Instructables
Picture of Cast Concrete Lamp

I think this is a fairly simple project for those of you that want to get your feet wet casting concrete. This was the second cast concrete project that I ever tried and I think it turned out pretty good. There are a few nuances that make it a little more advanced than making a stepping stone or a coaster, but fear not, you have an Instructable and soon you can have a really cool custom lamp!

 
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Step 1: Round Up Your Materials

Picture of Round Up Your Materials

Here is a list of materials needed:

A form for your lamp base ( I used a Highway Cone for this one)

Maximizer Concrete Mix or whatever your local store carries

Clear packing tape

A container or two for mixing concrete

Implement for mixing (a hoe or small spade works great)

Rubber gloves (if you're messy)

Mineral Oil, Non-stick cooking spray, baby oil, etc. to aide in removing the form

Lamp Wiring Kit (or scavenge parts from an old lamp)

Lamp Shade (I used a small $2 trash can purchased at Target)

A thrift shop is a great place to go shopping for this project. The local Goodwill Store had several lamps that would have been great for parts ($2 each) and all sorts of glass and plastic vases that could be used for forms (under $2). You can use a glass vessel for a form, but they call for tools and techniques that will not be covered in this Instructable. They work great when the shape is one that wouldn't ordinarily allow you to slide the mold off. With a glass form, after your cement has hardened, you can carefully break the glass in order to de-mold the piece.

Another money saving tip for those on a budget, is to inquire about damaged bags of concrete mix at your local home improvement store. They are notorious for getting torn and spilling. You don't need a full bag for this project and you might just get a damaged bag for the bargain price of free ninety free!.

poofrabbit4 months ago

Congratulations on being a finalist in the Concrete and
casting contest! Best of luck to you!

inklayer4 months ago

Wow! You have my vote. Great first instructable. I imagine that one could also incorporate broken glass with various colors into the concrete mix as well which would probably work better is the form had a cubed shape rather than a cone shape. Either way if incorporating glass the surfaces would have to be sanded after removing the form and a concrete sealer used as a final step. Excellent job!

blancefitz (author)  inklayer4 months ago

Thank you Inklayer. You are right on about using broken glass aggregate. A form with flat surfaces would work better if you were going to grind and polish and expose aggregate. I have started to play around with some glow in the dark aggregate and glow in the dark sand I ordered from Ambient Glow Technologies. It is really neat stuff. Concrete has so many possibilities!

Great job! I love the shape! I thought it was a lot smaller until I saw you holding it to fill the form!

Thank you for the compliment. Some strange optical illusions occur trying to take a picture of a cone. I couldn't figure out why the cone didn't look at all in the viewfinder like it did to my eye. If the camera is not absolutely perpendicular it can distort the image to the point it almost doesn't look cone shaped!

Oh, the adventures in photographing weird shapes! Well you did a great job :)

Dave555554 months ago

A great "ible" that even I could follow. I now look at small garbage cans in a whole new light (pun intended). THANKS ... dave

blancefitz (author)  Dave555554 months ago

Dave, thank you for the compliment. This was my first attempt documenting and sharing a build of one of my projects. It was a lot of fun and I look forward to doing more. I was just recently bitten by the "concrete bug" and everywhere I go lately I see interesting things that I can use for forms or things that I think would be great items to make with concrete.