12 stunning examples of eco chic paper lighting

Cypisek lamp made of paper pulp by Crea-re

Lighting is probably the most fun element of home design. Sure, you have to get through the tedious part of working out where all your electrics are going, but when it comes to choosing the fittings, you can begin to experiment and characterise your space.

As has been noted many a time on this blog, there are endless ways to make lights from second life materials and objects. And when it comes to eco conscious lighting, it seems that paper lighting i.e. lighting made from used paper pulp, cardboard and paper mâché can also offer designers a wealth of opportunities.

Paper might seem like the humblest of materials, but as illustrated here, in the right hands it can become something truly elegant, contemporary and magical. Read on for some of the best examples of paper lighting and discover the people who make them.

Pia Wüstenberg

RCA graduate Pia Wüstenburg runs Piadesign, a design studio based between East London and North Germany, which focuses on design for craft production. She also runs her own brand called Utopia & Utility.

Modern pendant lights made from rolled paper by Piadesign

You’ll see from Pia’s portfolio that natural materials such as wood, glass and paper are key to many of her designs. As part of her degree at the RCA, she created a material called Processed Paper, made from rolled and glued waste paper (see above). The material has been used for a wide range of products, including beautiful gem like paper beads that are threaded on to furniture legs. This lighting collection, called Paper Productions, is handcrafted by artisans in Ahmedabad, India:

Artisan making paper lights for Piadesign

Paper light clusters by Pia Wüstenberg

Purchase these delicate Paper Light Clusters (available in red and white or blue and white) from the Piadesign online shop.


Twin Tone shades by Joff & Ollie

Blue paper lampshade by Lane with grey wall behind

Monochrome lampshades hanging over dining table

Designers Joff and Ollie (pictured below) created their Twin Tone lampshades in collaboration with Little Greene. The lampshades are available in a variety of colourways, all matched to shades of paints by Little Greene. Screen printed on the inside and out, they are made of two sheets of heavyweight paper bonded together, making the product recyclable and biodegradable. The paper is manufactured by GF Smith, one of the oldest speciality paper makers, based in the Lake District.

Joff Casciani and Ollie Wood

Joff Casciani and Ollie Wood are the creative directors of Lane, a Nottingham-based company specialising in homeware. Dedicated to sustainability and craftsmanship, they work with skills and materials found locally in the UK.



Hanging blue globe lampshade made from paper pulp by Crea-re

Yellow pendant lamp made from paper pulp by Creare

Maria Fiter is a designer working in Barcelona who makes handmade lighting made from paper mâché and wood. Under her brand Crea-re*, she creates paper pulp from unwanted newspapers and crafts beautiful unique desk lamps and shades.

The Copernicus collection is inspired by the planets (see pendant Globe in blue above) and has been featured by Vogue and Elle Decoration. The tear drop shaped yellow shade pictured is called Mizuko which means ‘daughter of water’ in Japanese. All lamps are available in dozens of colours.

The grey, porous, irregular, dry and cracked appearance of the lamps is inspired by work of the Polish artist group called Grupa Nowohucka who were practising in the 1950s and 60s.


Beute Lichtobjekte by Herrwolke

pendant light made from recycled corrugated card by herrwolke

pendant lights made from recycled cardboard

Michael Konstantin Wolke is a Berlin based spatial and product designer. His Beute Lichtobjekte is made of dissected and rearranged recycled corrugated cardboard, giving each lampshade its unique graphic characteristics.

Check out more examples of Michael’s cardboard lights in a previous post here and find out which ones are available to order here.


Egg of Columbus by Seletti

Eco chic cardboard lighting by Seletti

Egg of Columbus and Philo eco chic recycled egg carton lamps by Seletti

Valentina Carretta is the designer behind the Egg of Columbus lights which are made from moisture-resistant recycled paper – the kind used for egg boxes. Sold by Italian brand Seletti, the lamps comprise a frilly cardboard lampshade, ceramic lamp holder and fabric cord..

