Cool Cloud Lamp!





Introduction: Cool Cloud Lamp!

Make a very neat lava-like lamp for less than $10 in parts. Uses only soap and water. No chemicals, easy, fun, and the results are incredibly neat!

I added some cheap plastic eyeballs and suspended them from the lid with thread to make an Eerie Halloween Display!

Step 1: Supplies You'll Need

The main things you'll need are a 6" piece of THICK PVC pipe, a 15-25 watt bulb (you can go as high as 40, but the base can get pretty hot at 40), and "pearlized" liquid handsoap that contains glycol stearate or glycol distearate (should be listed on the ingredients of the bottle). Avoid anything that has moisturizers or additives like aloe, etc. Click on the pictures for a full list of the supplies I used.

Step 2: Build the Base

Sand off and trim any plastic leavings on the top and bottom of the PVC pipe. Notch the bottom of the pipe for the cord. You can glue the bottle to the base, but I recommend using an old mouse pad and fashioning a rubber seat you can place the bottle on and glue the ring to the top of the PVC pipe. See pics for illustration.

Step 3: Prepping the Bottle

Soak off any labels in soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Fill the bottle about 3/4 full with warm water. Add 7-10 squirts of the handsoap, screw on the lid and shake well until the soap is mixed. Then "top off" the bottle by adding water to about 1" from the top. (This allows for air expansion as the bottle heats up). I recommend creating a rubber seal for the lid by cutting another piece of the mousepad you used for the base. Cut to fit inside the lid. This helps insure that no water leaks out of the top.

Step 4: Get Ready to Rock!

You can leave the bottom of the bottle clear, but adding some color with magic markers can give it a nice dramatic effect. Place the bottle on the base, plug in the cord, and watch as clouds form and swirl around in the jar. Pictures really don't do it justice. If you'd like, you can view my video on this project below. Expect to have your friends ask you to make these for them! 8)

Step 5: Halloween Mod!

Here's a Halloween Mod I came up with. I used a red permanent marker to draw the dripping blood on the base and the bottom of the jar for the color. I then used some cheap plastic eyeball favors and drilled holes in the backs to fill them with water. I then used sewing pins to suspend the eyeballs from the lid with white thread, and the Eyes of Doom Lamp was born! The coolest part is that the eyes sway with the water currents while mystical swirling red clouds float around them... AHHHHHHH!!!!! 8D



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    Just found this instructable, and wanted to mention that the liquid you're making is called "rheoscopic fluid". Here's an instructable on making some with an alternative way that may be useful for this lamp too:

    Carbon tetrachloride isn't used anymore. For DIY lava lamps, tetrachloroethylene is a better option. It is also known as Perc, and is used by dry cleaners. Still, it is a possible carcinogen and extreme care (masks and goggles) must be taken when it is still in liquid form. As soon as it is mixed with the wax, it shouldn't give off fumes anymore. A full guide on that is found here. I am planning on trying it as I can get the required chemicals, and I have an empty lava lamp.

    I've completed a couple of these, and this is a great idea!  I have put up a video of my build, since it looks like the one in the Instructable isn't there anymore, you can see it here:

    I used "Softsoap with rich moisturizing Shea Butter Beads" for my lamps.

    carbon tetrachloride can cause many health issues when concentrated so thats probably why they stopped using it. I would be suprised if you could buy it.

    I tried getting my hands on some a few years back and couldn't manage it.

    food dye and vegetable oil works for a while! (with a yellow tint!)

    I once mixed some bronze powder with white spirit and got good 'clouds',
    put between 2 sheets of glass, I could leave a 'hand print' in the cloud,
    was going to add a lamp to warm up one end to make a 'hurricane'...
    and hang it on the wall
    might try again with some thrown out double glazing...

    pics! plus instructable! now!

    If you have a blacklight, fill the bottle with tonic water instead of regular water, makes it glow in the blacklight, sooooooooooo cool!!