The Pinterest Doily Lamp Disaster

Introducing Pin Up Girl, a weekly guide to all-things-Pinterest. Our resident pinner, Laura Gill will take a look at some of the best eye candy from around the web and provide a few pointers on how-to crafts, as well as weigh in on weekly trends and highlight local and national pin fiends. ​

The Pinterest Doily Lamp Disaster
Pinterest via
​Ah, the famous doily lamp.  

This project is viral on Pinterest and was of the first things I ever pinned to my CraftyTime board. I liked the idea so much that I inadvertently pinned it twice. It seemed easy enough -- wallpaper adhesive + doilies + a round balloon = a lamp. 

I had no idea what I was getting myself into. 

While I'm not the best crafter, I wouldn't call myself an amateur. I tend to know what I'm doing (most of the time) and rarely fail at a project. I REFUSE to fail! I keep working on things until I fix them, but this doily lamp proved a different story.

One of the intentions of the Pin Up Girl blog is to test tutorials found on Pinterest to see if they really work. I did all of the homework I could possibly do for this and went into it knowing it was a little sketchy due to the comments on the original post. (Apparently I'm not the only person who has failed at this.)

Lessons Learned:  

Upcoming Events

1. Supplies may vary. One of the inherent blessings of Pinterest is that you can connect with people from all over the world, but this also turns out to be a curse because supplies vary from country to country.

The original doily lamp post comes from Sweden -- evidently Swedish wallpaper glue is perfect for this project. The wallpaper glue I bought for $5 at Home Depot was absolutely the wrong glue. And while I questioned the use of wallpaper glue from the beginning because I've never heard about using wallpaper glue to stiffen fabric (and I read a ton of craft books), I was determined to follow the original instructions...

The Pinterest Doily Lamp Disaster

2. Doilies are not that easy to find. I was under the impression that doilies could be found in abundance at any thrift store. Wrong. When you actually want a doily they're suddenly nowhere to be found. I went to three stores before I finally found a bag for $5. Lucky me, it was labeled with just the right color to be 50 percent off! What I didn't like is that they were all exactly the same. I really wanted a bunch of different patterns and textures, because I think that's what really gives the lamp its character, but I was desperate at this point. And who can say no to $2.50?

3. You need a lot of Doilies. To create the lamp you paint glue onto a round balloon, place the doily on it, then paint more glue onto the doily. The doilies should overlap until the entire thing is covered. Guess what? I only had enough to make a lampshade. Luckily I had already seen this pin, so I was ok with a lampshade. I had to be...Where would I find more matching doilies??

4. Wear an apron: Everything seemed to go just fine. It only takes about 10 minutes to get the balloon covered. I hung the balloon outside and left it to dry. A few minutes later I heard a pop. The doilies landed in wet dirt. Four letter words were used.

The Pinterest Doily Lamp Disaster

What I really wanted to do was throw the whole thing in the trash, but instead I washed the doilies just enough to get the dirt out, without washing out all of the glue. I covered another balloon, feeling almost grateful for the pop since I was doing a better job of spacing the doilies evenly. I left it to dry overnight.

The really exciting part comes when you get to pop the balloon yourself. I was nervous. "Is it gonna work?" I carefully peeled back pieces of it to see. It seemed fine, so I cut the end of it off and then watched in horror as the entire thing shriveled up into a fat doily wad.

The Pinterest Doily Lamp Disaster

While I was able to "unwad" the doilies and see what could have been, the thing just isn't durable. It collapses and has a yucky tinge to it. The doilies are peeling apart. It's a piece of crap.


But it's not over yet. Just today I purchased some fabric stiffener from Michaels - $6.99. I'm planning to soak these doilies in an attempt to salvage them and if that doesn't work, I will scour the entire Valley until I find enough doilies to attempt this again.

If you've seen a project on Pinterest you want me try before you invest your energy and wages into it, please let me know. 

Follow Jackalope Ranch on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest.

Upcoming Events

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >