How to Make a Lamp with your kids

Make a beautiful paper mache penguin night light with your kids. It's a fun activity, and it looks great!

In this post, I will show you how to make a lamp with your kids using tissue paper and a balloon. I got the idea for this lamp from a cute cartoon in which the main character made a lamp in the shape of a whale with his mother. However, we decided to make a penguin lamp instead of a whale. My 3-year-old son helped me. This lamp makes for a great night light.

We used tissue paper of different shades of blue and light pink, one sheet of orange tissue paper for the beak and the cheeks, and one sheet of black for the eyes. Furthermore, We used decoupage glue, but you could also use mod podge or even (I’ve read) regular white crafts glue mixed with equal parts water. You will also need a balloon and some vase or flowerpot to stand your balloon on while gluing the tissue paper onto it.

What you need:

  • Balloon
  • Tissue paper
  • Decoupage glue or mod podge
  • Steel wire
  • Glue gun
  • Led Light

Instructions on how to make a lamp with your kids


First, rip the tissue paper into small pieces. Your kid can help you with this part. When you’ve made a bunch of tissue paper pieces, it’s time to start gluing them onto the balloon.


It gets messy when you glue the paper before sticking it onto the balloon. So first, we put glue onto the balloon with a brush, then stuck a piece of tissue paper onto it, and then brushed another layer of glue on top of the tissue paper. So the paper is soaked through and through with glue. I handled the brush and the glue, and my son got to stick the pieces of tissue paper onto the balloon. Like this, we worked on the lamp together. I directed the process to make the shape of the penguin’s head, belly, and wings.

After each layer of tissue paper, we let the glue dry overnight, but you could try using a hairdryer to speed up the drying process. In total, we made three layers of tissue paper. Some spots might only have two layers, and some areas have more than three layers. You want the light to shine through the paper, so it’s important not to have too many layers. But at the same time, you don’t want it to be too thin or won’t keep its shape.

The bottom part is left open so that you can put a led lamp into it. We also let the top part open. My original idea was to give the lamp a small winter hat. But with the top left open like this, you could even put a tea light in the lamp, making it into a lantern. Be cautious, however, when you use a flame. Never leave it unattended, and make sure there is no paper directly above the flame, or it might catch fire.


After your last layer of tissue paper has dried, you can add the face. Again, put glue onto the balloon, then add the pieces of tissue paper, cut into the right shape, and add another layer of glue on top of the face. Let this dry as well.


Once all is finished and dry, it’s time to take out the balloon. It’s best to let the air out of the balloon slowly, so the paper doesn’t lose its shape. I made a small hole just below the knot and let the air out gently. Once empty, you can take the balloon out completely. We were delighted to see the lamp kept its shape!


Finally, I added two pieces of iron wire to stabilize the lamp—one at the top hole and one at the bottom of the lamp. I used a glue gun to fix the wire in place.

You only need to put a lamp into it (one that doesn’t get hot), and your lamp is done!

I hope you enjoyed this post about how to make a lamp with your kids. You might also like this post on creating a kid-made candle lampshade.

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