Introduction: Concrete Bedside Lamps by Using Molds of Trash

Using old packaging for creating something nice and valuable? - YES, its possible :)

I always have to much waste in my dustbin and I was wondering if it is really necessary to throw away plastic and packagings without using it twice. I have not known that I could use some of my waste for creating new and valuable objects. So I was wondering what I could do with the loads of waste.

I found out that I need two bedside lamps. Actually I never had one because I could not decide for one. So thats why I started collecting old bulbholders with a switch from old lamps, trash which I could use as molds and some old cement and sand from last years homeprojects. I will show you how to create the bedside lamps in the next steps :)


For the concrete bedside lamps I've gathered up the following things:

  • packaging waste such as empty and clean milk carton, packaging of cottage cheese, ...
  • 2 bulbholder with switch
  • 2 bulbs
  • aluminium wire
  • old picture frame
  • cement
  • quartz sand
  • water
  • bucket for mixing the concrete
  • big spoon (for mixing)
  • scissors
  • felt pads (leftovers from ikea)
  • gaffer tape or sticky tape
  • sandpaper (between 100 and 180)
  • drill and a suitable bolt
  • suitable dowel
  • hammer
  • screwdriver
  • brushes for painting
  • golden paint
  • black paint
  • newspaper

Step 1: Collect and Clean Your Trash

Whatever you want to use the trash for: First of all, clean it and let it dry.

I use an old milk packaging, a cottagecheese packaging, an old picture frame and two old bulbholders.

💡 my tip:Start collecting 1 week before you start crafting to make sure you have enough empty packaging and to let it dry.

Step 2: Turn Your Trash Into Molds

The only thing you have to think of: Make sure that you can remove the dry concrete out of your mold. The best way is to use plastic or Tetra Paks, because its easy to remove the dry concrete.

For me, an empty Tetra Pak fitted perfectly for my new bedside lamp and an empty cottagecheese packaging is perfect for the base of my second lamp.

Cut one hole into the Tetra Pak whereever you want to have the bulbholder. The cap of the Tetra Pak is great for the cable. You can cut the way from the cap to the hole and put your bulbholder in it. Make sure, that you close the mold with a strong Gaffer tape.

Step 3: Mix the Concrete and Fill in the Molds

If you have the possibility: Go outside!

Use a big bucket and follow this recipe:

  • 1 part cement
  • 2 parts quartz sand
  • 1/10 part water (approximately)

To fill 1 Tetra Pak and 1 cottagecheese packaging I used about 1 kg cement, 2 kg sand and app. 150 ml water.

After mixing, you have about one hour time to fill your molds. "Shake" the molds to make sure you dont have any bubbles in the concrete.

💡 my tip: Fill the concrete into a plastic bag and make a hole into one end (as you do it when you're baking) so that you can fill the concrete easily into the molds.

Step 4: Let It Dry

Probably the hardest part and the one which takes the most time ...

The concrete takes about 48 hours to dry. After 48 hours the concrete is dry but it is still "living". Put the concrete out of the molds and wait 2 more days before you start grindig and painting.

Step 5: Remove the Molds and Grind the Surface

Make sure that the concrete is completely dry. You should be able to remove the packagings easily.

Take the sandpaper and make the surface of the objects smooth.

Step 6: Drill and Screw on the Frame

Use a 6 mm drill to make a hole in the middle of your concrete object (cottagecheese) and into the frame. Hammer the dowel into the concrete and screw on the frame. As the concrete is really heavy the object doesn't fall! Take the frame off and screw it on again after the next step.

Step 7: Fix the Cable With the Wire

Due to the circumstances of not having the possibility to go shopping I used the aluminium wire to fix the cable onto the frame. And actually it worked out really well!

Step 8: Colour and Add the Felt Pads

I use black chalkboard paint and golden acrylic colour. Let it dry for about half an hour.

Finally, stick the felt pads on the concrete lamps to prevent your bedside table from damages.

Step 9: Place the Lamps on Your Bedside Table

Place the lamps on your bedside table and switch them on :)

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