Upcycled Doily Lamp

Posted in Handmade by Shannon South on January 10, 2011

I’ve been collecting vintage crochet doilies for several months, with plans to make this pendant lamp. Finally, now that the holidays are over and things have slowed down a bit, I took the time to make my first prototype. There are a few things I need to work out, but overall I am very pleased with how it turned out. The shadows that it creates on the ceiling and walls are just gorgeous. If all goes well, I’ll add it to my home line. Please email me if you’d like to be notified when it is available.

P.S. Some people have expressed concern over the severity of the shadows. That can easily be controlled with a dimmer, a lower watt bulb, or other lights in the room. For my photos I wanted to show the extreme, so I took the photo at night with that being the only light on in the room. I think the shadows are really beautiful and they really only are that intense on the ceiling/upper walls. Not very distracting.

P.P.S. There seem to be many blogs doing DIY tutorials using wallpaper paste, fabric stiffener, or PVA glue. I would not advise using it for such a large structure, as it will probably collapse. I am still working on prototypes using industrial glues, not found in craft stores and will post it once I have perfected the process.


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64 Responses

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  1. aira lee said, on January 10, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    oh thats really beautifull! I also work with remade. Good Luck with your futter works.

  2. Mrs. McHills said, on January 10, 2011 at 5:11 pm


  3. jennifer said, on January 11, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Oh, so pretty! Good job shannon!

  4. Shannon South said, on January 11, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Thank you all! 🙂

  5. jana said, on January 11, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    This is so beautiful! I can´t imagine how it´s made… is thre some kind of glass base?
    Also, thank you for your note on my blog! Your bags are so beautiful, I wish I could make something like that too 🙂

  6. Janet Marston said, on January 11, 2011 at 5:15 pm


  7. Joanne said, on January 11, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Very nice. Could you share how you formed the ball?

    • Shannon South said, on January 12, 2011 at 2:43 pm

      It is formed on an inflatable mold. Each doily is stitched to the ones surrounding it. I am still trying to find the perfect non-toxic adhesive that will make very strong. Any ideas?

      • Rachael said, on January 19, 2011 at 8:40 pm

        You may have thought of this already, but I just watched a tutorial for something similar that used fabric stiffener and yarn. I have a bunch of doilies and I’m hoping to try it out with them.

  8. Stacie said, on January 12, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Amazing! Can I share a picture of this on my blog? I love your aesthetic! I will source it, of course!

  9. pickle said, on January 12, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    how do you change the lightbulb?

    • Shannon South said, on January 12, 2011 at 2:39 pm

      Most of the doilies are round and they are sewn at the points where they touch (there is no overlap). This leaves triangular spaces between them. A few of the spaces are large enough to reach into and the cord comes out of one of the smaller spaces.

  10. Vanessa (Hey, Lady Grey) said, on January 12, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    This is INCREDIBLE!!!

  11. Michael said, on January 12, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    Very impressive work! The idea and execution are both wonderful! I’ll certainly be following your blog from now on.

  12. michelle@bluemoss said, on January 13, 2011 at 10:35 am

    i actually gasped when i saw it on the odette blog…
    it is amazing!!

    • Shannon South said, on January 13, 2011 at 10:43 am

      Thank you so much, Michelle. I too gasped when I first plugged it in and I couldn’t stop staring at it. I expected it would be pretty, but I had no idea… it totally gave me new appreciation for doilies – a craft that so many of us take for granted because they’ve always been around us and are usually associated with grandma’s house.

  13. Elizabeth@rosalilium said, on January 13, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    This is really beautiful and so original. I love it!

  14. Julia said, on January 13, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    What a lovely idea! I really like the strong contrast shadows it makes – so fun! 🙂

  15. Paulina said, on January 14, 2011 at 4:54 am

    Hello, I love the idea of all your prducts, but this project is really great. The lamp looks so fragile – it can be strong contrast in very industrial surrounding. I would like to show it on my blog, may I?

  16. Caroline said, on January 14, 2011 at 9:27 am

    this is brilliant! i also gasped when i saw it on the odette blog. i’ve always been drawn to doilies…this is such a great way to incorporate them into a space. amazing!

  17. Lotte Janssens said, on January 14, 2011 at 11:26 am

    amazing !

  18. Rebecca West said, on January 18, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    I love it I love it I love it. And I hate doilies… so that makes this even more spectacular in my eyes! Well designed, well executed, can’t wait to see more!

    Rebecca West
    Rivalee Design

  19. Vintage is for Lovers said, on January 18, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    WOW! How romantic and lovely and so creatively amazing! I hope you add it to your home line! xo Samantha

  20. grace said, on January 18, 2011 at 10:02 pm


  21. Diacritique said, on January 19, 2011 at 10:30 am

    I suppose you saw the one Isabelle did on Dosfamily, did you?
    Lovely work anyway!

