Introduction: Hack Empty Nappy Bin Refill Cassettes Into a Modulable LED Lamp

About: Hi, I am looking for serious sponsors to enable me to make this thing as my profession. Or anybody wanted an innovative mind working with him. By the way... Sir Dyson, I applied twice on you…

Who saw those cassettes from tommy tipee or angelcare (sorry if I forget another company, I am sure that you can find one or two more companies :) ), noticed that those took a lot of place in the garbage.

I told myself, they are quite quick empty and then you need to throw those empty cassettes away, so sad. I guessed a potential hack for those empty cassettes influenced by a recycling motivation. I did already a lot of hacks of different stuffs with more or less success but this one I quite proud.

Those plastic cassettes are white and not fully opaque. This feature make them quite good candidates as waveguide and light diffusers.

So I came to the idea of a lamp, first I used two empty cassettes over a single lamps to increase diffusion and to stop direct radiation of a strong white lamp.

Then I built a cassettes tower with changing led colours. The version presented here is the version 2.0 .

Long life to 2.0.


Just a mention on the contents of this instructable-->attribution non commercial sharealike.

You can re-use my texts and my pictures, modify or whatever, if you do so please cite the author, my work or even better put a link to this instructable. I would appreciate your cooperation :) In addition if you have any comment or improvement that you would like to share with me please do it. I would like to make a gallery of Puppets at the end of this instructable, If you build one, send me a picture :)

as usual:

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Step 1: Inventory

- one set containing 4 LED pads with changeable colours from the famous swedish company of furniture in kits

- kitchen scissors

- at least 10 empty cassettes (tha can be gathered in less than 5 months of garbage with one child-so make twins!)

- a frog toy


- a marker -to draw the location of the pads-

- a kid with markers -to customize the cassettes-

Step 2: Dissamble and Prepare the Cassettes

Some points about old cassettes and new cassettes

Besides the fact that those new cassettes provide less tubular bags length than the older versions (which is not only an opinion of few people it has been showed that for some reasons the producer decided to more or less half these length. However, as a side effect and because these cassettes are quite expensive, people started to look for alternatives, and the easiest is to use this garbage only for the big business... the rest goes in the standard trash... so now the cassettes last twice more than before. Life can show a lot of irony isn`t it?)

those present in our case two differences with the old cassettes system.

A) the tubular bag is easier to set in the newer version (which is a positive featute of the plastic bag reduction)

B) the cassettes are more rigid and cannot be stacked one over the other by just forcing (cutting thoseto bring more flexibility... Who is mentionning living hinges?)

C) a kind of guide was almost fused to the cassette on the older version and is just now inserted or clamped (in our case this is a clear asset).

D)The new cassettes are crenellated with some kind of slots (6 slots) whereas old cassettes where basically round


First of all remove the guide of all cassettes and trash then away - if you find a recycling idea tell me we can share it!

The cassette is composed of two hollow cylinders connected at the bottom-.

Then, cut the casette inner tube part at three equivalent locations that corresponds to the middle of a slot.

Cut quite deep almost up to 1 cm to the bottom of the cassette with the aid of the scissors.

The inner part can be sometimes easy to cut or hard depending on the wall sizes of the cassette at the cut location. Also quite random, these drawback for our present hacking is not significant for the first cassette usage, indeed it fulfills in all case entirely their purpose (for me).

Step 3: Train Yourselves to Make a Tower

So you need to make a tower to see how to fit each empty cassettes upon the other.

the outter slots must be aligned to be able to assemble correctly the tower. But this feature is here more a guide than a restriction

then separates te tower each two cassettes.

Step 4: Preparation of Each Couple of Cassettes

Each two cassettes will receive one LED pad.

For that purpose cut the first of each two cassettes on the bottom as marked in blue on the picture above.

Remove the blue covered part and respect the cut lines. This design allows to insert the pad and to maintain it by the sides (by sort of lamellated part) as well as the back and the front (by the small drawn vampire teeths as visible on the last picture)

The plastic at the bottom is really easy to carved as well as to go through with one of the scissors blade

Be Careful not to hurt yourselves, you are playing with blade right! Do not cut yourselves


For the each second cassette you need to enlarge one cut.

Step 5: Assemble Each Couple of Cassettes

the first picture shows you how it is put altogether.

How to do that`?

First insert the LED pad into the expected location not to deeply (half was for me really OK).

then slides the second cassette under the first cassette sothat the enlarged cut will enable the LED cable to freely move there.

Do not forget the slots serve luckily as a guide in our configuration which is an enormous asset.

You must obtain the same configuration as the first above picture


mount all the 4 cassettes couples one on top of each other quite firmly and sothat all the cables in in the inner tube volume as shown in the last picture

Step 6: Finalizing

after having assembled the LED pads to the power supply and the command according to the manufacturer, and placed them in the inside of the tower, you need to prepare two more cassettes

the last two cassettes must be placed at the bottom of the tower

the upper one:

make a second cut at about 1 cm of an existing cut.

fold it sothat when slided it will maintain the cables together like the last picture where the blue circle is drawn.

the lower one need an opening to let the cable running out of the tower.

In the presented case, a small triangle has been cut out.


assemble the whole tower together let if stand

Step 7: Let It Shine

Once the tower is assembled, you can power it and enjoy a diffuse changing light from a recycled bin cassette tower.

As the cassettes are not hold together by a fixation system, please move those lamp as a whole block by holding both end at the same time (otherwise the cassettes lamp may dissamble)

Please notice that you can impose a slight curvature to the tower (as shown on the second picture above). I imagine that an arc may be bought by extending the tower to more than 20 cassettes and by bending it accordingly. Further configuration with more LED pads sets and with other geometries can be thought out.

Please share your configuration with me.