Introduction: Teddy Bear Lamp

Picture of Teddy Bear Lamp

Never grow up by keeping your teddy bear where they belong, right next to you at bed. This adorable night light is hidden inside a real stuffed teddy bear, casts plenty of light, and is operated through a switch in the paw making it the perfect bedtime buddy for children, and big kids too!

I based my design off the SuckUK teddy bear lamp - but unlike their $200 version that runs on USB, mine was under $60 and can be operated by squeezing the paw. This adorable lamp was made over a weekend, so it's perfect as a gift for anyone of any age.

Ready to build the best night light ever? Let's make!

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies

I used a small RODD table lamp from IKEA, but instead of using the matching small lampshade I used the OLLSTA lampshade for standing lamps, which looks adorably oversized on my bear.

The teddy bear is a 24" GUND bear named Maxie, I got her online.

You'll also need any rotary tool with a cutting wheel.

Step 2: Measure Bear

Picture of Measure Bear

The aim is to have the top of lamp sticking out from the body of the bear. When seated, the bear is a little shorter than the lamp so some of the lamp shaft will need to be removed to shorten the height.

Step 3: Decapitate

Picture of Decapitate

Might as well get the awkward part out of the way early and decapitate the bear, as we'll need to create room for the lamp and the bear head is just in the way. Since the bear head isn't needed anymore you're free to leave it in the fridge and scare your friends, or add some arms and legs to the teddy head and make a new toy.

Using a sharp hobby knife I located the seam around the bear head separated the head from the torso. Make sure you save all the stuffing you can, as you'll probably need it all during to the project.

Step 4: Mark Section to Remove on Lamp Shaft

Picture of Mark Section to Remove on Lamp Shaft

Sit the bear next to the lamp and mark where the top of the bear lands on the lamp shaft. The distance from your marking to the underside of the light switch flange is the amount that needs to be removed from the lamp shaft in order to conceal the lamp inside the body of the teddy bear.

Unscrew the lamp shaft from the lamp base and prepare for cutting.

Step 5: Transfer Marking

Picture of Transfer Marking

We made the mark on the top portion of the lamp shaft but we actually want to remove a section from the bottom of this lamp as there's less wiring to interfere with our cut, and it's easier to reassemble the lamp afterwards.

I used calipers to measure the distance from my mark to the underside of the switch housing and then transferred that measurement to the bottom of the shaft.

Step 6: Cut

Picture of Cut

Using a rotary tool and a cutting wheel I carefully cut into the lamp shaft at the marked location, however there was the electrical cord in the way so I couldn't cut completely through the shaft. Instead I cut into the shaft and rotated around the shaft, careful not to cut into the electrical wire, until I had severed the shaft at the marked location.

The small section that was removed had a plastic grommet that held the electrical wire. I needed to remove the grommet and free the electrical wire from the small section of shaft I just removed.

Cutting latterly into the cut section of shaft I carefully opened a channel to remove the plastic grommet and remove the electrical wire from the section of shaft. I cut a new channel into the remaining section of shaft and inserted the grommet into the lamp shaft. It may look a little messy, but all this will be hidden inside the bear later.

Step 7: Epoxy, Your Best Friend

Picture of Epoxy, Your Best Friend

After cutting the lamp shaft down to size the base needs to be reattached.

I gently clamped the cut end of the shaft to close up the cut channel and to fit around the threaded base. After mixing some 2-part epoxy I carefully threaded the shortened lamp shaft onto the base with a liberal application of epoxy, ensured the shaft was level on the base and then allowed the epoxy to cure overnight.

Step 8: Remove Bear Ball Sack

Picture of Remove Bear Ball Sack

Some stuffed bears come with a sack of balls inside to help weight them down, usually sewn inside the bear somewhere along the bottom stitching. I was able to carefully remove the ball sack with a sharp knife from the decapitation opening. Not to brag...but becasue of my skillful knifework in such a delicate area, I'm probably as good as a real orchiectomy surgeon.

Step 9: Install Lamp + Pull Power Cord

Picture of Install Lamp + Pull Power Cord

Before installing the lamp it was helpful to remove some of the stuffing from inside the bear. The lamp base was carefully inserted though the neck opening until the bottom of the lamp was seated on the bottom of the bear with no stuffing underneath. A small incision was made on the backside of the bear near the tail seam which the lamp power cord was pulled through. If you plan on installing a paw switch then do not sew up the cord opening on the bottom of the bear.

