga ball on the trash bags, wrapped it in plastic wrap, and rubbed the plastic wrap with canola oil (I was afraid of gluing the yarn to the yoga ball). Then I dipped some of the yarn into the glue (don't cut the yarn, just pull out a section, being careful not to make knots, and get some glue on it). Start wrapping the yarn around the ball, but make sure to leave an open circle at one end so you can get a light bulb through later on. Here's what it looked like after I finished wrapping the yarn around the yoga ball:
Looks pretty cool, right? See the hole at the top of the ball?
Full disclosure, a ball this big was not easy to handle. I have pretty long arms and I could barely manage it. If you're going to try this project out, you might need two people. It also made a legit mess. I had glue all over me. But, it looks pretty cool, right? Right?? Just nod in agreement.
I left the ball like this for 24 hours until the yarn was dry. I mixed more of the glue mixture and painted it over the yarn - again, it's huge so I wanted to make sure it would hold up. I waited another 24 hours and painted another coat of glue. ANOTHER 24 hours later everything was dry and I felt good about moving on to the next step, which happened to be the hardest part - getting the yoga ball out.
In all of the youtube tutorials with a balloon, all they did was pop it with a pin and take the tiny pieces of balloon out through the gaps in the yarn - super easy. The yoga ball doesn't pop like a balloon - and I didn't really want it to. I wanted it to deflate slowly so it wouldn't pull the sides of the shade in. First I tried pulling out the plastic pin, but for some reason the ball didn't deflate at all. It was at this point that I realized that the hole I left on top wasn't nearly big enough to fit a giant deflated yoga ball through - I was going to have to sacrifice the ball. So I made a small slit in top with a super sharp knife and gently started squeezing the air out. It took about 30 minutes to get all of the air out. Now the hard part...
To get the yoga ball out, I had to reach through the hole with one hand and cut the ball into pieces with a scissor. The longs arms surely helped with this step, but it was an awkward job to do and I ended up hurting my back. There must be a better way to get the yoga ball out (leave a bigger hole?), but given that I've only made one of these balls, I don't know what exactly that better way is.
Once the ball was out, I was left with my shade. I took it outside and used twine to hang it in a tree:
I thought it looked pretty cool white, and I thought about leaving it like this, but my gut told me it should be blue. I was terrified the blue would look awful and I would have wasted a lot of time, but you have a gut for a reason so I took a deep breath and started painting. Thankfully as soon as the shade started turning blue I knew I made the right decision. Here's how it looked after the 2 cans of spray paint:
We bought a cheap ceiling light fixture and chucked the drum shade that came with it. I used clear fishing line to tie the shade around the fixture. Here's the final product:
In the end, this cost around $80 including the light fixture, and took around 5 days.
When I was designing the house 18 months ago, I never thought I would also have designed custom floor cushions and made a light fixture for the lounge, but I'm glad I did. I'm really happy with how the space turned out.
If you give this project a try, let me know how it works out. Good luck!
Bye for now,