Ikea Hack – Dressing Up a Knappa Light

Ikea is a wonderful  source of contemporary design and it’s hard to resist the clean, simple lines just begging to be starting points for creativity. On my last trip to Ikea, some 2 hours away in Charlotte, I picked up a Knappa lighting fixture. The plastic panels seemed a perfect host for some decorative paper.

Knappa light makeover

Once I opened the box and skimmed the instructions, I realized adding paper to the design would be easier than I thought. No glue was needed! I could use one plastic panel as a template and simply layer the cut paper over the plastic as the lamp was assembled. The hardest part would be choosing a paper. Almost anything would do as long as it was not too thick. In the end, I chose a white embossed cotton paper. It would keep the overall design impact close to the original, but add a subtle texture.

Contents of Ikea Knappa light kit

The contents of the light kit are simple – a snap together plastic frame and semi translucent plastic shade petals.

The Knappa lighting frame assembled

Once assembled, the frame looks like science project but soon it will completely covered.

Tracing the shade petals onto the embossed paper

To cover the plastic petals, I used 3 sheets of 22″ x 30″ Butterfly Embossed paper. I traced the pattern on the wrong side, rotating the direction of the pattern as I moved around the sheet. Changing the direction of the pattern from piece to piece helps the pieces fit tighter on the sheet and also makes the overall pattern more random in the finished piece. Once all the pieces were traced and cut, I punched the holes for the snaps with a paper punch. Don’t worry if the holes are a bit larger than those on the plastic. The size difference will not show, and adds a little ease for the paper to curve over the plastic.

The partially assembled Knappa light

The assembly of the light follows the enclosed Knappa instructions with the exception of layering the embossed paper over the plastic petals.

Assembled Knappa light with embossed paper overlay

The finished light has lots of texture added to the beautiful lotus shape.

- Shelly

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  1. Elaine says:

    Hello Shelly,
    I just came across this project and absolutely love it! I was wondering how much paper did you need to cover the entire pendant? I don’t want to get too much or too little. Also, is this the only weight paper you would recommend?
    Thank you!! ~Elaine

  2. Alexandria Elder says:

    This is genius. I’ve had this light for forever and I’ve now that I’m making our spare bedroom a nursery I was going to replace it…but this is even better! Love, love, LOVE THIS. Thank you!!! I am one happy mama.

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