Introduction: Corrugated Cardboard Lamp

About: I love creating. I love ART in all its forms. I am a daughter of the 50s, born in 1992. I had the pleasure to be a Featured Author on this fabulous site, and you can read my interview here: https://www.instr…

If you know me or have seen my other Instructables, then you know how much I love cardboard and light effects!

I love experimenting with cardboard because it's extremely versatile. And the corrugated part offers lots of new design ideas, especially when combined with light.

This is a new lamp I created over the weekend and it's entirely made out of corrugated cardboard.

No wood, no paper, just cardboard from a box I upcycled for this project.

The only non-cardboard things are the lightbulb, bulb socket and cable, of course! :D

I hope you like it, let me know what you think!


  • corrugated cardboard
  • cutter
  • glue
  • lightbulb socket and cable
  • LED lightbulb (this is very important since cardboard is flammable!)
  • pencil, ruler

Step 1: Make Cardboard Rolls

Cut a piece of corrugated cardboard into many strips. They have to be more or less 1cm large (0,4'') and as long as you want.

Gently separate the layers of your cardboard strips so you have the corrugated part showing on one side.

Roll all of your strips leaving the corrugated side on the outside then secure it with a little bit of glue on the edge.

Depending on the length of your strips you can obtain bigger and smaller rolls or attach more strips together to make a big roll. Make as many as you can.

Step 2: Compose Your Lampshade

Now we have to put the rolls in shape to obtain the lampshade of our lamp. I used a round bowl to do this. You can use whatever object you want as mold, even a balloon.

Cover the inside or outside of your mold with your cardboard rolls and glue them to each other with white glue or hot glue.

When you are done and the glue has hardened, carefully remove the cardboard lampshade from your mold.
Be very careful when you handle it because it's very fragile!

Step 3: Make a Cardboard Ring

Cut a new strip of cardboard and flatten it a little so you can curve it.
It can be as long as you want, mine is about 25 cm long (10'').

Score one end with a cutter and remove the corrugated part as you can see in the picture. You need only one of the paper sides.

Curve the strip to join the ends together and glue the paper flap to the other end.

Step 4: Create the Structure - Part 1

Cut 4 new cardboard strips. Make them as long as the depth of your lampshade.

On the end of each strip, remove the corrugated part BUT leave the paper that covers both sides.
In order to do this you just have to tear out the external paper then score the corrugated part to remove it. This way you'll have 2 flaps on each strip.

Attach the strips around the cardboard ring, as you can see in the pictures. Just glue the flaps to the ring to secure them.

Step 5: Create the Structure - Part 2

Cut a cardboard disc then make a hole in the middle so your bulb socket will fit into it.

Now grab the cardboard ring with the strips attached to it. Score their ends and remove the corrugated part in order to obtain a new flap for each of them.

Glue the flaps to the back of the cardboard disc.

Step 6: Decorate the Structure

Cut 4 cardboard rings now.
They have to be smaller than each other: the first one has to be a little smaller than the disc you made previously, the next one a little smaller than the first ring, etc.

Glue them to the back of the disc, one above the other as if you were creating a pyramid.

Step 7: Make the Rod

Cut a cardboard rectangle. Its length is the distance between the lampshade base and the foot of your lamp. Its width is the circumference that you want for your rod.

Fold the rectangle on its length so you'll be able to roll it.

Score one of the long edges, remove the corrugated part leaving a long flap.

Roll the rectangle, apply glue on the flap and join the ends together to form a rod.

Insert one end of the rod in the smallest disc of your lightbulb structure and secure with glue.

Step 8: Make the Base

Cut 5 - 6 new cardboard rings like the ones you made previously.

Cut a thin segment out of one of the middle rings. The cable will pass through this space so make sure to cut a segment that is as large as your cable's thickness.

Glue the rings to each other to form a pyramid and attach the other end of the rod into it.

Step 9: Decorate the Rod

Create new corrugated strips and glue them all around the rod as decoration.

Step 10: Install the Bulb Socket and Cable

Insert the cable from the top of the structure and let it pass through the hole in the base.

Install the bulb socket, add an LED light bulb and finally put the lampshade on top of the structure.
Using an LED light bulb is very important in this lamp because any other bulb might burn the cardboard... we don't want that, right? ;)

Your corrugated cardboard lamp is finished!

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