Introduction: Plastic Bag Lamp

Some of you may remember the plastic bag lampshade I made last year.
This new lamp is very similar to that lampshade, and it's mostly an experiment I did to try a different structure that came up to my mind. I didn't like the paper mache structure I made for the previous one and I believe that this new version is actually better and faster to make.

I would love to see a taller version of this lamp, I think the effect would be amazing. I can't do it at the moment, but if you do, please share a photo, I would love to see it! :)

I always looked at this lamp as an experiment so I didn't expect much from it, but I really hope that some of you can find it useful and it inspires you to create your own upcycled lamp :)

Materials & Tools:

  • Cardboard
  • plastic bags - I'd say at least 3 or 4 big ones
  • 12 wooden skewers
  • white glue
  • bulb holder and LED light bulb*
  • cutter
  • compass
  • long needle
  • ruler and pencil

*the LED light bulb is very important because it won't burn the cardboard.

Step 1: Make the Base

Draw a disc on a piece of cardboard with a diameter of about 18cm (7 inches).

Cut the disc (I did it by hand using a cutter) and divide it in 12 equal sections drawing lines with a pencil.

Measure 5mm (0.19 inches) from the border of the disc and make a sign on each line.
Make a hole where the signs are, using a long needle.

Draw the outline of your bulb holder in the middle of the disc and cut it out to obtain a hole.
You'll insert the bulb holder through that hole when the lamp will be done.

The base is done!

Step 2: Form the Structure

To make the structure you need 12 wooden skewers.

Measure 3cm (0.11 inches) from the flat side of a skewer and make a sign on it.
This will be the distance from the base to the table, as if they were feet. This distance is very important because it will contain the base of your bulb holder. For this reason, I recommend you to measure your bulb holder's base to make sure that 3cm are enough.

Do the same on all of your 12 skewers. Try to be very accurate when you measure this distance so that the lamp won't move because of different feet.

Apply some glue on that part of the skewers and insert them in the holes you made in the cardboard base.
As you insert them, look at the other side of the base (where the skewers come out from): stop passing them through it as soon as you see the signs you made coming out from the cardboard.
This way you'll have the 3cm feet coming out from the bottom, and the rest of the skewers will be used as structure.

Step 3: Prepare the Plastic Pieces

Cut many strips out of your plastic bags.
Their size is not really important, but make sure that all of them have the shortest side of the same size. I made it about 5cm long (1.96 inches).

Take one of the strips and fold it as if you were making a fan.
To do this you need to fold it up a little bit starting from of the short sides, then turn it and fold it again at the same distance. Turn it again and repeat until you reach the other end.

Open it up again and gently fold it about 4 or 5 times to obtain a shorter layered piece of plastic.

Do this with all of your strips.

Hint: I didn't know how many strips I needed when I started making them, so I simply made more as I put them on the structure.

Step 4: Compose the Lamp

Insert one of the longest sides of your first plastic piece in two skewers.
Insert the others this way all around the base.

After the first round, insert a plastic piece in other two skewers, right where the free spots of the previous round are.

When the second round is complete too, make another just like the first one.
Proceed this way until your reach the top of the skewers and your whole structure is full of plastic pieces.

Step 5: Make the Top of the Lamp

Cut a cardboard disc as big as the first one you made.
Divide it in 12 sections as well and make holes, just like what you did on the other disc.

Trace a smaller circle in it at about 2cm (0.78 inches) from the border of the disc, and cut it out.

What you have now is a cardboard ring.

Step 6: Cover the Ring

Cut more plastic strips. Their size is not important at all this time, you can even use scraps, like I did.

Spread some white glue on the cardboard ring and lay your plastic strip on it.
Wrap it around the ring and apply some more glue at the end when your strip has finished.
Keep doing this with other strips until you cover the whole ring.

Prick the plastic where the holes are with a needle, making sure NOT to pass through the other side of the ring. This way the holes will be on one side only.

Step 7: Add the Top

Put glue on the skewers' tips and insert them into the holes of the ring.

Press the ring down a little, but be careful not to make the skewers pass through the top. They must stay inside of the cardboard.

Let it dry completely and adjust the plastic pieces. You can even trim some if they don't look good.

Step 8: Done!

The lamp is done!

Insert the bulb holder from the bottom, right through the hole you made in the base.
Add the LED light bulb and turn it on! :)

Comments

author
jeanniel1 made it!(author)2016-08-17

Oh, I at first thought you'd simply opened the bags up into a cylinder (cut the bottom open, took off the handles), and wrinkled them around the skewers, stacking them atop one another till covered. I guess an alternative is to double over a wider length of the plastic, and gather it while also poking through it with the skewers - like making ruffles.

author
geekrex made it!(author)2015-09-11

Love this one ,
I can use this technique to smash with my glow circuit :)
Freaking awesome

author
Hasan+Tito made it!(author)2015-04-22

Nice work, I really appreciate your skills..keep going in Linda, with all best wishes.!

author
lindarose92 made it!(author)2015-04-22

Thank you so much, it means a lot! :)

author
domenic3 made it!(author)2014-09-02

very innovative

author
lindarose92 made it!(author)2014-09-02

Thanks a lot!

author
hunter999 made it!(author)2014-07-06

Wow, the simplicity of this amazes me, yet it is so clever. Awesome job Linda :D!

Sorry for my absence, been watching the world cup! Too bad Italy and England never made it out of the groups :-(. England didn't surprise me anyways, hehe :-)

author
lindarose92 made it!(author)2014-07-07

Thank you so much! Are you going to enter the K'nex contest? :)

author
hunter999 made it!(author)2014-07-14

Yup, it's what I specialise in :-). Too bad I broke my thumb yesterday :-( So some of my entries will be delayed. It's good to be commenting again.

