Introduction: How to Make a Tugboat Toy Lamp

We used a toddler's toy to make our lamp — one in which a child would insert a big Ping-Pong ball in the top and watch it roll down to the bottom. You can use most any type of plastic, metal or wood toy to make your own lamp.



  • drill and 3/8" drill bit
  • hole-saw drill bit
  • wire strippers
  • screwdriver


  1. piece of wood for plug
  2. thread pipe and a piece of copper pipe that will slide over it
  3. lamp kit
  4. light bulb and lampshade

Step 2: Drill and Wire

To accommodate the wiring, drill two holes in the toy, one through the top (in our case, it is a smokestack) and one through the back. Feed the wire through the back and up through the top hole.

Step 3: ​Add Wood Plug and Pipe

If you have extra space to fill, like we do in our smokestack, make a wooden plug to sit inside the hole so it holds up the threaded pipe. Measure the diameter of the hole, then cut the wooden plug to size. Drill a hole in the center to hold the threaded pipe. Place the wooden plug with threaded pipe down over the wire and into the toy. Tap it into place.

Step 4: Cover the Threaded Pipe

Cover the threaded pipe with a copper pipe sleeve. Leave 1/2" on top to accommodate the connector and harp.

Step 5: Add Harp

Place the harp onto the pipe.

Step 6: Add the Socket

Wire the socket according to lamp kit package. Add an energy efficient low-wattage bulb and a lampshade.