First, some background :

My fiance had been complaining from a long time now...that how I had stopped making things for her. So for her birthday this year I decided to make her something very romantic and mostly hand-crafted (as far as possible). I was introduced to quilling through a friend who used to make beautiful quilled cards.

After a little help from Google, I zeroed in on a miniature quilled plant. Since I am an aeromodeller, I love balsa wood (the wood used to make rc planes). The two fields collided and this idea was born. A miniature quilled plant in a wooden box which would transform into a night lamp of course at night  :)

PS : I have entered this instructable in "Holiday Gifts Contest" . If you like my work ...please please help me win it for her. That would be awesome.

Edit: I have added a dwg file for the wooden stand. You can get them laser cut. :)

Step 1: Build Broken Into 2 Parts

The build will be broken down into 2 parts :

1 : Quilling the flowerpot
2 : Making the wooden box

Step 2: Qulling the Flower Pot : Supplies

Let us begin by making the miniature flowerpot. We will require the following items :

1 - Scissors
2 - Soldering wire (You can also use florist wire or any other suitable wire)
3 - Craft Glue (Synthetic rubber based)
4 - Quilling needle
5 - Quilling ribbons (Width 5mm , length 45 mm)

You can get all these supplies at your local hobby store or online. Here are some online resources :


Step 3: Making the Flowerpot : Preparing the Ribbon Strip

1 - Take 4 strips of brown ribbon and glue them end-to-end to make strip that is 180 mm long and 5 mm wide.

Step 4: Making the Ribbon Coil

1 - Place the quilling needle as shown in the pic and start rolling the needle to form a coil. Use your thumb and index finger to keep the coil tight.
2 - After the ribbon has been coiled , apply some glue at one end and close the coil.
3 - Take out the coil from the quilling needle and place it on a flat surface. Push from above with your thumb to level out the surface.

Step 5: Shaping the Flowerpot

1 - Hold the coil firmly, with your left hand's thumb and index finger, at the circumference and use your right hand's little finger to gently apply pressure at the middle of the coil. You can experiment and make different shapes by using different things like pen etc to push the coil from the center.

Step 6: Making the Flowers

To make the flowers we would need ribbons of length 50 mm each. I used only red and pink for the flowers. You can use different colors as per your choice.

1 - Cut pieces of 50 mm length. The ribbon has a width of 5 mm.
2 - Use a sharp scissor or a sharp hobby knife to cut slots in the ribbon as shown in pic.
3 - Roll this slotted ribbon using the quilling needle as we did for the pot and glue the end.
4 - Use your fingers to spread the slots of the flower.
5 - Cut solder wire or any other suitable wire and glue it to the flower as shown. Remember to cut a long piece of wire, you can shorten later as per your requirement.

Step 7: Making the Flowerpot Base to Support the Flowers and Foliage

1 - After you are pleased with the shape of the pot, smear some glue on the inside of the flowerpot to fix its shape.
2 - Make a coil, as we did for the flowerpot, with a orange ribbon of length 45 mm and 5mm wide. But do not glue the end and let it loosen a bit.
3 - Apply glue on the bottom of this ribbon an stick it into the flowerpot as shown in pic. This forms the base for attaching the flowers and foliage in the pot.
4 - For making the foliage cut green ribbon strips, as per your preference of length and width and give them a pointed shape as shown in pic.
5 - Hold this ribbon from the non-pointed end and slide a knife along it to give it a curled shape.

Step 8: Placing the Flowers and the Foliage

This is where you have to let your creative juices flow. The placement and height of flowers and foliage will vary from person to person as per his/her taste. What may look good to you may not be for someone else.

I will show you examples of 2 flowerpots I made. Use glue to fix your flowers and foliage. This concludes the flowerpot.

Step 9: Part 2 : Designing the Wooden Box

The most challenging part of this build was to design a box for the flowerpot. I had scrap pieces of balsa wood having thickness of 3 mm , so my design (specially the notches) is based on that thickness.

The design was eyeballed for the most part and a 1:1 drawing was made on paper. This was done to get an idea of the finished piece and how it would all come together.  Also the window design was chosen after many trials such the light coming out would create interesting patterns.The paper on which I have drawn the final plan has grids of 5mm so you can easily judge the dimensions. Major dimensions have been marked. All dimensions in mm. (sorry folks who are across the pond)

Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of the individual cut pieces, but by looking at the pics you should get a fair idea as to how it was made.

If there is enough interest I will make pdf, dwg files for the box design. If you have any questions regarding the box please feel free to put it in the comments.

