DISCLAIMER 1: The overall design (and possibly the whole idea) of this lamp was influenced by atarax's shoji lamp Instructable. The motif on the side was influenced by Nick Falzone's superb Sangaku and Yuugou case mods. I did not steal either of their ideas.
DISCLAIMER 2: This is probably one of the safer non-computer Instructables I've written. However, hot glue is hot, scissors are pointy, bamboo can give nasty splinters and this Instructable involves wiring a mains lightbulb socket. If you are unsure of how to do that safely, I disclaim all responsibility for electrical mishaps.
DISCLAIMER 3: Yes, I got the parts images from Google image search because I built this thing before taking the photos, and couldn't be bothered taking photos of a light socket and corrugated cardboard. If I am using your image and you would rather I didn't, let me know and I'll replace it with one of my own.
Step 1: Materials
- Glue gun
- Craft knives
- Diagonal/wire cutters or nail clippers
- Strong corrugated cardboard, preferably 2-layer
- Paper- I used regular lined paper but if you wanted to be fancy you could used textured craft paper or tracing paper
- Bamboo/wooden chopsticks or kebab skewers
- Straight batten lightbulb socket
- A couple of metres of flex (2-core or 3-core is ok)
- (optional) Inline switch
- Lightbulb- I use an 11W CFL, I'm not happy about the idea of an incandescent bulb in a box made of paper
Step 2: Make a frame
Cut two stick-like things (hereafter referred to as "sticks") to the height of your frame and two to the width of a side.
Glue a short stick to a long stick. (Image 1)
Glue another short stick to the free end of the long stick, then get as right-angley as possible and glue the remaining long stick between the two short sticks. (Image 2)
Step 3: Motif, part 1
I was intending for the small rectangle in the middle of the motif to be square, but screwed up my measurements, and by complete chance it ended up having the same aspect ratio as the side which actually looks much better. The exact lengths are unimportant but I will assume you have "short motif sticks" and "long motif sticks".
Measure one short motif stick length from one long side of the frame, at the top and bottom (Images 1 and 2). Glue a long motif stick to one of the points you just marked, along the line connecting the two points. (Image 3)
Step 4: Motif, part 2
Repeat for the remaining sticks, gluing all the points they meet at. (Image 2)
Step 5: Skin it
Now grab a piece of paper and lay it on top of the frame. (You can turn the frame over if you are worried about the "handedness" of your motif, ie it doesn't have reflective symmetry). Apply dabs of hot glue along one of the short sides of the frame to stick the paper to it. Work towards the other end, tacking the paper with dots of glue- seams are unnecessary and get strands of glue everywhere unless you're very handy with a glue gun, and the paper isn't structural so enough to keep it held to the frame is ok. (Image 1)
Once the glue is set, trim the paper along the edges of the frame, as neatly as you can because this will be on the outside of the lamp. (Images 2, 3)
Step 6: Make some more
Step 7: Wire it up
Strip the other end of the flex similarly and wire the plug. Check that an appropriate fuse is installed- you should only need a 1 Amp fuse for an 11W CFL, but higher wattages (especially in 110V mains areas) will probably need a 3A fuse. If you have a 13A fuse replace it with a lower value.
Install the torpedo switch close to the socket end of the flex if you desire. You can now plug it in and perform a quick test to check all your electrical parts work- if it's going to catch fire, better to do it while it isn't glued into a box made of paper and cardboard.
Step 8: Make the base
Cut a shallow groove from one edge of the base to roughly the centre, to accommodate the flex. Glue the batten socket into the middle of the base with the flex in the groove.
Step 9: Attach the sides
Step 10: Switch on, stand back, admire!
A few notes- the lamp is very light and not very strong, so don't put it somewhere it will get knocked around. With an 11W CFL it gives a soft glow that is ok to read by but won't light up a whole room brightly.
Running for an hour with the lid on, the paper on the lid was slightly warm to the touch and the sides were room temperature so it's probably safe to leave on for long periods, but if you are using an incandescent bulb I would suggest not using the lid.
The lamp is not at all fire safe- don't even think about using a naked flame or other combustion-based source of light in this rather than the lightbulb. Again I accept no responsibility for what you do outside the scope of these instructions.
Step 11: Reader submissions
Thanks to all of them for sharing their work and inspiring me to keep making projects!