Introduction: How to Make a Sweater Lamp

About: An artist by birth, a software architect by choice, a lamp maker by passion, a learner forever. Featured Author here:)

Hey you all lovely citizens,

I missed instructables and all the awesome you guys have. So I am back after a good break and I am back with another exciting instructable for you :).

Sweater lamp...???? kidding . In this instructable I am going to show you how to make an awesome lamp using the old sweater that your grand ma probably have gifted or woven for you ..LOL.

After some googling I figured out that this is an original Idea of mine and felt quite happy about it, yet we live in a small world..isn't it ? :)

How I got this Idea? Well...I love winter season and I love to wear a sweater even in the slightest cold, so as soon as winter knocked in my city I dig out all the winter wear from my cupboard and while trying to figure out what to wear or not I got my hand stuck inside this old sweater of mine and that looked like a cone and it was nice to to see the light passing through the stretched woolen fiber. Ta da...I concluded that I am going to make a lamp using this idea.

Interestingly this sweater was made smaller in size by those tiny little creatures called calories ;) . You know that...right? They come at night inside our wardrobe and mysteriously make our cloths smaller thus making them difficult to wear .... LOL

All right....let me show you how to make this awesome sweater lamp. Trust me after reading this instructable you will be surprised to know how easy it is to make.

P.S: If you have seen my instructables, you would have guessed easily that I have this passion for making lamps :).

FOLDABLE: The design of this lamp makes it easy to pack and carry. When not hanging, the rings just folds one inside another thus making it compact .

Step 1: Material Required to Make Sweater Lamp

You will need following items to make this Sweater lamp

  1. An old full sleeves sweater that you no longer wear. If you have a choice, how to choose an old sweater for this lamp?
    1. Choose the one which can be stretched easily, like hand woven or loosely woven.
    2. Choose solids or ones with uniform patterns like stripes.
    3. A colorful sweater is always going to be the best.
  2. A sharp scissor
  3. 3 wooden embroidery rings of sizes as follows (We will use the inner rings)
    1. Two rings of 9" diameter
    2. One ring of 6" diameter
  4. A pendant lighting mechanism that you can buy from your local electrical or general store
  5. White glue like Elmer's or Fevicol. I used Fabric no-stitch glue because I it dries soft on fabric but thats really not mandatory.
  6. A plastic cup or a cup noodle cup for making the lighting support system.
  7. Some binder clips (not shown in picture above)
  8. A sharp cutter or saw (not shown in picture above) for cutting the plastic cup.
  9. A screw driver or some pointed object (not shown in picture above) for making a hole in the plastic cup.

Yup...just those items:)

Warning : Please make sure that you are not emotionally attached to your old sweater in any way, the process of making may hurt your feelings ;). Also make sure that it is not gifted by your mother , sister , wife or even grand ma or just get their permission ;)

Step 2: Sacrificing Your Beloved Sweater for the Good

Before we start making our Sweater lamp, a small note on fiber fuzz (or fiber pilling).

If your sweater has lot of fuzz or pilling, the end product may not look good. I would suggest cleaning that fuzz. You can simply shave off the fuzz using a normal used multi blade shaving razor. As shown above in the picture.

See images above and follow:

  1. After removing the fuzz, If your sweater has lots of wrinkles, iron it a bit.
  2. Turn it inside out.
  3. Grab your scissor and cut one sleeve of your sweater as close as possible to the stitch.
  4. Flip the separated sleeve.

Keep the remaining sweater aside because if you will be happy with the outcome , you may want to make another lamp using another sleeve;)

RIP your beloved sweater ;), lets move ahead with the cut sleeve.

Step 3: Shape Up the Sweater Lamp

Now here comes the fun part. Honestly this is where you can get real creative by trying out with rings of different sizes and numbers but for now you can just follow what I did .

See images above and follow:

  1. Grab the inner ring of size 9" and insert it inside the sleeve from the wider end (where the shoulder was attached).
  2. Flip that ring inside as if the sleeve is covering the ring, see 2nd image above. NOTE: While flipping the ring inside don't push the ring, it might break, rather pull the cloth to adjust the ring inside.
  3. Insert and flip another 9" ring.
  4. Push both the rings inside and leave some gap (about 2-3 inches )between the two rings. See 3rd image above.
  5. Now insert and fix smaller ring of size 6" above the two bigger rings. The arrangement should look like 3rd image above.
  6. NOTE: I chose a regular fit sweater of size M (Medium or 40), the sleeve is just big enough for this lamp, if you have a sweater with longer sleeves, you may adjust the rings and shape accordingly. Also if you have a sweater that can be stretched a lot, you may also use wider rings.
  7. Adjust the rings to match the pattern on sweater, like I adjusted the rings so that the rings are placed closer to the blue stripes.
  8. Cut the extra cloth hanging leaving only enough cloth to cover the bottom ring.
  9. Apply glue on the inner linings of the bottom ring and stick the cloth with binder clips to ensure that it does not slip away from ring while the glue is drying.

NOTE: Wooden rings works best because they don't slip inside the sleeve. You may have to choose different size of rings if your sweater is too stretchy otherwise the rings may slip and not hold inside.

Wait for 10 minutes for the glue to hold.

That was easy...right? now while the bottom glue is getting dried, lets make the top of our Sweater lamp.

Step 4: Making Support for the Light Holder

See images above and follow:

You don't have to do exactly as I did to make this lighting support, I just did with what was available at the given moment

  1. Using a sharp cutter or saw cut the plastic cup 2" from the bottom (See 1st and 2nd image).
  2. Punch a hole in the middle of the bottom separated from the cup (lets call it cap).
  3. Insert the wire of pendant lighting arrangement through the hole (you might have to unscrew the pin from one end to let the wire pass through the hole)
  4. Apply glue on the side of the cap and Insert it from top just enough to conceal it inside the sleeve.
  5. I used some rubber bands to secure the cap with the sleeve while the glue is getting dried.
  6. Leave the arrangement for 5-10 minutes.
  7. Remove the binder clips and rubber bands and adore the beauty you have just created.

While this arrangement looks beautiful but lets make this beauty gorgeous by lighting it up.

Step 5: Light Up and Done

Light up with a CFL or LED bulb and your amazing Sweater Lamp is ready to add awesome to your room.

As with any fabric or paper lamp, the choice of lighting source is crucial to avoid any fire hazard.

Low watt like 5 watt or 8 watt CFL or LED bulbs are best choice for this lamp. I experimented with following options

  1. The first picture above uses 8 watt daylight CFL.
  2. Second photo is a 1 watt LED bulb also shows inside view of the lamp.
  3. Third photo is a 5 watt CFL.
  4. Fourth is 0.5" red LED bulb.

I hope you have enjoyed this ible as much as I enjoyed while making this lamp and writing about it. Should you have any questions or comments, please do share in the comments below. If you choose to make this Sweater lamp, please do share the photo of your work using the 'I made it' button below.

If you like this ible, please do vote for me in the contests. I really appreciate that. The voting button shows up usually within a day on top right corner of this ible.

Stay Tuned.

You are awesome.

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