Introduction: How to Make a Lotus Lamp (or a Copycat Version of Ikea Knappa Lamp)

Now let's go straight to the details, saw this gorgeous lamp in Ikea, seems easy enough to make one thyself. Plus it doesn't cost £17.99.

Hence investigation on the interweb... Lamp very popular on Apartment Therapy, found Ikea provides copies of their assembly instructions for download, and here it is for the said lamp:

Under 'K' - Knappa Pendant Lamp

Whilst, the template for the leaves and skeleton is there, not really much you can do, unless you draw one and experiment to get the right shape. See PDF grab below.

There's this nifty FREE program from eMachineShop - ver1.69 - Windows only

I don't use their services, but the program is a very easy to use CAD program. All the template files with extension EMS are to be opened with this program. Next step!

See end-result below for motivation

Step 1: Using the Template

Material you need:

1) Plastic file folder - choose a material that feels like 2 to 3 (max)  sheet of 80gm paper. The folder I've got cost only £1.50, felt like polypropylene. I've found white teflon sheets 30x20cm sold on-line, they have excellent temperature tolerance, if you use them, choose a thickness of 0.25mm ~ 0.5mm, as what I had measured on my plastic folder.

2) Pair of sturdy scissor, like fabric scissors. Use this to cut the plastic with template.

3) Double sided tape - Stick the print out on plastic, simply cut the trace, avoid tissue type these are hard to remove

4) Single core wire, roughly 1mm diameter should do fine. This to secure the leaf together.

The list of files:

knappa_ext.ems - This is the separator that hold the shape of the lamp, the way the leaf overlap and opens out like a lotus flower. There are 2 rings, one is 5cm, the other 7cm.You will only need 4 'rings' for 8 C-shape seperator in each case.

knappa_ext-x8.ems - This is the ring copied 8 times, limited to A4 size print outs, for your convenient.

knappa-leaf-small.ems - is sized for the 5cm ring, this is probably as small as you can make this. Any smaller you'll need hands the size of infants or Santa's elves or Foxconn employee.

knappa-leaf-small-x16 - Again fits A4 printout. You will need 40 of these leaf.

knappa-leaf-medium.ems - is sized for 7cm ring
knappa-leaf-medium-x9.ems - again for print out

- A4 PDF, is the ring for both sizing, you need 8 of these so make 2 copies
knappa-leaf-small-x16.pdf - is A4 PDF
knappa-leaf-medium-x9.pdf - is A4 PDF, if you are using letter size paper, remember to use 'shrink to fit' on your printer option

Irrespective, you want a bigger size, on the software, drag and select the entire drawing, from the menu, Line -> Transform -> select scale button to scale it up.

Next step - cutting it out and assembly

Step 2: Assembling

As with the actual Ikea lamp, 5 leaf make up a single segment and there are 8 segments, hence 40 leaf.

The photo shows an assembly of 3 segments of the 7cm 'medium' version.

2 segments share a single C-shape separator (cut from the ring template). Each leaf overlaps.

e.g. Look at the close-up photo, first leaf, hole 1 and 2, second leaf, hole 3 and 4, third leaf hole 5 and 6, and so on.... Hole 2 and 3 overlapped, hole 4 and 5 overlapped and so on.... Tie these together with wire.

To finish tying all 8 segments is repetitive and straight forward.

Next step - finishing, difficult!

Step 3: Finishing

The most difficult task is to string up the 8 segments together, basically the bigger the lamp, the easier it is to reach in and tie the wire. You simply have to secure the 1st and last (8th) segments together.

The 7cm version is just about the limit to stick your hands in, the 5cm version you might need pliers.

The photo below shows the 5cm version in daylight. With top view and bottom view.

7cm version lit with LED.

Step 4: Final Touch

If a base for the lamp is required, for the 7cm version, a cheap lamp base from Habitat is most suitable, but only use energy saving bulb,  7w golf ball type work great.

Unfortunately I had not taken a photo together with this base before packing it away for as present. (Update, finally got a photo with the Habitat base, the gunmetal colour one seems to be sold out.)

DO NOT use incandescent bulb, they generate too much heat!

For the 5cm version, I had made a LED lamp base.

The aluminium enclosure which double as the heat sink is from Maplin:

The 3W mains power LED driver is from Dealextreme:

There's an extra bit that hold the thing in place:
knappa snap hold fingers.ems - note this is size for 5cm, use scaling if you need a 7cm version, simply scale up by 140% (7/5 *100)