Soccer Cone Party Light




Introduction: Soccer Cone Party Light

After living in the dorms on campus for the last two years of college, my friends and I decided that we wanted to live in a house off campus. We scrapped together furniture from our family and friends and set about making nice place to hang out. One thing we were definitely missing was party lighting so I wanted to change that.

A while ago I remembered seeing a picture of a floor lamp made out of traffic cones and I thought that this would make a sweet light for our new place. Since all I had was a picture in my mind of what it looked like, I devised a way to make my own hanging version for our living room, and on a college level budget.

Step 1: Materials and Tools Needed

The first, and hardest part, was tracking down suitable cones. Regular traffic cones “borrowed” from around would be too thick to let light through. I tried Dick’s Sporting goods, Target and Walmart looking for practice soccer cones but I could only find the flat discs and cones with spirals cut into them. Neither of these would work either so I set off in search online. I found a set of 12 9” cones on for under $20 with free shipping so I placed my order and set about buying the other needed parts. A trip to home depot netted me a 75 watt florescent bulb and some zipties. I bought a florescent bulb because it would not get hot enough to melt the cones once the lamp was built. I also tried an orange florescent bulb, but the results were not as spectacular, so the white one was used.

The last piece of hardware needed was the lamp fixture and cord. Over the summer, I visited my brother in Baltimore, MD and while we were there I made my first trip to IKEA. I immediately fell in love with the store, buying many cheap items I could use in future projects. One of the things I picked up was a light cord and socket intended for their hanging paper ball lamps. It was $4 and would be perfect to not only power the light, but also hang it by. I believe it was from their HEMMA collection.

The only tools that I needed to use to build the lamp were my drill, a drill bit big enough to fit the zipties and wire cutters to trim down the excess.

Step 2: Drilling Holes

I drilled 2 holes in the corner of each cone. The plastic was very malleable and I could have probably used a sharp object to get the job done. But I had my drill, so why not use it?

The 2nd picture is a close-up of the holes showing their offset. This doesn’t need to be perfectso eyeballing the locations worked fine for me.

Step 3: Building the Basic Lamp Shape

Now came the most time consuming part of the project, ziptie-ing the cones together. Just start with two cones side by side and ziptie them through the matching holes, but don’t tie them down too tight, we can tighten them when the lamp takes more shape. I also kept the “locks” of the zipties on the inside of the lamp for aesthetic purposes.

Add another cone and 4 more zipties and you’re halfway there!

Add another cone and more zipties.

Add the second to last cone and now you can tighten all the zipties. Once the cones are secure, you can use the wire cutters to cut the excess zipties.

Step 4: Adding the Light

Then I took the IKEA lamp cord and attached the bulb to it. It was then ziptied in place trough the top two mounting holes and I made sure it would hang freely without touching the sides of the cone.

Now take the last cone and ziptie it in place, finishing the lamp. Be sure to trim the excess off the zipties and now you’re ready to test your lamp!

Step 5: Finished Product

Here is a shot of the lamp with the light on and the main lights off. The zipties keep the cones stable enough that this could be a floor lamp is you so desired.

Our living room already had a hook meant for hanging lamps in the corner, but if yours does not, the IKEA lamp cord comes with hooks you could use. Here is a shot of the lamp hanging in our living room.

Step 6: Conclusion

I’m really pleased with how the lamp turned out and the amount of attention it receives from friends. It does a great job of filling the room with an orange glow and accents our other lights well.The project took less than an hour on a weekday between my classes and was really easy. Looking back, using a cord with a built in switch would have been nice but we solved that by running all of our “party” lights off one power strip and we use that switch to turn them on and off. The lamp has survived a semester of heavy use and when the bulb dies it won’t be too hard to replace it. It’s just a matter of cutting the 4 zipties off the top cone, replacing the bulb and ziptie-ing it back in place. Feel free to leave your comments and questions below.

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    9 years ago on Introduction

    Hey "Top Cone Light" ....... exactly the right design i'm looking for my project. ....
    I am in the middle of decorating my 8yo son’s bedroom, and my theme/design is based on Cars and Travel, !!! AVOIDING !!! Any of the predictable cheesy car Deco designs that's UN-original and childish!! I want his room to be innovative with the WOW Factor ! using new and reclaimed items and accessories where the room can evolve with him into his teenage years..
    I’ve already been to the scrap yard and collected many things like: - Car grill badges, rear view mirror and I got car wheel Rim to make a table with. I’m also researching eBay for number plates and road signs.
    The most expensive item bought so far ... but well worth it , is a real cool wall art vinyl from eBay. It’s a life size image of a Ferrari. with the illusion that it’s just smashed through the wall (see picture attached)….. And the headlights glow in the dark to!!......... How cool is that hey!! .
    Well for a Girl I’m not doing too bad so far with the designing ideas :), but would appreciate any ideas or suggestions you or other members have, or maybe you have seen another project here on “Instructables” that you think would be a good addition to my room theme. I’m quite handy with power Tools so it will be no problem with my DIY initiative and skill's .
    So looking forward to hear some good insparasional answers from the very talented peeps here. I will gradually start uploading photos and info of my project as i go, so people can follow my progress and see my own designs develop, also watch how successfull i get on with design ideas offered to me from other members. So please feel free to comment about the recent photo's uploaded or just for a chat and brain storm


    11 years ago on Introduction

    It looks really cool but those cords are made for light weights. VERY light weights. When you have a heavier lamp shade than the original paper one, a chain should be added, attached through the plastic cones and the cord run through the chain. (the chains have open ends on each link so can be pried open if the plug end is too large to thread through. The cord can be slipped through the opened side.) This way, the electrical cord won't separate from the attachment to the bulb holder. I really love the color!


    12 years ago on Introduction

    The lamp looks freaking radical... I'm gonna go straight to Amazon and order the cones... I already have the Ikea cord...


    What other crazy projects are you working on?