    • Shannon South said, on January 19, 2011 at 10:52 am

      Yes, I did! Numerous people have commented about it on other blogs and it really is incredible that we had the same idea at the same time! I was really devastated at first because I truly thought it was “my idea”… the more I though about it, the more I realized that there are probably many people with the same idea – they just don’t have blogs to tell about it. One thing I will point out though – ours are very similar, but we have slightly different techniques. It is very important to me that the doilies not overlap, but appear suspended and only touch at points, keeping it light and highlighting each individual doily’s beauty. My goal is to create a contemporary design that will make the viewer stop and appreciate this old object that likely has been taken for granted and associated with “grandma’s house”. It’s a work in progress and it is still not quite there structurally.

      • Diacritique said, on January 20, 2011 at 5:11 am

        You’re right; I was also surprised to see in the comments on Apartmentherapy that there was a project like this on Raverly (in 2009, apparently).
        I guess it’s “in the air” (“dans l’air du temps”, as we say in France!)
        Thank you for your reply anyway.

  22. Michelle Glauser said, on January 19, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    I love it. How unique and delicate and retro at the same time. You did a fabulous job.

  23. Crochet Doily Lampshade said, on January 20, 2011 at 4:12 am

    […] South from reMade USA has been collecting vintage lace doilies for a few months in order to turn them into a pendant […]

  24. […] a chinese lantern made with lace creates amazing shadows. thanks shannon south. […]

  25. […] lamp by Shannon South via […]

  26. Studio Makeover in Progress said, on January 23, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    […] happened across this Doily pendant, by Shannon South, and I’m seriously considering something like it for the sitting space. Love the […]

  27. Amanda Thorson said, on January 24, 2011 at 2:51 am

    amazing, this is so beautiful….

  28. Crochet lamp « Ewelinas blog said, on January 25, 2011 at 5:56 am

    […] Shannon South, founder of reMade,  must have been such a child, fascinating with her grandma’s handiwork. She’s been “collecting vintage crochet doilies for several months”. The result is stunning. Simple in form but rich in expression – an upcycled crochet lampshade. The shades it casts on the walls can’t be found elsewhere.  […]

  29. Cat said, on January 27, 2011 at 11:34 am

    wow beautiful idea! like it very much.

  30. upcycled doily lamp | said, on January 30, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    […] This is amazing. Aren’t the shadows on the wall incredible? The design is by Shannon South. […]

  31. Damaris said, on February 2, 2011 at 1:22 am

    This is perfect, right up there with high ceilings and canopy beds. This lamp is perfect.

  32. […] copyright Shannon South & ReMade USA. I love this! Shannon started ReMade USA with her beautiful upcycled, handmade bags and just recently introduced this beautiful lamp made of […]

  33. Victoria said, on February 5, 2011 at 1:47 am

    Love this lamp, it is quite gorgeous!!!

  34. Quinipota said, on February 6, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Your doily lamp is awsome! I used your pictures on my blog about crochet. I hope you like!

  35. Bohemian_sin said, on February 10, 2011 at 8:13 am

    just wowwwww, it’s simply gorgeous!

  36. Flipflipmeheidi said, on February 11, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Wooow, FANTASTIC!!!!

  37. Nancy said, on February 14, 2011 at 10:12 am

    love this lamp! great work!

  38. Xuan said, on February 15, 2011 at 5:39 am

    i love it, this is brilliant! one question, how do we clean the shade if it gets dusty or turns black overtime?

  39. Cara Mason said, on February 20, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    This was featured on my blog!

  40. maureen said, on February 20, 2011 at 4:36 pm


  41. Sibylle said, on February 21, 2011 at 6:29 pm


  42. Simply Bungalow said, on February 21, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Amazing. I love the shadows it throws. Simply Beautiful.

  43. Jami said, on February 21, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    That is so beautiful! I just love the patterns it casts on the wall!

  44. dziewczynablond said, on March 14, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Beautiful ❤

  45. Bee Vintage Redux said, on March 20, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Oh my goodness….this is stunning! And the shadows it casts! How lovely!

  46. Chelsea said, on March 25, 2011 at 5:45 am

    This is actually amazingly beautiful! ❤

  47. Heather O'Cain said, on March 27, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    What a cute idea!

  48. Yvette Tse said, on June 9, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    I LOVE this lamp, you did such a great job making it perfectly round. I love that the doilies don’t overlap, and the ones you used are so unique and beautiful, the picture of the shadows this lamp creates is delightful. Please please please let me know when this will go on sale as I would love to own one. Thanks!

  49. Christen said, on September 1, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    So fantastic! I shared this project on my blog today. Thanks for the inspiration!


  50. Liza said, on September 24, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Love it!

  51. Amélie said, on January 25, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    I remember my grandmother used to make crochet angels and if my memory is correct, I think she used a sugar solution to harden them. Not sure it would work for a structure like that though.

  52. Lorna said, on January 26, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Wow, that is fabulous. Well done

  53. sonnemanawayoflight said, on February 6, 2012 at 12:51 am

    Fabulous Pendant Lights! Nice work! Thanks for doing this blog. I absolutely love it!

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