Introduction: Cardboard Lamp

Make a lamp with only cardboard and string lights (and a little bit of glue)!

Step 1: Materials

  • Cardboard
  • String lights, 20 ct.
  • Brown Paper
  • Ruler
  • Glue
  • Box-cutter
  • Drill (not pictured)


  • Twine (not pictured)
  • Hot glue (not pictured)

Step 2: Cut Out All Pieces

Cut out all the cardboard pieces according to the template pdf attached.

The scored lines should not go all the way through the cardboard, but only enough so that the cardboard can bend freely.

Make sure that all scored lines run perpendicular to the corrugations in the cardboard, as shown in the second image.

Step 3: Construct Lamp Body (pt. 1)

Bring the ends together of each of the rectangular pieces (parts A, B, C, and D) so that they form cylinders. I used glue and brown paper to connect the cardboard since brown paper doesn't show, but you can also use tape.

Step 4: Construct Lamp Body (pt. 2)

Carefully fit the circular pieces into the corresponding cylinder piece (A to F, C to G, D to H). Set aside part E for now. On the underside of each, connect the base to the walls using strips of brown paper, as shown in the images.

Part F should rest 7/8 in. below the rim of part A, as shown in the first image. Part G and Part H should be flush with the rims of C and D.

Step 5: Prepare Lights

Tape each of the bulbs in the string lights to the wire. This will make sure that the lights will not get stuck when threading them into the lamp parts.

Step 6: Thread Lights

Thread the lights through the lamp parts, starting from the base upwards. The lights should first go through part H, then G, then B, then F, until it is in the top "shade" part of the lamp.

Step 7: Connect the Parts of the Lamp

Fit the tabs in parts B and C into the slots in parts F, G, and H. If the cardboard does not go in easily, carefully widen the slot with your knife.

Step 8: Lights!

Remove the tape from the string of lights.

Put the last light on the string into a hole (it doesn't matter where), and continue going around, putting the next bulb into the next drilled hole until all 20 lights have been set up.

Step 9: Making the "lid"

Take part E and attach it to the top of the lamp, using brown paper and glue as before. This allows the top to act as a "lid" and lets you fix any issues with the lights/wiring inside the lamp later, if needed.

Step 10: Wrap the Cord

Wrap the lamp cord with twine, using hot glue to keep the twine in place. This step is optional, but I added the twine to make the entire lamp more cohesive in aesthetic.

Step 11: You're Done!

Plug in and enjoy your new lamp!

Reclaimed Contest 2017

Participated in the
Reclaimed Contest 2017