How To: DIY Hemp Lamp

I have made several references to the big project of the foyer renovation that Micheal and I have worked on.  I am the worst because I have yet to post my final reveal.  The project was big, and tough, and there was a lot to learn.  I want to be sure to help future step painter’s to see possible pit falls in their big project- AHEAD of time!  As I am working to write that post, I remembered one simple project that made a huge impact in our foyer.  Our DIY Hanging Hemp Lamp.

On my tour of Katie’s new home I saw some of her own DIY hall lights.  Although in the end I decided on a different DIY lamp style – it was the inspiration that I needed!  With so many choices on the market, and none of which I loved enough to pay full price … a DIY was the solution to my problem.

After a short time hunting I found this tutorial on Pinterest.   Here is how it came out:






The author states that you will need:  A deflatable ball, two bottles of tacky glue, a spool of hemp, and a hanging light cord.  All of which will total about $30.00 !

You will also need: Electric tape, Electrical Wire Covers, A tire Pin (if you wish to reuse the ball), a cheap plastic table cloth or wax paper to cover your work space, and an attractive light bulb.   Something to rest it on when it is drying.

Shopping was not simple.  It took a bit more of my own creativity and problem solving than I anticipated.

Here’s what:

THE BALL: FYI – those big bins of balls that are ALWAYS at then end of an aisle … are not as easy to find in the winter months!  After several failed attempts at several Targets and other stores we did find them at a local Walmart (for less than $3.00).  Once we found the ball bin we chose a diameter of about 14″.  We then went to the craft aisle where the hemp and glue were nearly side by side.

THE HEMP: Hemp comes in several thicknesses, your choice is a matter of preference.   I chose what looked like the middle of the road on the thought that too thin and the project would require too much hemp, too thick it might require too much glue.


Disclaimer: Skip the wine, your hands will be too sticky !

Obviously Ella my pup jumped on the ball and deflated it just minutes after we got home.  So off we went to grab ball #2.

The Bulb: Well, I learned you don’t just walk into Lowe’s and find those really cool clear light bulbs that you can see the filament thread, and that filament thread just happens to look old-school and awesome.  In the end I found something clear and round.  We decided LED was the best choice.  the bulb is not dreamy – but who’s going to look when the lights are glaring anyway?


We ended up with something similar to this. Although it is clear – not opaque.


Hanging Wire: We also needed the perfect hanging wire, ceiling plate, and a light bulb worth featuring.   We found these things at Lowes.   The wires that they had to choose from were not as attractive as what the blogger I chose to follow had found for her project.  We ended up finding a Portfolio “Polished Nickel” Recessed Light conversion  kit.


conversion kit

This was perfect for our project. The kit is designed for the consumer to buy the pendant separately. Buying the kit only = $20.00 !

Now it is time to get to work.  Here is how we did it:

  • Prepare your work space:  You will need something to cover your work space.  Michael suggests something that will repel the glue as opposed to absorb it. You also need:
    • The ball
    • The glue (You will use both bottles)
    • The hemp,
    • A large bowl
    • Approximately 2 cups of warm water
    • A sharpie
    • An object that is about 5″ around
    • A creative idea to set the ball down on.  The white thing you see in the picture is a cone piece from the hardware store.  I have no idea what it is or why it was in our home – but it was the perfect fit.  I would suggest maybe a bowl or a roll of duct tape wrapped in plastic wrap.
  • Draw a 5″ circle around the bottom. This is the hole you will leave to insert the bulb.  I used the strange white cone to measure our opening.
  • Mix the water and the glue in the bowl.  It will be too thick and will not stretch far enough other wise.  It was almost equal parts water to glue.
  • Dredge the hemp in the water.  I wish I would have unraveled the hemp spool and sat it nicely in the the glue mixture.  Instead we tried some whacky form of unraveling, dredging, and spinning the ball all at one time.  This became messy, FAST.
  • Spin the hemp around the ball.  I have NO idea how you would do this with one person.  Michael held the ball and spun it, and I maneuvered the hemp.  There is not method to this madness.  Just try to cover large holes.  Be sure to leave your opening- OPEN!

That’s it!  Now leave it out of sight of THREE DAYS.

I would suggest covering your drying base with plastic wrap and maybe even spritzing it with nonstick cooking spray.  When we eventually pulled the ball from the base the glue had dried entirely to the base.  We slightly hurt the circle shape of the opening in doing so.

Deflate the ball.  You will need to flake dried glue out of the openings.

I am lucky.  Michael knows how to wire things.  He cut the end of the recessed fixture at the end of the light wire.   Measured the length. Wired the wires.  That is it!







I LOVE it! What do you think?


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