Construct IQ LAMP Using Milk Carton




Introduction: Construct IQ LAMP Using Milk Carton

It is my first instructable.

I am going to show you how I use 2L Milk Carton bottles as my raw material to construct my own IQ Lamp.

What you need
* a pair of sharp scissors
* a sharp cutter
* sticky tape
* 2L Plastic Milk Bottles (lots of them)
* access to computer and printer (for printing the template)
* LED Light (Christmas decoration light on a string or Changing Colour LED Keyring) 

I have been inspired by other authors from the INSTRUCTABLE website to construct my own IQ Lamp using plastic sheets.

I actually have ordered an IQ Lamp from eBay and noticed that the material was not as thick and robust as I have thought. I reckon the commonly available 2Litre Milk Plastic Bottles would be a good source and good fit as the raw material for this project. There are plentiful of supply of such plastic milk bottles from work.

Other authors have suggested to use exacto cutter to cut out the shape of the building plate. I reckon I can get away and probably easier by using a pair of scissors to cut them out. The next challenge is how to transfer the cut out template onto the raw material, the plastic bottle sheet that repel normal marker ink.

Instead of marking directly onto the sheet of plastic, mounting the printed paper template onto the plastic sheet is the way to go. I use Microsoft Powerpoint to adjust the size of my template jpg file (I provide such file for your reference) while maintain the same aspect ratio. I then print out them out as handout print of 2 slides per page. The size is roughly the suitable fit onto the raw material of plastic sheet I salvaged from the 2L Milk Carton. There are stickers on 2 of the 4 side of the plastic bottle. So I can only get 2 blank sides per each milk carton. I just use sticky tape to tape down the 4 sides of the cutoff template print out onto the plastic. The cutting do not need to be that precise and using scissors to cut them out should be good enough for the purpose.  The most difficult part in cutting out is the hooks as each plate got 4 hooks. You need to use the scissors skilfully and twist and turn to cut out the hooks.

As for the light source, the safest is to use LED because of low power and low heat. All I do is to wrap a string of Christmas light around a stress ball and use rubber band to secure them onto the stress ball as the leds string finishes.  The wire just take it out from one of the 5 plates joint and it will hang the stress ball with all the LEDs around it at the centre of the IQ Lamp light shade. You just need to adjust at which point of the wire you want the 5 hooks joint to grip the wire. I also tried it on with a changing colour LED keyring. The result is amazing. I have a colour changing light feature.

It is not rocket science and anyone who puts his/her heart to it can do it and repurpose the recycle milk carton into something beautiful. All you need is time and patience.   Vola.  Enjoy.

Step 1: The Final IQ Lamp Light Shade

This is the final product after putting 30 plates together.  What you need to build the IQ Lamp Shade are just these simple tools.

Step 2: Template and Raw Material

Printout the template and cut them into approx the same size as the raw material you cut out from the 2L Milk Carton Bottle. This picture show some of the loose sheets of plastic material and a deck of the template printed on paper to be stick onto the plastic by tapping down on 4 sides using sticky tape.

Step 3: Transfer Template Onto the Plastic

Tape down the template onto the plastic sheet. 

Step 4: Cut ... Cut ... Cut ... Cut Up the Shape

Using a big and sharp scissors can cut up the shape very easily.  It is just time consuming.  Well we browse the internet aimlessly waste more of our time than commit to a purposeful project like this.

Step 5: Stock Up 30 of the Shapes

You need to cut 30 shapes to build the ball shape.  Just do some cutting every day and eventually you would have stocking up 30 of the shapes and you can now start putting them together. 

Each shape is identical and it has 2 curvy sides and 2 straight sides.  To lock each shape in place, you need to remember that the curvy side is mating with the straight side or vice versa.  No straight side mating to straight side or curvy side mating with curvy side.

There are You Tube Video showing people how to construct the IQ Lamp.

Step 6: LED Light Source for IQ Lamp

I put the LED light string inside the iq lamp and put the final 5 shape together with the wire lock in place at the centre of the 5 hooks joint. The led light ball is hanging at the centre of the iq lamp.   The LED generate very little heat and the shade actually is not air tight and if there is any heat, it can ventilate from all the gaps of the lamp shade.

Step 7: Repurpose Hard Disk Housing and Nokia Phone Charger Pair With IQ Lamp

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Participated in the
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2 People Made This Project!


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Edwardo Leon
Edwardo Leon

6 years ago

TimJ13, I shall save the template in PDF format and upload this weekend. Thanx for suggestion.


Reply 17 days ago

I can't see the pdf download link anywhere, didn't you get round to uploading it yet?


5 years ago

I'm actually looking for the actual plastic the real IQ lamps are made
of. Do any of you know what is it? PVC? PET? It has a grainy feel to it, that I
love. Polyhedral 3d masks made of those sheets would come out lovely and be durable

Edwardo Leon
Edwardo Leon

6 years ago

Wow. Nicely done. Congrats.


6 years ago on Introduction

Any chance we can have a template NOT made with powerpoint - how's about just a jpg file for those of us who don't want to activate or buy the aforementioned program?


7 years ago on Introduction

I've been saving my milk cartons for a few months, on the off chance that I find an interesting project to use them for (no use letting them go to waste!). A friend found this, somehow, and sent me the link. By the end of the day, I had my IQ Lamp finished. In fact, this instructable is what made me register, just so I could post this comment. It took me 15 half-gallon cartons, and I just shoved a string of Christmas lights into it. Thanks for this!

2013-11-25 00.49.02.jpg

hello!!! first comment on instructibles. cool! saw these in the commercial building at the fairgrounds. they from $25 to $75. much more than I would like to pay than for something I can make for so little. how many milk cartons did it take? plus how many cutouts? thanks!

Edwardo Leon
Edwardo Leon

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

the 2L milk carton i salvage in Sydney can only yield 2 panels. In order to make the 30 pieces lamp shade that I put out, you need 30 of them. So 15 milk carton. If you want to fasttrack the project, you can use the panels that got the milk company sticker on them. Here is the link to how to build the iq lamp in different size and shape:

This is the most comprehensive building instruction web link I have sighted so far over the internet.

Good luck and show some picture of your masterpiece if you will.

its so weird its cool ill put lights with different settings if i make one

Edwardo Leon
Edwardo Leon

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

Thanx. Yeah do that and show us your final production if you really make one. These days the LED even the changing colour ones are becoming so easily available. You can hang one of them inside as the light source. They can run for a long time using button cell battery.