Introduction: Spiral Lamp

Picture of Spiral Lamp

After a few weeks without any idea that I really liked, I am finally back with this spiral lamp! 

I was in the middle of upholstering a chair in the basement, when I found a bag full of old wood dowels that my father didn't need anymore. I have never really worked with wood but I always wished I could try so I thought this would be the perfect occasion to start doing it!

I didn't want to cut them to make things easier so I played with them for a while before I actually came up with the structure of this lamp.

The dowels I used are about 7cm (2.75 inches) long with a diameter of 5mm (0.19 inches) so the whole lamp is quite small, but it could also be done using bigger dowels.

If you don't have wood dowels, another idea I had would be using paper straws. You can see how I make them on Step 2 here.
Anyhow, I always recommend using LED light bulbs or at least low-energy light bulbs, especially the cold light ones.

Step 1: What You Need

Picture of What You Need
  • 124 wood dowels - you can get them here.
  • hot glue*
  • piece of cardboard
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • light bulb and bulb holder
*I used hot glue because it dries much faster (and I admit I am very impatient sometimes). If you want a better result with more resistance, use white glue which is perfect for wood.

Step 2:

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Take 4 dowels and glue them together to create a square, as you can see in the pictures. Each dowel is a side of the square.
The 2 ending parts of the dowels are round: I glued them in a way that you can see a round side for each of them. I am sure it's much easier to understand looking at the pictures!

Make 31 equal squares this way.

Step 3:

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Now start taking 2 squares: place one above the other, rotating it a little on the right, so that the edges of a square don't touch the ones of the other square. Always look at the pictures for a better understanding.
Make sure that your squares always have the same side facing. They must look identical.

Glue them together where the squares intersect.
I glued 2 opposite sides only but you can glue all of them if you prefer.

Add another square above the others doing exactly the same process.
Keep doing this until you have glued together 28 squares, one above the other (always rotating them).

The rotation will automatically create the spiral effect.

Step 4:

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My dowels are 7cm long (2.75 inches) so I cut a 7x7cm square out of cardboard. Adjust this measure to the size of your dowels.

Trace the outline of your bulb holder in the middle of the cardboard square and cut it out.
Your light bulb holder will pass through this hole to stay still inside the lamp.

Glue the cardboard square to the bottom of your spiral lampshade.

Step 5:

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Take the remaining 3 wood squares you made previously.
Glue them one above the other, turning the middle one upside down. This way the facing side will look different from the other ones. 
Do NOT rotate the squares this time.

All you have to do now is gluing these 3 squares structure to the bottom of your lampshade and it's done!

Insert your light bulb and bulb holder in the lamp and try it...the effect of the light coming out from the spiral is amazing! :)


Farenheit made it! (author)2017-11-19

Very nice idea! Thank you very much for the inspiration!!! :)

nicanica (author)2016-04-30

your lamp has helped me a lot in the project from school, I dedicate my high note :3

janjan_online made it! (author)2016-01-16

Thank you very much for this nice instructable! I love this lamp!!

samarthbhasin made it! (author)2015-11-12

Thanks Linda.. your instructable was very helpful. Proved to be a much
admired housewarming present I made for a friend couple :)

Wow! Great job, I love it!! :)

Lantis0801 (author)2015-07-08

I love the idea. I have some wood stick that I have from my old school project. I'll turn them to this one and some of your other cool cardboard lamp shade ideas.

Thank you! I'll post them once I get a chance to sit down and create. :D

nuelma (author)2015-05-18

I loved is amaizing

AlinesCardboard (author)2015-05-11

Love the idea

dhaneshg (author)2014-11-17

wow!! Look like Angle;))

lindarose92 (author)dhaneshg2014-11-18

Thank you so much!! :)

Darthorso (author)2014-06-17

Great one again! The light effect is astonishing!


lindarose92 (author)Darthorso2014-06-18

Thank you so much! :)

Darthorso (author)lindarose922014-06-18

I will make this one for sure!

lindarose92 (author)Darthorso2014-06-18

Yay! Then you must send me a picture of it!

Darthorso (author)lindarose922014-06-18

When I'll make it, totally! :D

iamrikkimarie (author)2014-01-26

I just painted my front living room turquoise. I am going to make this lamp but paint the dowels. Will use a longer dowel so the light is bigger! This is so cute! I really will post pictures for you!

Wow it sounds great! I can't wait to see it!! :)

mwesner (author)2014-01-11

I was curious if anyone tried using a non-led bulb. If anyone has what were your results? My worry is that it will get too hot and either catch on fire or remelt the hot glue! Please help!

lindarose92 (author)mwesner2014-01-11

I did try an incandescent bulb when I first made it because that was the only one I had, but I kept it on for a very little time just to try my lamp since I was afraid it would get too hot. So nothing happened. I wouldn't use a bulb that is more than 40watt anyway, and since I don't know much about all these things, I prefer to stay on the safe side using a LED bulb or at least a CFL bulb that doesn't get too hot.