I'll reply to your PM's asap! :D

author
lindarose92 made it!(author)2014-07-15

So sorry to hear about your thumb :( I hope it goes back to normal soon!

author
hunter999 made it!(author)2014-08-04

Haha, it's much better now! Just finished my large entry for the contest, but this new editor is being a pain aha :-)

author
lindarose92 made it!(author)2014-08-04

haha I had the same feeling about it at first, but I'm getting used to it now :D

Have you already published the project?

author
hunter999 made it!(author)2014-08-04

Nope, not yet! But I'll give you a small preview (this will also tell me if I've done a good job)

Can you guess what it is below? :-)

P1100515.JPG
author
lindarose92 made it!(author)2014-08-04

I can't believe that! :O Does it really work???

author
hunter999 made it!(author)2014-08-04

Yup yup!!! 'Ible in less than 48 hours :-) Can you guess what it is? :D

author
lindarose92 made it!(author)2014-08-04

It looks like a food mixer to me :)

author
hunter999 made it!(author)2014-08-04

Bingo!! Yay, now that confirms that I got the shape right! Thanks so much Linda.

And, yes it is fully functional with 2 motors :D

Vid is up soon!

(You just made my day haha).

author
lindarose92 made it!(author)2014-08-04

haha you really got it right, I can't wait to see the ible and find out how you made it!

author
rainerfabio made it!(author)2014-07-10

Very beautiful, fantastic!! congratulations!!

author
lindarose92 made it!(author)2014-07-10

Thank you so much!!

author
ahjack46 made it!(author)2014-07-08

it's a superb idea !

author
lindarose92 made it!(author)2014-07-08

Oh thank you! :)

author
ahjack46 made it!(author)2014-07-08

it's a superb idea !

author
thesnowtheriver made it!(author)2014-07-06

awesome! great job, excellent idea!

author
lindarose92 made it!(author)2014-07-07

Thank you very much!! :)

author
faisalt305 made it!(author)2014-07-06

good100%

author
lindarose92 made it!(author)2014-07-07

Thanks!

author
emilyvanleemput made it!(author)2014-07-02

Oh, love it! where did you get the LED light bulb?

author
lindarose92 made it!(author)2014-07-02

Thank you Emily!! The LED light bulb can be found in regular hobby stores or wherever light bulbs are sold. At least, that's how it is here...if you can't find them where you are, I'm sure you can get them on Amazon as well! :)

ps: still looking forward to seeing your lamp ;)

author
emilyvanleemput made it!(author)2014-07-03

I'm still looking forward to seeing it as well ; ). The parts are almost finished now and then I need to figure out how to light it, since I'm kind of making it up as I go ; )

author
lindarose92 made it!(author)2014-07-03

Yay! I can totally understand that, I kind of had that problem when I made my first lampshade...but believe me, that will the best part!! :D

author
emilyvanleemput made it!(author)2014-07-05

Haha, well, it obviously turned out great :D Hoping to add some more parts to that draft this evening and then I might just be able to finish it tomorrow :D :D

author
summerinhawaii made it!(author)2014-07-04

Fantastic!! Thank you for sharing your talent :)

author
lindarose92 made it!(author)2014-07-05

My pleasure :) Thank you!!

author
sunshiine made it!(author)2014-07-01

Wow this looks awesome. I will come back when the vote button is up there! Thanks so much for sharing Linda.

sunshiine

author
lindarose92 made it!(author)2014-07-02

You are so kind sunshiine, thank you so much! It means a lot :)

author
sunshiine made it!(author)2014-07-02

Had to come back and give you 3 cheers:) My son loved your lamp. Keeping fingers crossed for you.

author
lindarose92 made it!(author)2014-07-02

I can never thank you enough sunshiine! You are a great maker and a even greater person :)
Your instructables got my votes as well!

Have a beautiful day!

author
sunshiine made it!(author)2014-07-04

Gee thanks Linda! I always appreciate your support. Have a super special weekend.

sunshiine

author
Passion+Make made it!(author)2014-07-04

Awesome :)

author
lindarose92 made it!(author)2014-07-04

Thanks! :)

author
DIY-Guy made it!(author)2014-07-03

It's beautiful!
What about dusting?
What about brittleness over time? Grocery bags fall apart fairly quickly even when stored out of direct sunlight but exposed to reflected light entering from windows.
Any ideas to deal with these issues?

author
lindarose92 made it!(author)2014-07-03

Thank you!

Honestly I don't know about that, maybe you could use thicker bags and see what happens.
All I can tell you for sure is that I have had the Tutu lampshade up since last year, and it's still like that. I haven't had any of the problems you mentioned yet.

To eliminate dust you can simply blow air on it, even using a compressor.

author
Ericsgirl made it!(author)2014-07-03

Oh my goodness, is this ever gorgeous! Absolutely precious; and I do understand how you believe a large version would be amazing! I am just blown away, I shall bow down to you!!! <'~'>

author
lindarose92 made it!(author)2014-07-03

Aaaw thank you so much for your kind words, I'm so glad you like it!! :)

author
Muhaiminah+Faiz made it!(author)2014-07-03

This is the cutest lamp ever! LOVE it :)

author
lindarose92 made it!(author)2014-07-03

Oh thank you so much Muhaiminah!! :)

author
Tarun+Upadhyaya made it!(author)2014-07-01

I could not agree more with what Shazni mentioned :). How? Awesome lamp my dear friend.

author
lindarose92 made it!(author)2014-07-02

Thank you Tarun Ji!! If it wasn't for you I didn't even publish it :)

author
Tarun+Upadhyaya made it!(author)2014-07-02

Oh Linda Ji, you are super humble :)

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Bio: I love creating. I love ART in all its forms. I am a daughter of the 50s, born in 1992. I had the pleasure to ... More »
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