Introduction: Forest Lamp

This is a lamp that I created for my freshman design studio at RISD. It is created entirely out of found materials, but obviously you don't have to go as hardcore as me and root through the trash haha.

This lamp is based on the idea of changing seasons. Right now, it looks pretty wintry, with the bare branches and evergreen leaves. In the spring, you can take out all the branches and put in flowers.

The materials you need are:

  • A wooden box. The length and width of the box don't matter that much, as long as there is enough room for a lightbulb and branches, but the width has to be at least 3 inches deep or deeper, so that the socket can fit inside.
  • A wooden plank, with the same length as the block and around 4-5 inches wide, and 1/8 or 1/4 inches thick
  • A scrap piece of wood, at least 2 inches by 2 inches, to cut a ring out of.
  • A lightbulb
  • A socket
  • An electrical plug
  • various twigs and branches

The tools you need are:

  • A chisel (for cutting out holes, if you don't have a spade drill bit for cutting out holes)
  • A power drill, with various sized drill bits
  • Sandpaper

Step 1: Wiring the Lamp

Because I took parts from a broken lamp, I had to rewire the socket. I connected it to another plug.

Strip about half an inch of the wire on both the wire with the socket and the wire with the plug. Twist the two separate groups of copper wire very tightly. Do the same thing for the other wire. Then, bend the twisted wires into little hooks (it looks like little fallopian tubes) Twist the wires together, making sure that the two copper strands on the same wire do not touch (this will short out your circuit). Tape the whole thing together with electrical tape.

Step 2: Making the Base

Take a wooden box (I found my in the trash) and drill a hole in the middle big enough for the lightbulb to go through. Alternatively, I ended up just taking a chiseling it out and then sanding it smooth. The hole I made is about 1 and 1/2 inch in diameter.

Then, make a wooden ring by drilling a hole in the middle and then cutting a ring around it. The hole I made is 1 and 1/4 inch in diameter. Sand everything smooth.

Then, cut or chisel out a small semi circle in the corner of one of the sides of the box. This will be where the cord will run out from.

Then, take a wooden plank, either 1/8 inch or 1/4 inch thick, and cut it down so that the the length is the same as the length of the box, and the width is about 4 to 5 inches. Drill a hole 1 and 1/4 inch in diameter in the center of the plank. This is where the lightbulb will go through. Then, you can drill holes in any design you want based on where you want your twigs to go. I decided to create a cage around the lightbulb, so I drilled a ring of tiny holes around the middle. Then I drilled 3 more holes around the ring to stick bigger twigs through.

Step 3: Putting It All Together

Now, you should have everything you need to put the lamp together: the box, the ring, the plank, a lightbulb and socket, and a bunch of twigs or branches.

First, put the ring on top of the hole in the box. Then lay the plank over it. Align all the holes, and stick the lightbulb through it. Screw it into the socket by bringing the socket up from under the box.

Now it's time to put all the twigs in. You may need to strip down the ends of the twigs so that they fit in the holes you drilled. I just stripped it down with my fingernail, but you could probably also use a knife.

Congratulations! You just made a cool looking forest lamp.

Again, something else you can do is collect a bunch of flowers in the spring and stick them in the holes. Right now, the lamp is very winter themed, but it would look very cool with flowers surrounding the lightbulb as well.

Homemade Gifts Contest 2015

Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2015

Leftovers Challenge

Participated in the
Leftovers Challenge