DIY Ball Lamp Makeover

June 19, 2013

Hello, friends!  I am so excited to share my latest DIY with you today – an IKEA ball lamp makeover!  There are tons of IKEA “hacks” or makeovers out there for all kinds of IKEA products, but I have had one of these paper ball lamps for years and years and I finally decided it was time to customize it.  I have been wanting to redecorate my room for a long time now and because this project was so easy and inexpensive, I decided to start here, with some paint, fabric and Mod Podge!


First, let’s start with the materials.  You will need:

  • a paper ball lantern/lamp
  • acrylic / craft paint in color(s) of your choosing
  • paint brush and/or foam brush
  • Mod Podge (or similar decoupage glue)
  • fabric or paper (for applique)
  • scissors
  • paint tray or paper plate(s)

Because my lamp had been hanging up in my room for such a long time, I started by wiping it clean with a plain dust cloth to make sure there was no dust, dirt or grime.  If you are using a new paper lantern, you should be fine, but it never hurts to make sure your canvas is clean.


Once you are working with a clean surface, it’s time to paint!  I chose an array of hues, all of which are shades of the three main colors I plan on using in my room – aqua blue, green and yellow.  I wanted to do an ombre effect with the paint so I mixed my colors in a paint tray and got painting.


I used a round paint brush for painting the color on the paper lantern.  Whatever type of brush you use, it’s important not to press too hard on the paper or it could rip or tear pretty easily.


Once my lamp was painted, I set it aside to dry and got to work cutting out the pieces of fabric to use as appliques.  I searched for a long time for the perfect vintage floral fabric to use for this project and I finally found it at Mix Fabrics on Etsy.  Seller Alanna has tons – TONS – of great vintage fabrics for sale at super reasonable prices.  (she sells mostly fat quarters; one fat quarter was plenty of fabric for this project)


Once all of my beautiful vintage bouquets were cut out and the paint on the lantern was dry, it was time to applique!  First, you want to start by applying a thick layer of Mod Podge to the back of the piece of fabric.  I just used a plain old paper plate for applying the Mod Podge to keep the mess contained.  Once the back of the fabric is generously coated, place it on the lamp where you want to fix it and then apply another nice, thick layer of Mod Podge over the fabric applique.


Repeat this process for all of your pieces of fabric (or paper, or whatever you decide to applique) until your design is complete.  Then, allow ample time for the Mod Podge to dry, especially if you applied a thick coating.

Now, you can either apply a thin coat of Mod Podge all around your finished lantern, or you can choose another clear finish lacquer like I did, just to coat it and protect your beautiful artwork.


And that’s it!  Your new ball lantern is complete and ready to be shown off.  Here’s the lamp hanging in my (messy) room – please ignore the crap everywhere!


The great thing about a project like this is that it is totally up to you how you want to customize your new lamp.  You can choose whatever colors match your decor and whatever images for applique you want, or skip the appliques all together – it’s entirely up to you!


If you do decide to create your own custom ball lantern, I’d love to see it!  As always, thanks for reading :)

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  • Lady Kate

    This is fantastic. I love the colours you used!

    June 19, 2013 at 8:44 am Reply
    • alligatortoe

      Thank you!!! I am super happy with how it came out and I am not afraid to admit that I am more than a little proud of myself on this one, especially as painting isn’t really my “thing” haha! :)

      June 19, 2013 at 10:02 am Reply
      • Lady Kate

        It looks so pretty, you have inspired me :) the painting looks great, you are a pro!

        June 19, 2013 at 10:11 am Reply
        • alligatortoe

          Thanks, Kate, you are so sweet!! I can’t wait to see what boho magic you come up with! ;)

          June 19, 2013 at 10:14 am Reply
          • Lady Kate

            I love the adding fabric idea, I would never have thought of that. I just can’t wait until my boyfriend & I have our own place, I will probably Decoupage the whole house! :)

            June 19, 2013 at 10:18 am
  • Simplelifeandstyle

    Great DIY.

    June 19, 2013 at 9:48 am Reply
  • buttonsandbirdcages

    This is awesome – so much better and more exciting than the original!

    June 20, 2013 at 4:36 am Reply
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