Here is the list of materials I used :

1 -  Balsa Wood 3mm thick (you can use any wood which is eay to work with)
2 - Glue
3 - Hobby Knife
4 - SMD high intensity led's (you can use standard led's)
5 - Solder wire and iron
6 - Copper/Aluminium wire
7 - Maxell CR2016 Lithium ion battery (The advantage of lithium batteries is that they have high energy density and make the led's glow bright)
8 - 1mm drill bit to drill holes for wires
9 - Sanding paper
10 - An electrical switch

Step 10: Cutting the Individual Pieces and Gluing It All Together

Unfortunately I forgot to click many pics but the process is fairly simple. Cut 2 parts each of the 3 plates in the design. The tab system aligns the plates and interlocks them. Glue 2 pieces at a time and remember to place the plates at 90 degrees. I used a metal ruler as a guide to make sure of the angle between them was correct.

Also I didn't cut any window in the backside plate (change from the original plan) and decided not to cover it from the top. You can choose otherwise.

Please look at the pics and if you have any doubts, put them in the comments. I will answer every one of them. Dont glue the back plate yet. This will be done at the end.

Step 11: Adding the Front Led's

The color I chose for the led's on the front plate is warm white. These smd led's are sold as a strip and are rated for 12V and have adhesive on the back side. But the disadvantage is that there is a lot of distance between each led making it unusable as such for this project. Also you can cut the strips only in groups of 3 leds each and route them accordingly.

Fortunately the led's have exposed connectors on the side. With a little curiosity I found out that each single smd led can be lit with a single 3.7 V lithium polymer battery or 6v lithium Ion battery (which I am using) with good lux . The reason I chose Lithium ion is because it takes special chargers to charge lithium polymer batteries. I didn't need any complications.

1 - Cut 4 led's and stick them on a small strip of balsa wood as shown in pic. Remember to check the polarity of each led before sticking. Positive and negatives  on the same side please.
2 - Strip  a copper wire and solder the wire onto the 4 led's as shown in pic. Same for negative side.
3 - Insulate the wires at the base using masking tape.
4 - Drill small holes on the base plate for routing the wires underneath.
5 - Then stick the led wood strip as shown in the pic.

Do this for the other side as well.

Step 12: Adding Led's Underneath for a Glowing Base and Wiring Diagram

I decided to give the box a purple glow at the bottom to add extra oomph :) . Using the same method which was used for the front led's , I glued 2 purple smd led's at back side underneath the base plate. Copper wires were soldered to the 2 led's.

I have uploaded the circuit diagram for the wiring but, since I suck at drawing circuits, I will explain in brief. Led's have to be connected in parallel and not in series in order to lit each one. They just work that way as they need a potential difference to work. The idea is to connect all positive terminals together and then to the positive side of the battery. Similarly all the negative sides will be connected together and then connected to the negative side of the battery via an electrical switch. 

Let the pics speak for themselves. 

Step 13: Making a Holder for the Battery and Finishing the Wiring Connections

As you may have noticed in the previous step, I had already marked out the position on the battery on the base plate. Let us now create a holder for the same. 

1 - Take your battery and trace it out on wood. The thickness of the 2 cells is 3mm (lucky me) and matches the thickness of the balsa wood I had.
2 - Cut a rectangular portion of the wood around the traced part and cut the traced part.
3 - Sand the bottom side of the holder to allow for wires to go underneath them. (check pics)
4 - Stick the holder onto the base plate.
5 - Complete the negative part of the wiring as per the diagram.
6 - Place the batteries inside the holder and put a tape over it.

Finally apply glue at the bottom of the flowerpot and place it inside the wooden stand.

Your are now ready to impress someone. 

Step 14: Pics

I hope you enjoyed reading this instructable as much I did writing it. If I have inspired you to make it yourself please post a link in the comments.

If there is something I would change about the design it would be :

A commercial battery holder.
Better soldering job. (I am sloppy at that)
I would also increase the window border so as to completely hide the front led's soldering.

Merry Christmas and Happy New year

Ankur Kaul
<p>Great project!</p>
<p>That's cool just can it hold a rain forest plant that gets pretty big.It looks like that</p><p></p>
Amei seu trabalho, muito lindo, precisa de alguns ajustes, mas faltou pouco para a perfei&ccedil;&atilde;o. Parab&eacute;ns! ;) <br>
wow its beautiful...its awesome!
Thanks..please vote for me if you like my creaition :)
its beautiful
Great project!
thanks blkhawk !!
Beautiful! What a nice gift.
thank you ChrysN
That is so adorable! Even though you labeled it mini, I didn't imagine it that small! It's prefect for a little gift for someone :)
Hi Penolopy thank you for your appreciation. The size of the bounding box is 50*50*70 (L*W*H) mm. They are very portable.
Oh how sweet! These would make perfect gifts. :)
Hi Jessy thank you so much for the compliment. Yes they make perfect romantic gifts..I got my rewards too :)

About This Instructable




Bio: I am a happy go lucky person whose interests vary from aeromodelling, painting to micro-controllers and scrap building. I am a certified mechanical engineer and ... More »
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