My mother was eyeing the Asian-style lamps at Target and World Market, so with Christmas approaching, I decided to build her one. This project can be completed with basic woodworking skills and less than $20 worth of materials. If you're interested, read on!

- Jigsaw: I purchased a Makita 4329 and have been happy with it. Make sure to get good blades too.
- Dowel Drilling Jig
- Drill
- Sandpaper
- Electric Sander 
- A Clamp or two
- Ruler
- Try Square or similar: The $2 polycarbonate square I found at Menards is one of my most used tools. It can be clamped and used as a jigsaw-guide.

- Wood: Maple, about $20 for a 6 foot section. About half was used in this project.
- Dowels: I bought a 3 ft long quarter inch dowel and cut it into pieces - much cheaper than pre-made dowels
- Lightbulb Socket: Can be scavenged from an old lamp or purchased at a hardware store
- Wood Glue
- Textured paper for shade: I found a nice "cloud" pattern in the scrap-booking section at Michael's craft store.
- Wood Finish: I used Arm-r-Seal Urethane Gloss, but any finish works. 
- Bulb: I used an orange CFL to reduce the risk of fire and create a more classic look. 

Note: Not all these tools and/or materials are needed to complete this project. Much of the sanding was done by hand. The pieces could be cut with a hand saw, and dowels are not necessary. There are many other choices of wood as well.

Safety Equipment
- Glasses
- Hearing Protection
- Dust Mask or Particulate Respirator (A good respirator lasts much longer and works better than disposable masks)

A few words on safety
Power tools are dangerous and cause hundreds of thousands of injuries each year. It takes less than a second to lose a finger or an eye, and hearing damage, while more gradual, cannot be healed. Always understand proper power tool operation, don't work while tired, and use personal protective equipment. This video by "thinitz12" gives a good idea of how quickly power tools can turn dangerous: http://youtu.be/u7sRrC2Jpp4

A few more words on safety
Woodworking and electrical wiring involve many health hazards. If you are not 100% comfortable with either, ask for assistance.

Step 1: Design

A quick Google image search for "Japanese Lamp" turns up many nice designs. The lamp that stuck with me was this one:


The gently curved legs, in particular, looked much nicer than the typical "box" styles.

If working with a nice (and pricey) wood, it's good to first make a prototype/half mock up from scrap (Menards has a bunch of $1-2 "utility wood", usually pine with bad knots or warping). The initial design included some roof element and cross pieces to support the paper. As the project progressed, I discovered they weren't really necessary, and decided to eliminate them for simplicity, and what I think is a more elegant look.
Getting ready to do one now,but will do cherry blossoms with water colors on my paper panels.Im using ideas from a couple designs here,along with a few of my own,so thanks for the ideas,great job.
Awesome idea, and best of luck.
Looking at this, I got the idea that maybe you could use 4 lengths of LED rope light running up the shade behind each leg of the lamp. That way, you would have something that doesn't have a central bright spot that most traditional lamps do. If I ever get some free time, I might try this.
That's a neat idea - especially if RGB LEDs were involved.
How very lovely. Makes me wish I had a jigsaw. And more experience in fine woodwork. <br> <br>Bravo!
Thank you.
That's a good elegant design, nice work. <br> <br>:)
Thank you

About This Instructable


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Bio: Hello! I'm an engineering student in Wisconsin. I enjoy woodworking, machining, and fixing things.
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