So why the name? It derives from the story of Christopher Columbus breaking the egg. When his critics exclaimed that his discovery of the New World was unremarkable, Columbus replied that ‘it could only be considered easy, because someone had demonstrated how it could be done’. He made his point by challenging them to make an egg stand on its end. His solution was to crush one end against the table, so it could stand up on its own. Easy when you know how…


Scraplights by Graypants

White spherical eco chic lighting made of cardboard in situ by Graypants

Seth Grizzle and Jonathan Junker

white tilt table lamp made from cardboard by Graypants

Scraplights made from recycled corrugated card were one of the first products launched by the award-winning design studio Graypants, whose beautiful waterfront cabin we recently featured here. Now they have released a white Scraplight series made from FSC-certified corrugated card. The lamps are handmade in the Netherlands, in partnership with a social works program which provides craft-based jobs. Available from Finnish Design Shop.*


City Lights by The Paper Moon Factory

paper mache house lamps by The Paper Moon Factory

Another favourite, previously featured here, are these enchanting City Lights lampshades by The Paper Moon Factory. They would be perfect in a child’s bedroom (or any room for that matter). The whimsical lights, sculptures and figurines created by Dutch artist Marion Westerman are like a children’s book brought to life. See items available for sale on her Etsy* page.


Kurage by Foscarini

Kurage domed table lamp made from washi paper by Foscarini

Making washi

Illuminated domed lamp made from washi paper

The beautiful domed Kurage lamp by Foscarini was born out of a collaboration between the Japanese design studio Nendo and Italian designer Luca Nichetto. The lamps are handmade from the finest Japanese washi paper. Washi is commonly made using fibres from the bark of the gampi tree, the mitsumata shrub or paper mulberry. The lamp is appropriately named Kurage which means jellyfish in Japanese. The translucency of the washi gives the shade a soothing glow. Available to buy from Made in Design.*


Trash Me table lamp by & tradition

Trash lamp made from paper by and Tradition

The Trash Me lamp is the brainchild of Victor Vetterlein and was launched in 2010 by &tradition. The lamp is made from paper pulp which has been spread over a mould and left to dry and then weighed down by a piece of concrete in the base.

The theme of transience behind the design is a comment on our short-lived allegiance to things, due to ‘the constant expansion of opportunity’ driven by the internet. As the ‘Trash Me’ name denotes, the lamp has an ephemeral existence: the owner is encouraged to recycle it after it’s no longer useful or desired. The lamp can be easily disassembled and the parts reused or recycled.



lamp made from corrugated cardboard by LetoLab

Netherlands-based LetoLab specialise in making objects produced by laser cutting and 3D printing. They create one of a kind products using parametric design (design using algorithmic thinking) as well as handcrafting. It’s hard to believe this organically shaped Floating Ball lampshade is made from corrugated cardboard. Available to order on Etsy*.


Pulplites by Dear Human

pastel coloured eco chic lighting made from paper pulp

Jasna and Noel co-founders of Dear Human

Montreal-based design studio Dear Human are dedicated to thoughtful production techniques. They often come up with designs by experimenting with industrial cast off materials. As a result, Jasna and Noel have created a number of products from recycled paper pulp, including furniture and wall tiles. Their Pulplites (pictured) continue to evolve and are now in their third generation. Tops are made of coloured porcelain and the shades from recycled paper pulp.


My biggest tip for lighting? Nothing creates a more homely ambience than pools or ‘layers’ of light created by a mix of light sources (three for example). Use table lamps, floor lamps, up lights, down lights to highlight some of the more handsome areas of the room and create interest.

Happy illuminating!

Picture credits: 1st image – Cypisek lamp by Crea-re and all others attributed to the designers mentioned.

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Author: Antonia Edwards

Antonia is the founding editor of Upcyclist. Based in the UK, she is the author of two books: 'Upcyclist: Reclaimed and Remade Furniture, Lighting and Interiors' (Prestel 2015) and 'Renovate Innovate: Reclaimed and Upcycled Homes' (Prestel 2017).

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