Beautiful lamp made from trash -- LITERALLY!

This instructable was another one completely inspired by trash. My physics teacher had been talking about "reusing things before you recycle to conserve energy...", so i did just that. As the title indicates, this lampshade is made entirely from trash but looks very nice.

Materials:

COFFE GROUNDS
PAPER (old typed on computer paper)
BAMBOO SKEWERS
LAMP (socket and wire...the hanging type)
ELMER'S GLUE
MICROWAVE (!?!...you'll see later)
BAKING SHEETS

Step 1: Gather Materials

For the paper, well, look around you. Where there's a printer, there's old paper, so just look for the things you area about to recycle (you were about to recycle them right??) Four sheets are required per lamp shade. For clarity, the paper is normal 8.5 x 11 printer paper, nothing special. I used my old Calculus AP review sheets.haha.

For the coffee grounds, i came across a great technique for getting lots, and i mean LOTS of grounds. They need to be used to give the proper color, so rather than making five gallons of coffee at my house, i called up my local Starbucks and asked them to please hold their used coffee grounds. Surprisingly, they did and gave them to me for free. I got about five pounds (later i learned that i only needed about two handfulls for the entire lamp shade, so maybe five pounds was a little extravagant)
Rich_Limburger3 years ago
gorgious organic colouring :-) gr8 instructable. i'll use the paper colouring it as a base to make my own lampshade.
raj.dabholkar7 years ago
The holes aren't aligning! Did you use A4 paper? its not forming a decent circle at the top. Can you put up some more pictures between the 7th and 8th pictures in step 4
j626no (author)  raj.dabholkar7 years ago
sorry man...i made this like a year and a half ago, i dont have it anymore to take pictures of.... but yes, it is A4 printer paper. Are you aligning the outer-most hole with the inner-most hole? thats how it goes together. test it out with regular paper, not the stained paper. then you will understand it better. sorry i couldnt be of better help :(
6 years ago
nah man.. no worries.. i just aligned my 2 papers at an angle the way i wanted it.. pushed a bob pin at the 2 ends and speared those two damn skewers in! :) came out pretty nice.. but i used black coffee instead of coffee beans.. so the design is more mellow..
TheStrangeAngel7 years ago
Would air drying work or is the heat a necessary factor? These are really cute by the way, I'm defiantly going to make some
j626no (author)  TheStrangeAngel7 years ago
i dont believe the heat is necessary. i just tossed them in the microwave because i didnt want to wait for them to dry.lol. if you are going to use air-drying however, i would suggest sandwiching it between a counter and a book or other flat object so that it doesnt curl unexpectedly. just a thought.
Patrik7 years ago

I don't want to take away from the beauty of your design, but I do feel an urge to point out that this isn't a great example of reuse. The only thing you are really reusing is 4 single-sided sheets of paper, plus perhaps a set of chopsticks for the dowels. But you are also using up some paper towels to clean the microwave, and a good amount of electricity to dry the glue and dye (air-drying is free). The coffee grounds aren't really reused, since you have to throw them away anyway.

A better reuse of paper would be to make sure you don't throw out (for recycling, naturally) any paper until you've used *both* sides. Paper printed on one side makes for excellent scratch paper, either for a scratch notebook (just staple together), or as printer paper.

If anything, I would argue that this project is a better example of "reduce" - which actually ranks higher on the "reduce, reuse, recycle" priorities. By making your own lampshade (hopefully by using a light socket you already had lying around), you avoid buying a new lamp in a store - which would have consumed a lot more energy to produce than the small amount of materials you are reusing here.

Anyway - great job either way. Just needed to vent a little. ;-)
7 years ago
Even if you bought the cord and socket, you'd still be using much less material than if you purchased an entire lamp. Coffee grounds are definitely reused- you're using them for a secondary purpose rather than just throwing them out and purchasing brown dye.Keep in mind that nothing can be reused indefinitely. PLUS coffee grounds are great fertilizer, so you could use them as such if you wanted to lessen your impact.
ich bin ein pyro8 years ago
i like how you used all the parts together the paper and the coffie grounds the microwave it all seems so simple after someone shows you how good job
crestind8 years ago
This is a great idea! Must give off a wonderful coffee aroma when it gets hot :D Built in aroma-therapy perhaps?
j626no (author)  crestind8 years ago
idk about aroma-therapy, its not quite that strong, but yes, you are correct in stating that it does give off a nice coffee scent.
punkrunner2048 years ago
well done!
that looks like a project i will have to try sometime

=D