With the lamp installed the stuffing that was removed was reinserted around the lamp stem and massaged to shape the bear.

Step 10: Sew Neck Opening

Picture of Sew Neck Opening

Using a sewing needle and beige coloured thread the neck was cinched closed . The knot and stitching can be easily hidden under the fur.

My neck cinch came up right underneath the light switch flange of the lamp stem.

The lamp could be done here, but I wanted to take this lamp to a new level by adding a switch in the bear paw instead of the standard neck of the lamp stem.

Step 11: Adding New Switch

Picture of Adding New Switch

For my new switch I chose a push button switch rated for my wall outlet, specifically 120V and up to 7amps.

I tested the contacts with a multimeter to see which terminals I needed to solder to, then soldered to long leads to these terminals and sealed them with heat shrink tubing.

Step 12: Trim Button

Picture of Trim Button

The button for my switch was very long and would look weird when inserted into the paw of the teddy bear, so I trimmed it down.

Step 13: Paw Insert

Picture of Paw Insert

To help hold the new button in the right alignment inside the paw I made a small disc which the switch will sit inside.

The design is a plywood disc shape that will hold the switch inside the paw and always oriented upwards. To do this I measured the approximate diameter of the teddy bear paw, and then the exact dimensions of the electrical switch. I transferred the measurements to a scrap piece of thin plywood, and then cut it out. Since this plywood insert will be hidden inside the bear it doesn't need to look great, but will need to have smooth edges so it doesn't get snagged on any fabric during installation.

The electrical switch was centered in the disc and hot glue was to secure the switch to the disc.

Step 14: Test

Picture of Test

Before installing the new switch assembly inside the bear I tested the button to make sure everything was working correctly.

The multimeter here shows a change from no reading to connectivity when the button is pressed. Success!

Step 15: Installing New Switch + Soldering

Picture of Installing New Switch + Soldering

A small incision was made in the armpit of the bear at one of the seams. I removed the arm stuffing to allow the new switch assembly to be moved down the arm and into the paw. After orienting the button assembly the arm stuffing was reinserted and massaged back into a normal shaped bear arm.

The switch leads were fed through the armpit opening inside the bear and out the opening on the bottom where the power cord exits. Chose one of the leads of the lamp power cord and cut it, then strip a small section off each end. Add some heat shrink tubing to the button leads and solder the button leads to the cut lamp leads, then add heat shrink tubing to cover the soldering. The entire wire connection was then wrapped in electrical tap eto ensure things stayed safe.

The soldered and wrapped connection was stuffed inside the bear, then the bottom opening was sewn shut so that just the electrical cord was left hanging out.

Step 16: Bling Lampshade

Picture of Bling Lampshade

To bling out the lampshade I used an the OLLSTA lampshade for standing lamps, which is perfect as it's made to fit ontop of most IKEA lamps and looks adorably oversized on the teddy bear.

Since the lampshade comes wrapped in plastic to protect the fabric exterior I chose to leave it on while spray painting the inside. I used a glossy metallic gold spray paint and applied a few coats to ensure good coverage.

After the paint has dried the plastic wrap can be removed and installed on top the teddy bear lamp.

Step 17: Light Up the Night!

Picture of Light Up the Night!

Your teddy bear lamp is ready to be your bedside buddy. Squeeze the paw and you'll light up the darkness for a late night read, squeeze again and it's lights out for sleep.

Who says you need to grow up?

Have you made your own teddy bear lamp?I want to see it!

Share a picture in the comments below and get a free Pro Membership to Instructables!


ph2ox made it! (author)2017-11-18

This made a most excellent baby shower gift.

After reading your instructable, the immediate change I wanted to make was using a capacitive-touch paw for a softer method of turning it off and on. I found an alternate lamp that was the perfect height already! ( No need for the trimming of the source lamp.

To forward the touch-capacitiveness, I bought some conductive fabric. (

As everything was coming together, someone suggested making the toggle a heart instead. So my bear has a silver heart on the front that toggles the light between off and three dimming stages. Using the capacitive lamp and the conductive fabric also removed the need to cut or solder any wires and switches. For me the project was mostly sewing!

