Introduction: How to Make a Simple Concrete Desk Lamp
I was trying to come up with a fun and easy first concrete project while I was enjoying a summer beverage recently when I realized the idea was right in front of me…in my hand. I decided to try and make a funky little desk lamp out of concrete using a simple red SOLO cup. Here’s how to make it!
Step 1: Creating the Holes for the Threaded Rod and Tubing
Start by finding a drill bit that’s the same size as the threaded rod you’re using and drill a hole in the center bottom of the cup. The closer the drill bit is to the size of the threaded rod, the more secure the threaded rod will sit down in the hole
Next, I created a hole for the vinyl tubing to run through at the base of the lamp which in this case is the top of the cup. The plastic on the rest of the cup is not as thick as it is on the bottom, so to help the plastic from cracking while cutting the hole, I added a piece of duct tape.
Then I used the tubing to trace the size of the hole I would need to cut and used an X-Acto knife to carefully cut out the hole by hand
Step 2: Inserting and Connecting the Threaded Rod and Tubing
To determine how far down the threaded rod should be inserted into the cup to make everything flush with the surface, I used the bottom of the socket as a reference.
Next run the tubing through the hole you cut by hand at the base of the lamp (the top of the cup), and then secure the tubing over the threaded rod on the inside of the cup.
Then, to seal it up add some hot glue around the tubing where it enters and exits the cup
Step 3: Create a Temporary Base
To keep the cup level during the pour, make a quick base out of a scrap piece of wood. Drill a hole in the middle of the wood a little larger than the threaded rod for the rod to be inserted in. This will allow the cup to sit flush and flat on the base during the concrete pour.
Then tape the cup to the base to keep it in place during the pour.
Step 4: Mixing and Pouring the Concrete
In a disposable container, combine the concrete mix and water, adding only a little water at a time until you get an oatmeal type consistency.
Next pour the concrete into the cup almost all the way to the top.
It’s really important to poke the concrete and vibrate the cup as you go to make sure you get all the bubbles out. Doing this will provide a much smoother surface and better final product.
Step 5: Unmold the Concrete
After about a day or so the concrete should be dried and cured and ready to be unmolded.
Start by cutting or peeling the hot glue we used to seal up where the tubing entered or exited the cup.
Then simply peel the cup off of the concrete. I find it’s easiest to make a few cuts in the lip of the cup around the rim and then peel off sections of the cup.
Step 6: Attaching the Lamp Components
Start by running the lamp cord up through the tubing and coming out the top of the threaded rod.
Tip: It can be tricky to push the cord through, so for things like this, I tie a piece of string to the end of the cord and then use a vacuum to pull the string up through and then pull the cord through using that.
Finally, wire the lamp socket using the instructions that come with it and then attach the socket onto the threaded rod.
And you’re done!
Thanks so much for following along with this project! I’d love to know what you think. Leave a comment below and don’t forget to watch the video on my channel!
See you on the next project!
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