DIY bamboo orb pendant lamps

The bamboo for this project comes from an inexpensive bamboo roman shade, purchased from The Home Depot. The bamboo is surprisingly sturdy and bendable—and you can easily cut it with scissors—making it an ideal lightweight frame for paper lanterns or this orb lampshade.

Supplies and tools

bamboo roman shade*

wood glue (I used Titebond II premium wood glue)

mini spring clamps**

light cord kit (I used this one from World Market)

low-watt light bulb (I used GE compact fluorescent globe bulbs, 11 watts)***


*Choose the width of the shade based on the size of pendant you want. I used a 35-inch-wide roman shade for the smaller pendant and glued 1-1/2 pieces together to make the larger pendant.

**The most time-consuming part of this project is waiting for glue to dry. If you’re in a hurry, I recommend buying at least 15 clamps. In a pinch (like my pun?), you can try using bulldog clips, binder clips, or barrettes. They work, just not as well as spring clamps.

***I don’t recommend using more than an 11W CFL bulb (40W equivalent) because a brighter bulb can be blinding when you look directly at it.


1.Using scissors, cut the strings and unweave the bamboo slats from them. Discard the strings, hardware, and top and bottom pieces of the roman shade.

2.Apply wood glue to the last 1/2 inch of one bamboo slat. Curve the other end around in a circle and place the tip on top of the glue. Secure with a mini spring clamp. Let dry at least 2 hours. Repeat to make about 20 bamboo circles for each pendant light. Larger pendants may require more; smaller ones may need less.

Note: If you wish to make a larger lamp than your shade’s width allows, glue bamboo pieces together to form larger circles.

3.Starting with three bamboo circles, intersect them into the shape of an orb. The intersections should create an equilateral triangle. Apply a dab of glue at each tip of the triangle and clamp in place. Let dry at least 2 hours.

4.Continue adding bamboo circles until you have used as many as you desire. Glue and clamp each circle to the orb in 2-3 places. Let dry at least 2 hours. Be sure to leave an opening somewhere that is big enough for a globe light bulb to pass through.

5.Screw the light bulb into the socket. Feed the plug end of the cord in through the large opening then out through a small opening on the opposite side. Pull all the way through until the top of the orb rests on the top of the light socket.

6.Hang the light, and flick the switch. You’re done!