Introduction: How to Make Decorative Lighting With a Coconut Shell

About: I like to make things more simple with easily available resources. My favorite quote: A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a…

Coconut shells, which we discard after extracting the meat can be used to make many craft items. Here I have used a whole coconut shell to make a simple decorative lighting. this lighting can be used in parties, during festivals or any such occasions, which costed nothing but a few hours of labor.

Step 1: Select a Coconut

It is very difficult to find a perfectly shaped coconut. So we use whatever available with us. In most of the husked coconuts, you may find a small portion of fiber left intact covering the three indentations or holes on top of the shell. This prevents the coconut meat from getting spoiled.

Remove the left-over fiber from the coconut and fix it firmly using any kind of attachment so that the three indentations face upwards.

Step 2: Cut a Hole on Top

  • Using a round cutting tool pit and a drilling machine, cut a hole of about 1-1/2 inches in diameter on top the coconut
  • Remove the shell and coconut meat from the cut portion and drain out the water from inside the coconut.

Step 3: Remove the Coconut Meat

  • Using a knife or a coconut scrapper, remove the coconut meat from inside the shell.
  • Clean the inside with the scrapper so that no trace of the meat remains inside the shell

Step 4: Scrap Out the Fiber

  • We need to clean all the fibrous material from the outer surface of the shell. Use a knife to scrap out as much possible from the outer surface.

Step 5: Sand Out the Outer Portion

  • It is not possible to scrap out all the fiber from the shall using a knife. Here I have used a Rotary tool and a sanding drum to remove all fibrous material from the outer surface of the shell.

Step 6: Mark Your Design

I am going to do a simple design using the shell

  • Roughly mark the center of the shell opposite to the round hole we made earlier
  • Using a compass and pencil, mark a circle on top
  • Divide the circle into eight equal parts.
  • A small hole drilled on the markings with a micro drill bit will help in holding the needle point of the compass over the coconut shell.
  • You can mark further designs of your choice on the shell using the compass

Step 7: Drill Out the Design

  • Drill holes along the lines marked on the outer surface of the shell. I have used a rotary tool and flex shaft attachment to drill out holes on the shell. You can make any design of your choice with any tool available with you. As this is my first project with a coconut shell, I used a simple design.

Please see the partly finished design in the last picture.

Step 8: Mark More Designs

  • Using the compass, mark more designs on the outer surface of the shell. You can also use any template or just draw a free hand design on the shell

Step 9: Drill Out the Design

  • Using a rotary tool with a flex shaft attachment and different sizes of drill bits, I made my design on the coconut shell. The last picture shows the view of the completed design through the top hole

Step 10: Decorate With Lighting

You can tie threads on the edge holes and hang the coconut shell from the ceiling or any where you like. A blinking multi-colored LED can be used as lighting inside the shell. You can see the reflection of lighting on the opposite wall in the last picture.

People spend a fortune for these types of decorative lighting, where as here we made one which costed nothing other than few hours of labor

Coconut Challenge

Runner Up in the
Coconut Challenge

Maker Olympics Contest 2016

Participated in the
Maker Olympics Contest 2016

Makerspace Contest

Participated in the
Makerspace Contest