Picture of Keyboard Circuit Sheet Lampshade
I had a really old keyboard lying around that I planned to use to make a Keylendar.  Upon opening it up I noticed that the circuit sheets were a really pretty bluey/green colour.  I thought this would make a great lampshade. 

For the light source I used an LED puck light connected to a USB cable so that I can have it near my computer.  The light cast through the lampshade is not overly bright but it makes for nice mood lighting.

Step 1: Materials and tools

Picture of Materials and tools
  • Old or unwanted keyboard
  • Light and power source ( I used an LED puck light connected to a USB cable)
  • Metal tin
  • Glue
  • Clear packing tape
  • Hole punch
  • Screwdriver
astroboy9074 years ago
Hey- if you still have your keyboard could you shoot over the model #? Thanks- Astroboy907
ChrysN (author)  astroboy9074 years ago
I no longer have it but I did take a picture of the model #, etc. The model number is SCORP104. I don't know if the rest of the info. is helpful.


longwinters3 years ago
Great idea: It's projects like this that make me glad I discovered this place.

You deserved the first prize.
ChrysN (author)  longwinters3 years ago
Thank you, and for the patch too!
hussam.tech4 years ago
good work
ChrysN (author)  hussam.tech4 years ago
This is a project I would love to do. Thanks for sharing.
CrLz4 years ago
ChrysN (author)  CrLz4 years ago
Thanks, I think I lucked out with a really nice looking keyboard sheet.
CrLz ChrysN4 years ago
I'd say fortune favors the prepared- this and your tea lights are really nice circuitry artwork. Thanks for sharing!
Amazing idea. Love it =)
ChrysN (author)  cdawisconsin4 years ago
Thank you!
Looks awesome! Great job!
ChrysN (author)  shesparticular4 years ago
SG1Oniell4 years ago
Why can't I favorite this? It won't let me
ChrysN (author)  SG1Oniell4 years ago
Unfortunately a Pro membership is needed to favorite something.
You're kidding? When did that happen? I was able to favorite several others today, and have probably 300 favorites or so. Why did this happen?
ChrysN (author)  SG1Oniell4 years ago
Sorry, I must be mistaken then, it must just be a bug.
I was going to say it didn't seem right, plus I was able to favorite others after it. I think the issue is that the bar that contains the steps at the top is blocking the favorite option at the top of the page. I would love to favorite this, you did a really great job with it. Perhaps after the contest bar goes away it will be able to display the favorite function, untill then, great job mate.
ChrysN (author)  SG1Oniell4 years ago
Jago134 years ago
This would also be pretty portable because if you have an iPod, you can plug the usb into where the iPod's usb would go and then plug that into the wall.
wholezam4 years ago
ChrysN (author)  wholezam4 years ago
johniram4 years ago
I love the design!
MandingaRes4 years ago
Fantástico!Es un buen ejemplo de como reciclar las cosas y lo pondré en práctica en mi escuela para enseñar a hacer a mis alumnos.
Muchas Gracias!!
ChrysN (author)  MandingaRes4 years ago
Thank you!
I think you could also use those plastic containers that new CD stacks come in for the top and bottom.
ChrysN (author)  georgiapeach7734 years ago
Nice idea!
ramhardikar4 years ago
Good one!
I'm thinking there must be a way to attach old CDs to use as the top and bottom. They would have a hole built in to vent the top and you could run the wire through the one on the bottom if you glue on some wood beads for feet.

If you know someone who does scrapbooking, jewelry, collage, or shadowbox art, they might have a use for your keys.
don't use wooden beads for the feet.... use the keyboard keys! :)
ChrysN (author)  georgiapeach7734 years ago
CDs are a great idea!
nahuel_64 years ago
Just great! An excellent idea, simple, cheap and easy to do! I will check the colour of the circuit sheet of a keyboard i have in disuse in order to make this...
sharzz4 years ago
This is a lovely contemporary lamp. I will collect the materials and make one. Thanks for a clear instructable.
PyrocanthaX4 years ago
Now...I want to find an old key board, and break it open to see what I can find...:)
soydannn4 years ago
i loved it =)
M.C. Langer4 years ago
I think it's an awesome idea!! :-)
ChrysN (author)  M.C. Langer4 years ago
Great work Chrisy! :D

