DIY : Make cute Lampshade from Soda Can Pop Tabs

Ok, so you’re tired of this old lampshade you have since 199… and wanna reuse it to make something EXCEPTIONAL!

I’ve got a solution for you!!!

I came across this fantastic DIY project that uses recycling soda can pop tabs to make a unique lampshade : 100% environmentally friendly with 0 cost!

Here are the instructions:

  • Remove tabs from cans

Remove as many tabs as possible from your soda cans by bending them back until the metal breaks.

For each row of mail, you’ll need 4.857 tabs for every inch of shade diameter. Do your math to calculate the number of tabs you need depending on the size of the lampshade you’ll use!

  • Bend the tabs

Use a pair of pliers to grab the tab across the short dimension and bend it down with your thumb (about 20 degrees)

Tabs in the top and botton should be bent but not cut. So bend enough tabs for these 2 rows and set them aside.

Unplug your lamp, remove the bulb and fix the top lampshade hoop on your lamp.

You can use a pair of jeweler’s pliers with a custom 3D-printed insert to bend your tabs to the same angle.

  • Fix top hoop clip

Set an uncut tab bent on the top wire hoop and bend it down again with your fingers to about 90 degrees.

Insert a small flatblade screwdriver through both openings and wrap the tab around the wire hoop.

Make sure the bent tab is secured to the hoop.

Continue adding tabs on the top hoop until you cover the whole circumference.

To accommodate the spokes attaching the hoop to its hub, remove an adjacent tab that has already been formed around the wire, and cut the finger loop so the spoke can be passed through it as shown.

  • Cut the tabs

Set aside the row of bent tabs that you’ll use later to form the bottom hoop (these ones shouldn’t be cut yet).

Use a pair of side-cutters to cut the remaining ones.

  • Make the first links

Press with your fingers and open the cut loop in a single tab by about 1/16″. Pass the bottom loops of 2 hoop clips through the cut loop.

Twist the tab, once you have it in place, to close the open legs of the cut loop again.

Continue adding tabs until you complete the first row.

Keep adding rows to complete your shade but be careful as the last one requires a different treatment ( not counting the bottom hoop). In fact, tabs in the last raw have to be trimmed a bit.

Note that the bottom hoop will add about 1/4″ to the height of the shade.

Use the side-cutter to make 2 cuts, one from each edge of the tab, about 1/8″ up from the end.

Fix the trimmed tabs in the last row of mail.

  • Prepare and install bottom hoop clips

Wrap the bottom hoop in uncut tabs to form clips that will link it the mail. Remove the clips from the bottom hoop and open each one to an angle of 45 degrees with your fingers. Snip tabs with sie-cutters to add them to the mail.

Work the bottom hoop clips into the mail, slip the cut loop of each clip through two adjacent tabs in the bottom row.

Insert the bottom shade hoop into the open clip. Use  finger pressure to close the clip around the hoop.

Make sure the hoop cannot “lift” out of the clip.

Once you complete the bottom hoop, install the bulb, test the lamp et voilà!!! :)







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