I had to remove all the body fluff to get the lamp in, as well as cut and resew more of the back to get the larger lamp base in there. I got all the original fluff back in, making the bear super plump!

Thank you for a great alternative to purchasing an expensive pre-made teddy bear lamp.

mikeasaurus (author)ph2ox2017-11-18

FANTASTIC! The capacitive button is a smart addition, and placing it on the heart is adorable :)

Thanks for sharing pictures of your amazing build. Enjoy the Pro Membership!

ph2ox (author)ph2ox2017-11-18

P.S. I used the same bear.. but I still need to get a better lampshade! The one pictured came with the lamp and is.. tubular.

M.C. Langer (author)2016-03-04

Fantastic creation!

TvoAqui (author)2016-01-26

Thanks for the idea! Great job!!!

fregan24 made it! (author)2016-01-20

I made this for my nephew as a Christmas present. He's only 15 months so a bit too young to appreciate it for what it is. Hopefully he doesn't pull it off the shelf and destroy it.

The gold paint on the inside of the shade was a great effect, but it could've used another coat of paint because it creepily ended up looking like a face with the lamp turned on.

I made a simple Bill of Materials below. Great project, thanks for the idea!


LED bulb (2 pack)

Stuffed Bear (Vandring Bjorn, L:

Hemma 18" Lamp

Ollsta Lamp Shade, beige
mikeasaurus (author)fregan242016-01-21

I'm sure he'll grow up loving his creepy face lamp and have many nightmares to share :)

Really, this looks fantastic! Another coat of paint is easy enough, so no worries there. Thanks for sharing a picture of your version, it's awesome! Enjoy the Pro Membership.

TheNewbo (author)2015-12-28

Btw, for cutting, you can take off the bar so it can ileasly be cited remake the hole, use a 8 MM. frill hole

TheNewbo (author)2015-12-28

And this is mine...thanks

moekoe (author)2015-12-24

love it! perfect christmas present for my girlfriend.. thanks for the idea!

alala5 (author)2015-12-22

off with the head!! are you french? XDD it's brilliant, i love it

Eh Lie Us! (author)2015-12-14

Very nice. You can use the head on a wall-mounted plaque.

Kreat0r (author)2015-12-14

good one!

Alywolf (author)2015-12-13

wow, I need to make one of these for my mother in law, but would she dis-own me for chopping the head off??? hmmm I love it.

steinie44 (author)2015-12-10

Not bad, except I would use a longer rod and keep the head on.

gingertux (author)2015-12-10

If you use a pipe cutter (it rotates around the tube and only cuts a little on each turn) it would be safer for cutting without damaging the wiring inside and makes a nice cut that is perfectly parallel to the end of the tube.

Paxman5 (author)2015-12-09

Nice project! It is stored in my "must do"-list!

I think I will modify the electrical part though. Here in Sweden it is illegal to tinker around with 240V applications unless you are a electrician. However, you are safe if you use 12V. Since most LED lights run on 12V it would be easy to buy the same lamp and gut the "high" voltage parts and replace them with 12V ones. An external transformer will supply the power from the 240V socket.

This also makes the lamp totally safe from cuddling toddlers and closet dwellers! :) If the cord from the transformer is connected to the lamp with a plug that easily pop out if tugged on you are even safer if someone snatches the teddy lamp from your bedside table.

mid_life_crisis (author)2015-12-08

It just occurred to me that a simpler mod would be kind of cool too.

Replace the pupil/cornea of the eyes with the right color/size LED and have a really neat nightlight.

IvoG1 (author)2015-12-06

Where did you get that knife? I had the same one that belong to my father but I borrowed it and never got it back :(

mikeasaurus (author)IvoG12015-12-07
IvoG1 (author)mikeasaurus2015-12-07

Olfa knife for the olfa male ;)
Thank you!

john henry (author)IvoG12015-12-07

If you borrowed it you shouldn't you have it? you mean you let someone borrow it?
in any case you should be able to get another one at any hardware store if you lost it.

IvoG1 (author)john henry2015-12-07

You're right, I let someone borrow it. On the other side, I have been buying hobby knifes several times after that and never seen this particular model. Even google images search doesn't show it. Is there a brand name on the yellow tip?

cnorwood-1 (author)2015-12-06

The party hard drunken Teddy lamp.

