Introduction: Build Your Own Death Star Shade

About: I'm all about Making and Mental Health. Reach out if you need a chat .

UPDATE: the cutting files are now available on the final step!

If you're reading this, you've bought one of my Death Star lampshade kits*, so, firstly: THANK YOU.

To put the shade together, you will need...

  • PVA glue - the thick, gloopy kind is better.
  • Masking tape.
  • Sandpaper and/or a needle file.
  • Somewhere to hang the shade as you make it.
  • A slightly-damp cloth close at hand for glue-covered fingers.

*If you're confused about this, have a look at my shop: LINK

Step 1: The Jig

To keep things lined up, I made a jig.

Tape the base of the jig into the lower plate of the lampshade. Tape both sides, and make sure you don't obstruct any of the slots.

Slide the core of the jig through the base plate, and the upper plate, then lay them on their side.

Lay the equatorial ring over the top of one of the plates.

Step 2: First Ribs

The ribs have small stems to fit into the top and bottom plates. I have designed them to be snug, but plywood is a natural material and can vary in thickness.

Make sure you test-fit each rib before you glue it. If the fit is too tight for your liking, lightly sand or file inside the slots and test again.

Glue along the stems of the first rib, and glue it in place. Glue the second rib opposite the first.

Move on to the next step before the glue is dry.

Step 3: Add More Ribs

Before the glue is dry on the first two ribs, hand the shade up from the top of the jig core.

Twist the equatorial ring into place between the two ribs, adding glue to both sides of the rib, half way up. Add a piece of masking tape to where the ribs and the ring cross.

Add ribs in pairs, opposite each other, making sure the stems of the ribs are flush in the top and bottom plates, and that the equatorial ring crosses all the ribs half way up.

Step 4: Lower Dish Support Rib And

The Big Shooty Dish is held in place by two partial ribs. The lower one is the larger of the two and needs to be set in place before you set the dish on it.

Make sure you glue it into the equatorial ring as well.

Step 5: Falcon Support Rib

The last full rib you set in place will be the one with an extra small stem on the outside, which is going to support the Millennium Falcon.

Personally, I prefer the Falcon orbiting the bottom of the shade, but if you disagree just fit the support rib the other way up.

Step 6: Big Shooty Dish

While the glued ribs are drying, it's time to put the Big Shooty Dish together.

Simply glue and line up the three parts of the dish, then turn it upside down and add a weight of some kind for a few minutes to give a firm joint.

Step 7: Assemble the Falcon

You simply build up the falcon in layers - start by adding the ring to the bottom of the main fuselage and then add the top parts - most pieces simply line up with the others, but the two smallest rectangles need to be lined up by eye.

Place something flat on top of the Falcon, like a coaster, add a little weight and leave the glue to dry.

Step 8: Fitting the Big Shooty Dish

Add a generous amount of glue to the angle of the lower part of the rib, then glue the upper part of the rib in place and add glue to the angled end of that one as well.

Set the dish in place and then do not disturb it until the glue is dry.

Step 9: Fit the Falcon

Add a blob of glue to the stem for the Falcon, and then slot the Falcon onto the stem.

Leave it to dry, and then you are ready to fit the shade.

Step 10: Finishing

When the glue is all dry, remove the masking tape, including that holding the building jig in place.

Fit the shade to your light fitting, add a bulb, and you're set to go!

Remember: this shade has not been tested with a filament bulb - the heat may make the shade warp. Ideally, you should use an LED bulb, but a CFL bulb will suffice.

Step 11: DIY

Obviously I'd rather you bought your parts from me, but if you have access to a laser cutter, and you pinky-swear not to sell them, I've attached a set of the cutting files to this step.

They're created to use with 3mm thick plywood, but feel free to experiment with other materials, and post your images here if you make your own.