If you are concerned about the glue, you could also use white glue so it won't remelt, just like I did for my other lamp. It's probably more resistant too! :)

Dreamchronic (author)2013-11-08

just beautiful :)

lindarose92 (author)Dreamchronic2013-11-09

Thank you very much! :)

KKremke (author)2013-11-02

Fun to make with Popsicle sticks and wood glue too...I'm too lazy to cut dowels. :)

lindarose92 (author)KKremke2013-11-03

Definitely! My dowels were already cut like that...if they weren't, I think I wouldn't have done it either :D

Crazycardfreak (author)2013-07-15

This looks sweet indeed

Thank you so much :)

oegha_n (author)2013-06-19

:P just made it

lindarose92 (author)oegha_n2013-06-20

yaay! :D Please post a picture here, I am so curious to see it!!

oegha_n (author)2013-06-16

so.. many.. lamps.. haha, love it :)

lindarose92 (author)oegha_n2013-06-17

Oh yes, I have lamps all over the house now haha :D

Ferrd (author)2013-05-13

Love this! gonna start building a mini one tonight to replace the boring pendant shade on the rooms main light. Hope the cool light effect spreads across the ceiling. :)

lindarose92 (author)Ferrd2013-05-13

Wow, that would be so great! Please post a picture here when you are done, I am so curious to see it! :)

FryzeBaby (author)2013-04-16

awesome lamp. I am going on a tree branch hunt to make this, hoping it will give a rustic look. Thanks for the idea

lindarose92 (author)FryzeBaby2013-04-16

I really think it will and I am so curious to see how it will be!! I would love to see a picture of it if you can post it here :)

swisel (author)2013-04-13

it sounds cool but can i do this with matches instead of dowels??

lindarose92 (author)swisel2013-04-13

That would be such a cool idea! Matches are usually shorter so I think the lamp will become too small but if you find a way to make them longer, it will probably work...let me know! :)

swisel (author)lindarose922013-04-13

there are some big matches out there, but they can be hard to find. You can always glue two short ones together tough. But instead of maches you can even use chopsticks!

lindarose92 (author)swisel2013-04-13

oh yes, those would be perfect and I think they would give a cooler effect to the lamp because of their particular shape!

mickeypop (author)2013-04-07

I liked it so i made one but with a bit of a twist (pun not intended)

I made it 6 sided instead of 4, so it would open up just a bit more light.

Instead of dowels, Home Depot gives away the paint stirring sticks.

Get 8 to 10 of the 5 gallon sticks depending on the size you want to build,  their about 1/4 inch thick.

Just split them, cut to length and sand and you have a good material to build with.

I wired it with a 7 watt old style Christmas tree light bulb and it looks pretty good but i think i will rewire for LED lighting.

Thank you for a great idea.

Tex Arcana (author)mickeypop2013-04-08

PICS! STAT!! We want to see it!!

mickeypop (author)Tex Arcana2013-04-09

Had a bit of bad luck, my friends nephew bounced a basket ball and there is not enough to take a picture right now.

I plan to build another soon and kind if like the idea of a zig-zag stack instead of a full twist.

I promise a picture as soon as it's built.

lindarose92 (author)mickeypop2013-04-07

Thank YOU!! :) What you made sounds so cool, please post a picture if you can, I'm very curious to see it!

fadilos (author)2013-04-09

easy, nice and perfect, Imagine that with a paint job and LED inside, maybe with some colored LED and arduino touch.
Great Idea thanks a lot.

lindarose92 (author)fadilos2013-04-09

Thank You! :) I wish I was able to work with that kind of things, it would be fun!

pmann1 (author)2013-04-08

This is SO EASY! The light effect is wonderful! A longer, larger, free-standing version to house a fluorescent tube would be a nice addition to a porch or patio. Great instructable - thanks for the idea!

lindarose92 (author)pmann12013-04-09

I am so glad you like it! You are right, a bigger version of it would look even better...I must make it if I find the right materials!

Tex Arcana (author)2013-04-08

Linda Rose, this was amazing! Thank you for the idea!

lindarose92 (author)Tex Arcana2013-04-08

Thank you so much! I am so glad you like it :)

vinayvp (author)2013-04-07

nice work there...i will gift it to my girlfriend...thank for this great idea..

lindarose92 (author)vinayvp2013-04-08

Thank You!! I am sure she is going to love your lamp! :)

amnartist (author)2013-04-07

This reminds me of a table I made. I used to send my husband's clothes to the cleaners and ended up with hundreds of cardboard tube pant hangers. After cutting them in half, gluing them together and painting, this is what I ended up with. One place we lived I had the room to add a piece of round glass for the tabletop.

About This Instructable




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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