Veneer Pendant Lamp

  • Advertise with us
Project by Ross Leidy posted 12-27-2019 08:07 PM 8582 views 10 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After watching a youtube video on making a paper lantern for a pendant light, I wanted to try something like it with wood veneer. It turns out to be harder than it looked to get the spacing right. On my first attempt, the spiraled strips were too crowded. On my second attempt, the spacing was better, but too loose so there were gaps. I didn’t want a bare bulb being visible from the outside, so I thought I’d carefully detach the supporting ribs, twist the whole thing tighter, and then reattach the ribs. Well, the spiraled veneer generated a surprising amount of torque, and twisting it tighter and anchoring it just wasn’t practical in the end. I set the project aside – this was September. Over the Christmas break, I had a brainstorm for how to salvage the project, and that was to build a smaller inner shade that would cover the bulb. Building from the outside-inward presented a number of problems, but in the end I’m happy with how it turned out. In fact, I’m now scheming some more pendant lamps using the ideas from the inner structure.

Here are some photos of the early failures and the road to recovery.

There’s a big gap here – I didn’t take any photos of the final stage of the 2nd attempt. We now pick up with the build of the inner shade. You can see the loosened spiral in the background:

The bottom cap is removable to get to the light bulb. It’s held on with 4 small magnets:

I didn’t have a place in mind for this lamp, but the front entryway turned out to be a good spot.

13 comments so far

View pottz's profile


20683 posts in 2229 days

#1 posted 12-27-2019 08:53 PM

wow that’s pretty damn cool looking,looks simple but the pic’s show thats not true.beautiful lamp.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View FrancoisWorkshop's profile


35 posts in 1008 days

#2 posted 12-27-2019 08:59 PM

Very nice! Thanks for all the details.

-- Francois. Sawdust is man glitter.

View mafe's profile


13348 posts in 4334 days

#3 posted 12-27-2019 09:38 PM

Super cool!
Really fine work, fun to see how you got there.
Started Scandinavian and ended Japanese / Chinese.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View MrWolfe's profile


1669 posts in 1368 days

#4 posted 12-27-2019 11:56 PM

Very cool build Ross.
Not only does it look great but it looks like you really had to engineer it to make it work.
Kudos. I’m sure it was challenging but you made a beautiful lamp.

View wenge's profile


22 posts in 1472 days

#5 posted 12-28-2019 01:39 PM

Very nice work.

View Dark_Lightning's profile


4846 posts in 4354 days

#6 posted 12-28-2019 04:17 PM

That’s beautiful!

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View swirt's profile


6635 posts in 4217 days

#7 posted 12-29-2019 02:37 AM

So cool. Incredibly well done. Good job not giving up after the first try.

-- Galootish log blog,

View PPK's profile


1872 posts in 2054 days

#8 posted 12-29-2019 04:30 AM

Holy cats! super neat!

-- Pete

View 489tad's profile


4060 posts in 4256 days

#9 posted 12-29-2019 03:37 PM

Edison tried the light bulb multiple times until he got it right. You got this right. The shade looks fantastic.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View Ross Leidy's profile

Ross Leidy

293 posts in 3186 days

#10 posted 12-29-2019 06:03 PM

Thanks for all the kind comments. Keeping the stalled project in plain sight in the workshop helped. I was forced to think about it every time I was in there. The idea on how to proceed came to me one day and the lamp was finished a few days later. The build order was all wrong for this project, but I’m pleased with how it turned out.

View Fhawe's profile


65 posts in 3282 days

#11 posted 01-02-2020 12:40 PM

That is a really beautiful shade.

-- cnarf, Ireland

View mafe's profile


13348 posts in 4334 days

#12 posted 01-03-2020 11:21 PM

Lovely when we get those moments of light.
Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
S. Kierkegaard (Danish philosopher).

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1381 posts in 2958 days

#13 posted 01-20-2020 09:52 AM

Wow Ross, that is a neat project! Like the whole look of it bus especially the way you supported the inner fixture with these elegant vertical pieces

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics