Introduction: $1 Lamp Project

The object of this project is to construct a lamp using only $1 and whatever else it may be you have access to from tools to even garbage. The point is to begin to help find our way towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future. This particular piece is made from very few pieces and should take anywhere from 3-5 hours to make.

Step 1: Gather Materials.

For this lamp you will simply need one rectangular piece of sheet metal, the dimension is of little importance, however, the piece I used was 5"x20" which came out quite nicely. In addition to the metal, a piece of wood as wide or even wider than the sheet metal depending on your aesthetic and about 1 1/2" tall, as well as a functioning light with power cable (its nice if you are able to find a light switch on the cable however it isn't so important, the one I used came from a pair of christmas candle lights)

Step 2: Bend Metal

The design and silhouette of this lamp is very much freeform and up to the craftsman, bending the metal is easy, getting a shape you are comfortable is the challenging part. Whatever shape you do choose it is important to remember that if you don't want the light bulb to be showing you might want to create something whose angles measure 180 degrees or more. This way whatever shape has been made, not only will the light be hidden but a larger percentage of light will reflect off the surface you have thus created.

Step 3: Cut and Glue

Once you have your desired shape for the metal, use a small piece of wood and copy the angle at which your lamp will sit onto it so that you can make the cut. Once the angles match, you may epoxy the two pieces together making sure the lamp will sit flat.

Step 4: Power Chord Bevel

This step is unnecessary but will add a much sleeker touch to the overall look. Using a drill, locate the center of the lamp where the metal and wood meet and begin to carve out a space for the power chord to slip though. You will see the result in the next photo.

Step 5: Thread Power Cable

As you can see the power cable now can slip right through and up the back of the lamp.

Step 6:

Since the fixture doesn't fit perfectly begin by drilling a hole big enough for the chord to fit through on the back of the lamp. Then cut the cable in order to slip it through the whole. Once all of this is done you may rewire the light. Since almost all household lights run on AC you don't have to worry about mixing up the leads when rewiring. Seal the open wire when finished twisting.

Step 7: Fasten Light Fixture

Next epoxy the light fixture at the farthest point on the sheet metal running parallel with the end. Hold until dry.

Step 8: Flip Over and Give It a Try.

Once the light is securely fastened you can go ahead and give it a try, keep in mind epoxy doesn't cure well in the presence of heat so if it isn't completely hard and dry don't try and turn on the light quite yet.