Introduction: Mixed Media Steampunk Lamp

About: I enjoy repurposing and restoring old furniture and making woodwork projects that are not seen every day. I make most of my projects using wood that is either, recycled,reclaimed and love to repurpose and rest…

I am going through a steampunk phase at the moment, and what bedroom would not be complete without a steampunk lamp. The structure of the lamp is made using galvanised pipes and fittings and decorated using a mixed media technique.


  • 1 x Floor flange
  • 2 x nipples
  • 1 x T-piece
  • 3 x elbow
  • 1 x socket reducing
  • 3 x 100 mm pipe
  • 1 x 150 mm pipe
  • 1 x socket hexLamp fittingwoodNuts and bolts for stand
  • clock mechanism

Step 1: Create Your Design

For this project, I used recycled galvanised plumbing fittings that is why they look such a mess. Start by just putting the pieces together to get a design you like. The more fittings you have the more creative you can be. I sat for ages just moving the pieces around until I had a design that I liked. Once you have the design you can paint the pipes and fittings using black gesso. If you are not going to decorate the lamp you can just use black spray paint. At this stage, you do not glue the pipes together because you need to feed the electrical cord through later.

Step 2: Making the Clock

I had the idea in my head to have a clock on my lamp but I could not find what I was looking for. So my next step was to make the clock. I used a plastic container with a lid for the structure of the clock. The container was cut in half, you use the half with the lid. I found an image of a clock on the internet and printed it on textured paper. The clock can then be cut out and glued onto some thick cardboard. Poke a hole in the middle and fit your clock mechanism, the lid will hide the mechanism. I cut a strip of faux leather and covered the plastic container.

Step 3: Decorating the Lamp

If you are not familiar with mixed media, Mixed media is a term used to describe artworks composed of a combination of different media or materials. I use mainly items that I find around my house and workshop in my mixed media projects. Broken jewellery and cheap charms, thumbtack studs are a great way to go.

Step 4: Glue Embellishments Onto the Pipes

I am no expert on mixed media, but I like to add my embellishments randomly and I like to try and cover most of the surface. To me, it makes your project more interesting when you have lots of detail. I have taken some close up images so you can see what items I used. I used black hot glue to add most of the embellishments and as you can see you don’t need to be perfect. Any mess will be covered with the paint later. The clear charms you can see in some of the images I made using silicone moulds and resin. These work great for a project like this because you can heat them up and bend them around the surface. At this stage, it looks like a total mess but it does get better so don't give up.

Here are some of the products you can use for the mixed media makeover. Links to these items are available on my website listed at the end of this post.

Steampunk Charms

Craft Charms

Decorative buttons

Bead chain

Decorative studs

Peacock beads

Filigree charms


Clock mechanism

Step 5: Add Black Paint

Once you have covered most of the surface with the embellishments you can paint everything black again. The reason I paint the pipes black first is that once you start adding all the embellishments it is hard to get into all the nooks and crannies. Make sure you have covered all areas and that no colour is showing through.

Step 6: Add the Copper Metallic Wax Paste

Dip the top of your finger in the wax and wipe it over all the raised surfaces, try not to cover in all the black as you see in the image. This will make the embellishments stand out more. You don’t need to be perfect doing this either. Once you have covered all the raised embellishment use a small brush and rub a light coat over some of the black areas in between the charms. Blend it in using a small circular motion. The wax will need about 12 hours to dry, then seal the lamp with 2 coats of clear acrylic spray. This will make the colours pop and prevent fading over time.

Step 7: Wire Up the Lamp

To get the electrical cord through the lamp you need to take the lamp apart at the elbow joints. I used a basic light fitting because it fits snuggly into the last fitting and it had the switch included. Once the cord is through all the pipes you can use epoxy glue to glue all the fittings together.

Step 8: Making the Base

To make the base you will need a piece of wood cut into a circle. Drill 4 holes into the wood for the legs. I added the legs because the electrical wire had to come out of the bottom, so the base had to be lifted off the surface. I used some nuts and bolts to make some legs as per the image above. The base plate can now be fitted to the wood. You paint all the wood and fitting black and highlight them with the copper wax.

Step 9: Fitting the Clock

The faux leather was also painted black, decorated with some beads and a broken necklace. To glue the clock to the lamp I used epoxy glue.

Step 10: More Up Close Images

Unfortunately, the photos do not do the lamp justice, so I have included some up-close images so you can see the detail.

Step 11: More Great Projects

Are you looking for ideas for your next DIY project, check out these projects. This unique wall hanging made from scrap wood. This barn quilt is made up of lots of small pieces of wood cut to shape and put together like a jigsaw puzzle. More unique projects available on my website. Unique Creations By Anita

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