Craft Time: Modular Sphere. How to make a Loomi-like Lamp.

Acetate modular sphere inspired by Loomi

Craft Time: Modular Sphere. How to make a Loomi-like Lamp.

"Loomi, Loomi.
Show me! Show me!
Spendy, spendy
Nada! (well, almost nada)."

So I came across a Kickstarter project for a modular lamp, called Loomi, and thought it was really nifty. I had to have one, however, by the time that I had stumbled upon it, the project was already successfully funded. I figured I could make it myself.

So I did, and here is how.

Note: In no way do I want to undermine the efforts of David Sosnow and all the individuals behind the Loomi Kickstarter venture, so if you simply want a Loomi as shown on their project page, I encourage you to wait until they are in full production and purchase a kit from them, as constructing it from scratch is somewhat tedious. However, if you are adamant about creating one on your own in sizes or out of materials not provided by them, then feel free to read on and download the template. (They, themselves, credit the design to an expired Danish patent.)

Here is an individual unit used to build the modular sphere. I modeled it off of an image from the futuregirl craft blog review of the Loomi linked in the Kickstarter project. In order to make a complete sphere, you will need 30 of these, and a fair bit of patience.

Modular sphere unit

This is the initial test sphere I created using regular printer paper and it lit from below by a halogen uplight. The pictured sphere required two sheets of paper to construct. I knew I wanted to build one out of something much more durable than paper, so I made sure to test out the template prior to investing in the materials. Upon completion of the test run, I cleaned up the vector file and scaled it up.

Test sphere, lit up from below.

Construction is easy and fairly self-explanatory, though not so easy to describe verbally. Take a look at the dissected sphere and you should be able to figure it out…one tip, though, while constructing, make sure to keep your individual pieces facing up the same way. It could potentially get frustrating if you try to put it together with a piece that has a side that is facing out when it should be facing in.

Dissected modular sphere

After perusing the craft store for a suitable material, I settled on making my sphere out of acetate sheets of medium thickness and applied white spray paint to one side of each piece. The acetate is flexible, very durable, and still surprisingly easy to cut with a pair of scissors. Voila! The sphere pictured at the beginning of this post is not lit from the inside, simply illuminated from my lamp positioned above it.

Using pieces that were 7" in length, the final product came out to be roughly 12" in diameter and approximately 40" in circumference. So as an estimate, the length of the unit will yield a sphere that is 1.7x that in diameter.

This is a pretty nifty project that’s not particularly difficult with an end result that looks fairly impressive. It may look a little IKEA-y, but you’ll have the pleasure of being able to say that you made it yourself. I have yet to experiment with different light sources. I think I’m going to try bunched up holiday lights…Anyway, feel free to download the template pack and get crafty.

6 Comments

  • Author Comment Avatar
    Rita /

    E’ un’idea meravigliosa,ma dove compri il pvc in lastre?

  • Author Comment Avatar
    明輝子 (Akiko) /

    Thank you! This is really great, as what I had in mind would have cost me a fortune.. as I want to put a lot of these in various sizes and colors on the ceiling of my son’s bedroom. I was going to draft a pattern myself the same way you did.. but you saved me the effort.. lol! So, thanks a bundle!

  • Author Comment Avatar
    NATHAN WEBB /

    Hi, I was wondering about finding good papers on line that have the same qualities as the loomi lamp. I’ve been searching without luck. The paper needs to be stiff & translucent.

  • Author Comment Avatar
    Richmo /

    Hi Nathan, that’s a tough one. I had trouble finding the right type of material for the look I wanted and couldn’t find anything that was just right, even at the nearby arts and craft store that seems to have everything. It’s difficult to tell if it’s the right translucence and thickness without handling the material. It really depends on the look that you’re going for.

    I ended up using what’s called drafting acetate, which is a plastic, making it more durable and easier to clean, but also, more difficult to cut. I think it would look really slick using flexible wood veneer.

    I know that probably didn’t help much, but there are so many materials out there that it’s difficult to specify.

  • Author Comment Avatar
    wildflower /

    Great job on this…if you want to go the recycled route, save your gallon milk and water jugs that have a vellum like appearance. It takes quite a few but looks awesome. Again, great share friend!

  • Author Comment Avatar
    Richmo /

    Fantastic idea with the milk jugs! I hadn’t thought about that, but that would be a great material to use. Thanks so much for the suggestion and thumbs up for upcycling!

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