X-ray Lamp





Introduction: X-ray Lamp

What to do with an old lamp and those left over x-rays from when you broke your 4th and 5th metacarpals.

Step 1: Dissemble Old Lamp

First I separated the lampshade along the seam.
Second I removed the top and bottom metal rings.
It all came apart fairly simple just be careful not to rip a big tare in the shade (which i did). When your done you'll have a large C shaped piece of paper and two metal rings (see pic).

Step 2: Get Some Old X-rays

If you didn't break your hand maybe you had a hernia or got a nail stuck in your skull.

Step 3: Trim Up the X-rays

Trim up the x-rays to get rid of the excess black borders. Here I score them first to help me cut a straight line.

Step 4: Layout

Lay out the x-rays on the lampshade to get a general idea of where you want them. Trace the outlines.

Step 5: Cut Out Windows

I drew another box inside of the traced x-ray box. Then cut out the inner box. This leaves enough room to glue or tape the x-rays on the inside of the lampshade.

Step 6: Tape and Trim Edges

Tape the x-rays to the inside of the lampshade and trim around the edges.

Step 7: Re-assemble the Lampshade and Your Done.

Tape up the seam and insert the top ring. I used electrical tape for this but hot glue would probably work better. That's it. Put the lampshade on the lamp and you're done.

Step 8: Other Ideas...

-You can use your own material or the x-rays themselves to cut out the pattern for the lampshade. Coat hangers or thick wire can be used for the wire frame.
-You could do interesting things to re-connect the lampshade seam (sewing it together or stapling.)
-Paint or color the lampshade.
-I don't know?



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    As a radiologist, I must advise you that your old x-rays should not be discarded. Should you ever need to have the body part x-rayed in the future it can be very helpful to have the old films for comparison. You can, of course, have the films copied ....

    love that lamp im soo going to try making that

    This is a great idea! Most lamp shades are horribly boring. Right now we've got X-Rays stuck on the window at work, but I may have to take them down and add them to a lamp. Might I suggest a dangling fringe of matching body parts around the edge of the lampshade?

    3 replies

    Here's the picture. It's from a recent bicycle trip. I think I'm up to 15 broken bones!


    What's the count up to now, more than three years later? :D

    Cool idea. post a picture if you end up making one.

    WOW! Thats a great idea!

    Now that's really creative! I love it for a conversation piece and will dig out some old films and try making one; thanx for sharing; I never would have thunk it :<)

    cool idea! I made something along these lines using hubby's skull x-rays. I got 4 cheap photo frames (wooden squared edges) and glued them together to form a square, glued the glass in place and added 4 cotton reels as legs. Painted the whole thing black and varnished. cut x-rays to size and held in place with the clips that used to hold the back of the frame. Looks cool, have done many variations since including postcards of constellations with the stars pierced out and photographs of our wedding.

    Very neat idea. I'm curious how the x-ray film might hold up to all the heat. I suppose with a low wattage bulb and this not being the primary source of light in the room it could last quite a while. Now that you've had it up a while have you noticed anything like this?

    1 reply

    It's not a lamp that I leave on all the time, only 30 min to an hour a day. I haven’t noticed a difference.

    Cool! I like it. Very creative... I almost want to make one, except I can't help but think... Doesn't this sort of negate the point of having a lamp, ie, to provide light? You're cutting out about half of the light coming through... Apart from that. its real pretty.

    2 replies

    Actually it still lights up the room quite nice. Because the x-rays are semi-translucent there is not much change.

    Coolcool! I guess with the lampshade and all, you're blocking out a ton of light anyway, so makes sense... I should try... Hmmm. I have x-rays, just need a nice lamp... I'll make one!