RanT1 (author)cnorwood-12015-12-06

My first thought, too :-)

The impression is enhanced by the fact that it seems to be slumped back against the wall. I got a flash of a "morning after" scene in a movie, where the camera zooms out and pans to show revelers passed out all over the room.

It's a clever idea, but I have to agree with the notion that decapitation severely depletes the "cuddly" factor: I'd feel a little creeped-out having it on my nightstand. I'd be more inclined to make one with an intact bear wearing a fez, or a similar hat, to act as a lampshade. Or replace the stuffing in the head and body with a wire frame, and have the whole thing glow from the inside.

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2015-12-01

This is hilarious. You should save the bear's head for your severed head in a jar prank.

The heat from the bulb would cause the bear to catch fire if left on too long. I would recommend not doing this.

geeksmithing (author)sgriffith622015-12-06

The author used a LED bulb, thus not much heat

geeksmithing (author)sgriffith622015-12-06

Use an CFL bulb

paulalovescats (author)2015-12-06

What? What? Decapitate??

"Be nice"? My comment is done.

This sick thing would give me nightmares.

syramali (author)2015-12-06

O Really Tell Me!!! What Should I Do With This Innocent Teddy Bear Head !

badideasrus (author)2015-12-05

i'd like to know too. :P that sounds like it could make it's own unique project...

Mark AJA (author)badideasrus2015-12-06

He sticks them on his railings. But he may need a longer fence soon.

Mark AJA (author)2015-12-06

I am shocked and heartbroken over the decapitation of this poor little innocent teddy. :o(

Teddy Bears have the right for life.

3366carlos (author)2015-12-05

very nice, thanks jhawkins for the information. it may look better if you leave the head on and buy or make a longer lamp pole and poke through the head and buy or make a wider lamp shade, leave the bear complete. Also, I would use one of those wireless controlled AC switches instead. Nice project for this holiday season.

jimwi (author)2015-12-04

Why did you neuter the bear?

jhawkins14 (author)2015-12-04

First of all, let me say this is beautifully written and very well done. But when I saw this, I am reminded of a tragic story several years ago when a small child took a lamp, made from a stuffed animal, which was sold a retail stores. The child took it into the closet during the night, turned it on. Somehow whether due to heat transfer, pulling the cord, the electrical wires shorting out, or whatever, it caught on fire. A housefire resulted and the child died. I know this because my law firm defended the store that sold the item. So... I am the first person to say that people can get hurt on just about anything, but I'm just raising the issue of whether it is a good idea to make something that runs off of 110V of electricity into a plush toy that is attractive to kids. OR, maybe you do make it but take precautions so that it is out of reach.

spylock (author)2015-12-03

Borderline creepy,I like it a lot.

00meat (author)spylock2015-12-03

I thought this too. it sort of looses some of it's anthropomorphic quality once it seems headless.

Jedi_zombie85 (author)2015-12-02

really nice build, looks great, might have to do this for my nephiew

just out of interest, did you find there were any issues with heat and the bear? (or potential fire risk) obviously you havnt used the head so there will be space from the light and toy but just wondered about the view from the top


livichris (author)Jedi_zombie852015-12-02

try using a new energy saving bulb or an LED bulb and they give off much less heat

Yonatan24 (author)livichris2015-12-03

That's exactly what he said...

The lamp I used has an LED bulb, so doesn't generate much heat. The lampshade is also larger than the one that is supposed to come with it, which provides ample space around the bulb.

Kreat0r (author)2015-12-03

Great project, Good job :)

mikeasaurus (author)2015-12-02

It sure is! :)

Ayush Sharma (author)2015-12-02

Lol! Looks cool and boys would love like this xD

Antzy Carmasaic (author)2015-12-01

Don't lose your head over losing your marbles...

theblckwlf (author)2015-12-01

this is so great

ClenseYourPallet (author)2015-12-01

Haha... This is awesome as usual

Akinventor (author)2015-12-01

Now the real question is what you did with the head afterwards. :D

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Bio: I'm Mike and I make crazy things at Instructables HQ in San Francisco. Follow me and try a few of my projects for yourself!
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