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Leathercraft & Soldering

For my last project I created a bird feeder based around a geodesic sphere. While working with the model in the 3D software, I couldn’t help but think that there would be really cool design applications to such a shape. This is how I came up with this lamp. Once I had my mind set on a using a geodesic sphere of sort to create a lamp shape, the idea of representing the constellations of the night sky on the faces of the sphere seemed like a logical next step. I set out to map the 12 zodiac constellations and added a few more in order to use all the surfaces of the lamp.




  • 1mm, 2mm, 2.5, 3mm, 5mm hole punches
  • Scissors and X-Acto knife
  • Stitching awl
  • 2 leather stitching needles
  • Hammer or mallet
  • Swivel knife (optional)
  • Soldering iron

Bill of Materials


The pattern PDF is available for purchase on etsy.


This lamp is not safe to use with traditional incandescent or halogen light-bulbs. Those light-bulbs radiate too much heat to be enclosed in leather.


Printing the pattern

You can get the pattern here.

Print it on US letter or A4 paper depending on the version you downloaded and roughly cut around the pieces of the project.

Make sure that the pattern is not resized by checking your print settings. You can check if it was printed properly by measuring the reference found at the bottom of each page.

Using the pattern

Place the pieces of the pattern on your leather and trace around them.

Cut-out the areas that you just marked in order to separate them.

Use masking tape to secure the pieces of the pattern to their respective piece of leather.

I ended up using two piece of leather glued together for the base of the lamp with the E26 socket because 5oz was too thin to work well for that part. This is not a problem with the GU10 option because it is constructed differently.

Punching the holes

Use a hole punch or a stitching prong if you have one in order to punch the stitching holes for all the pieces using the pattern as a guide.

Use 2m, 2.5mm and 3mm hole punches in order to create the constellations.

Cutting-out the pieces of the project

Using an X-Acto knife, cut-out all the pieces of the project.

I then used a swivel knife to cut in between and link the “stars” in order to highlight the constellation’s shapes.

For the first version I made I only used my awl on the damp leather to mark those lines. Check out the photos where both versions are side by side to see which result you prefer.

Stitching the lamp shade

I made this 3D model in order to help you visualize where each piece of the puzzle fits.

The dome is composed of 11 pentagons (elements A on the pattern). Each edge on a pentagon is shared by the edge of an equilateral triangle. There are 15 such triangles in the structure. 10 are identical (elements B on the pattern) and 5 have an additional little tab (not shown on the 3D model) which will be used to attach the lamp shade to the studs of the base (elements C on the pattern).

The only difference between option 1 and option 2 of the pattern is that in the option 2 the top-most pentagon is directly connected to the surrounding rectangles without being stitching. This piece is identified as G on the second version of the pattern. It’s a different style that I thought had its merits so I decided to include it.

About the constellations displayed on the faces of the lamp shade:

  • 6 pentagons each display 2 zodiac constellations. I wanted those constellations to be the most visible which is why I embedded them on the 6 pentagons which compose the top half of my domes.
  • 5 pentagons and 10 triangles each display a secondary constellation.

It is entirely up to you how you choose to assemble those pieces and where to put each constellation. Their orientation or respective position does not matter as long as it follows the construction that you can see on the 3D model above.

Let’s stitch our first pentagon! The next steps are going to be a repetition of that initial one.

Grab a pentagon (pattern element A) and 5 triangles (pattern element B). Align the edge of a triangle with one of the edges of the pentagon and start stitching along that edge using a cross-stitch.

Continue stitching along the edges of the pentagon, adding a new triangle with each edge.

This is the star that sits at the top of the dome.

We now need to stitch 5 more pentagons around our initial star.

Like we did for the star, start by stitching together a triangle and a pentagon.

Stitch the next two edges to two consecutive edges of the star in between the peaks of two triangles.

Finally stitch two more triangles to the remain two edges of the pentagon you are working on.

Repeat this operation with 5 pentagons until all the edges of the star are stitched.

This is the upper half of the dome with the triangles poking out connecting to the lower half.

This should look familiar by now. The only difference is that you will need to use the triangles with the tabs this time (pattern elements C).

Grab the 5 remaining pentagons and triangles.

Start by stitching a triangle to one of the edges of a pentagon.

Continue stitching along the edge of the triangle poking out of the upper half of the dome, then to the next two triangle’s edges.

Finally stitch another triangle C to the last edge of the pentagon.

Repeat the operation for the 5 remaining pentagons to complete the lamp shade.

Soldering the socket to the cord

Strip the connections of the socket’s and cord’s wires.

Insert the heat shrink tubings on each wire and move them away from the exposed wire in order to prevent them from shrinking during the soldering process.

Solder the opposing wires together.

Move the heat shrink tubings over the exposed wires and shrink with a lighter.

Give it a try to see if your connection is functional.

Stitching the base of the lamp

Stitch the 5 elements E together along their vertical edges in order to create a cone.

Then stitch this cone to the element D.

The screws that I was using were not tall enough to fit through the double-sided leather that I used for element E so I had to punch holes through the top layer in order for them to fit.

Finally screw-in the 5 studs.

Setting-up the socket

Push the socket through the center cone. It should fit tightly.

Use the 5 studs to attach the shade to the base of the lamp.

Using a GU10 socket instead of the E26

The version of the lamp base that you see in those photos is build around a GU10 socket.

I did not illustrate the construction process of this option since it is almost identical to the E26 version. The only difference besides the dimensions of the center cone is that a second cone composed of 5 panels (elements F on the pattern) surrounds the first. This is so that the light-bulb can be supported by something else than only the socket. I was worried of possible damages at the connections if the lamp was being manipulated.

An added benefit is that it rigidifies element D so there is no need to use double-sided or thicker leather as is the case with the construction method for the E26 socket.

Finishing touches

Apply the conditioning product of your choice on your creation and rub vigorously with a cotton rag to polish it and give it a nice shine.

I use a leather balm that I make by gently melting together “au bain-marie” 1 part beeswax and 6 parts olive oil. It’s great for nourishing and waterproofing.

Final result

I hope you enjoyed following along this tutorial. Please consider posting a photo of your creation in the comments below. It would mean a lot to me to see my little projects out into the world as you make it your own.

Any feedback/question about this tutorial or project idea that you’d like to see posted here is and always will be more than welcome.

Happy crafting!


The following online content provided some assistance and/or inspiration during the making of this project:

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