I also can't believe I wasn't subscribed! Well... it's apperantly called "following" now... So I'm following you now! (okay that sounds stalkery... :p)
ChrysN (author)  MichelMoermans4 years ago
Thanks. The term follow is going to take some getting use to.
Yeah it kinda looks facebook-e.. I thought we were going to try to avoid that... Also what the hell? I can log in via facebook now?!
Thats what I was thinking- why the hell would we want to log in with a facebook account!?!
stncilr4 years ago
Just came back from the thrift store with two tin can lids, a kids night light and an old keyboard. Currently waiting for paint to dry on the lids.
ChrysN (author)  stncilr4 years ago
Cool, feel free to post a picture here when your done.
stncilr ChrysN4 years ago
Here you go! Can anyone suggest a project that can reuse the keys from the keyboard? Check out more of my projects on my flickr account! (and you'll find this image properly rotated!)
ChrysN (author)  stncilr4 years ago
Nice! Did you check out the keylendar (http://www.instructables.com/id/Keylendar/). That's what I did with my keys.
stncilr ChrysN4 years ago
Its a nifty project, but i have a feeling i would not end up using it.
Cool. I made an Atari Punk Console as well. It's not as good-looking as yours (probably because i circuit bent it into oblivion), but it's got a lot of cool features. And nice lamp. I'm planing on making one, but i doubt it'll look anywhere near as good as that.
It's really easy to do, im sure it'll look as good as mine!
This is such a cool idea! I use the keyboard keys on my cat beds a lot. The rest of the keyboard often ends up as a frame, but couldn't think of any way to use these guys... but i love how cool they look, so i keep them... wondering what to do.

No i don't have to wonder any more... you have opened up doors of possibilities, so cool!!
ChrysN (author)  AlpineButterfly4 years ago
Ah, your the one with the cat beds, those look amazing!
Thank you, that's sweet :-)
TSC4 years ago
I got to do this!! Sweet!!!
astroboy9074 years ago
Sweet, looks like a great project. May be worthy of taking apart my apple keyboard. If not, a trip downtown should get me a $4 used keyboard
Newton4 years ago
awesome, i have to build one of these :)
ChrysN (author)  Newton4 years ago
Thanks, feel free to post a picture here if you do.
MechEngSk4 years ago
Clever idea.

To make to light more uniform you can put in linear light source. You will end up having same lighting effect throughout the lamp. Also the bottom and top can be made using black perspex.
Also using cable seal you can safely attach the cord to the lamp side. Otherwise just make a knot on the cable slide a washer through on it and the feed if through the lamp side from inside. You should have the washer between the knot and the lamp wall, and the distance length of the cord in (between the knot and the connections) should be longer than the distance between the connections and the lamp wall. If you ever pull on the cord you will not rip out your electrical connection to the light in the lamp.
ChrysN (author)  MechEngSk4 years ago
Thanks the final product could use a bit more polish, a linear light would definitely look better.
tfrost19804 years ago
You must have seen this in "62 projects to make with a dead computer" by Randy Sarafan. He came up with the idea, but yours is nicer.
ChrysN (author)  tfrost19804 years ago
Really, I actually haven't read his book yet. I guess trying to win a (signed) copy of his book using something in it is a bit awkward.
kill-a-watt4 years ago
If you have trouble with the LEDs, next time wire it so each one has it's own dropping resister.

The failure mode here might be that one of the LEDs would die early from taking more than it's fair share of the current. Then the remaining two would fail because suddenly they both have to take on the current from the blown diode.

Here's what I'd do starting from scratch:

Solution 0: 1 x 3 array uses 3 LEDs exactly
    +----|>|---/\/\/----+  R = 100 ohms
    +----|>|---/\/\/----+  R = 100 ohms
    +----|>|---/\/\/----+  R = 100 ohms

The wizard says: In solution 0:
  each 100 ohm resistor dissipates 40 mW
  the wizard thinks ¼W resistors are fine for your application
  together, all resistors dissipate 120 mW
  together, the diodes dissipate 198 mW              
  total power dissipated by the array is 318 mW      
  the array draws current of 60 mA from the source.

(via http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz )

 I used 3 LEDs, 3.3 volts per LED, 5 v. supply, and 20 mA current per each.
ChrysN (author)  kill-a-watt4 years ago
Cool, thanks for the tip.
instruct394 years ago
awesome! love it when people come up with new ideas to to do with keyboard circuit boards
Nice! I've been saving an old keyboard sheet, waiting for something to do with it...
oriololler4 years ago
Looks great.
caarntedd4 years ago
I think I'll make this.
mikeasaurus4 years ago
Looks great.
If you're not happy with the top, why not swap it with the bottom? Seems to have a cleaner look.
The keyboard pattern looks awesome!
ChrysN (author)  mikeasaurus4 years ago
Yah, I should do that, I guess I had my heart set on finding another lid.