Anni-Frid’s Intergalagtic Petticoat (aka: The ABBA Lamp)

What’s the deal with babysitters and ABBA? They always go together.

Seems like everyone I know had a babysitter who loved ABBA, hired a babysitter who loved ABBA, or was an ABBA loving babysitter themselves. Its like there was in international Babysitters Club meeting and they chose Dancing Queen as their anthem.

Did anyone else notice I just made a reference to The Babysitters Club without even trying? Brownie points for me.

 ABBA (Benny, Anni-Frid, Angnetha, Bjorn)

As I recall, the second my parents pulled out of the driveway the babysitter would head straight to the record collection, then a quick flip through the top shelf and out popped four naked Swedes wrapped in tin foil. A minute later the dancing started and before you knew it someone was standing on a chair holding a hairbrush to their mouth singing,
Waterloo – I was defeated, you won the war
Waterloo – Promise to love you for ever more

The karaoke games became increasingly elaborate and ran on for hours. Although the babysitter ranged in age and hair color, they always ended up playing Agnetha (the blond), and the cats would play Benny and Bjorn (the dudes). Sam, the 23-pound white Ragdoll cat made for an especially good Bjorn.

I specialized in performing the role of Anni-Frid (the brunette), better known as “Frida” who was clearly superior in every way. She later married a German prince and wore skin-tight white overalls and sequin jump suits on a regular basis.

Like I said, she was superior in every way.

Nowadays I don’t listen to ABBA a whole lot. They are a little chipper for my everyday taste, but still keep them on hand for the occasional pick-me-up like after the dentist or when you are stuck in traffic with no end in sight. Then, one day Steff commented on another post “Never disregard the effect of ABBA on a child’s life.”


My brain went twirling and churning and within a few minutes I was brainstorming things and feelings and colors and textures that reminded me of all those afternoons singing Waterloo with a hairbrush. The end result was a page in my notebook filled with terms like hot pants, excessive back-lighting, Swedish Chef singing Christmas Carols.

Gosh, I really hope no one ever accidentally finds my notebook. They are going to think I’m a real perv. 

Anyhow, somehow by the end of the brainstorm I settled on making something ABBA esque that was silver toned and ruffled like one of Anni-Freds wonderful bedazzled, bell bottom jumpsuits.  But, really, how does one approach crafting for ABBA? This is a question for the ages and the answer came easy as milking a cat.

Long story short, a quick trip to the hardware store and $10.00 in materials later….a lamp was born! More of a petticoat than a bell bottom, I am thrilled with the end result. Its fun, sturdy, and surprising easy to clean. The first lamp (pictured above at the top) makes a perfect reading light, and the one below would be perfect above the stove or some utilitarian spot in need of a little dressing up. I think every home needs a touch of ABBA, don’t you?

  • Clamp Light (sometimes called a “site light”). You can find them in the hardware store, usually for under $5.00. Sometimes they come with plastic yellow cages on the front that easily snap on and off. 
  • Aluminum Duct Tape (sometimes called gaffing tape or plumber’s tape). It’s as sticky as regular duct tape, but metallic like aluminum foil and comes with paper backing. And as long as you have some around the house, check out this awesome pendant tutorial from Michele L. in LA)  

  • Pull out an arm’s length of tape and use an Xacto knife to score and remove 1cm of the paper backing.
  • Using your fingers, fold and pleat the tape every inch or so. So need to be exact. Just pinch and press. It will be awkward at first but you will get the hang after 10 inches or so.
  • The amount/length of ruffled tape you will need will depend on the size and diameter of your lamp base (for the 10″ lamp here, I would estimate 10 yards all together). If you are a math lover, you could figure it out in advance. I am not a math lover and will leave that ball in your court. Party on, dude. 

  • Stick your ruffled tape to the outer edge of the lamp and work inward, layering as you go.
  • TA-DA! You are done! String it, screw in a light bulb and you have a super cool new aluminum lamp. 

Note: the lamp featured up top came before the one I photographed for demonstration purposes. The one up top is more ruffled and organic looking because I was sloppy with the pleats. As Bob Ross said,  “there are no mistakes, just happy little accidents.”


  1. says

    ‘waterloo’ and ‘fernando’ are my go-to karaoke songs.

  2. Jills says

    I like that you integrated Abba and Bob Ross in a single post. You’re just red white and 70’s all over! Not to mention that lamp is flippin awesome!

  3. says

    Sing it with me!

    “There was something in the air that night the stars were bright Fernando!!! They were shining there for you and me for liberty, Fernando!!!! Though I never thought that we could lose, there’s no regrets. If I had to do it all again I would my friend Fernando!!!”

    It’s okay. I’ll be singing ABBA for the rest of the week thanks to you. But that’s okay! It’s been awhile, I need a fix! AWESOME SHADES BTW.

  4. says

    I laughed so hard when I read the bit about someone finding your notebook and thinking you’re a perv!

    Love the lamp. 🙂

  5. says

    Oops, I didn’t mean to write that in the previous comment…hee. Love them, can’t figure out which I love best! You PLEATED the tape! Also, you ruffled the tape into a sublime floofiness! Full of awesomeness, this post is.

  6. says

    I adore ABBA and adore this lamp! Thanks for the tutorial, love love love love *deep breath* love love love this! 😀

  7. says

    I said that???
    I feel a lot more than just Paris Hilton, because I am neither blonde nor overly skinny (*coughs*), but apparently very philosophical.
    I could kiss you right now, but we both know ppl will talk, right?

  8. says

    Seriously. Omg. Beyond impressed. BEYOND. I am so in love. The pendant clamp light is making me really really really happy right now.

  9. Anonymous says

    безумно красиво!

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