Introduction: VHS Lamp

If you have old VHS tapes rotting away, here is a lamp that you can basically make at no cost

Step 1: Materials

  • 5 or more VHS Tapes with case
  • Lamp with broken/missing shade or any lamp with just a base
  • 6 thin nails
  • glue gun
  • Screwdriver, hammer, knife

Step 2: Dissemble

Unscrew to separate the videotape

Keep all the parts: the lamp will be made of parts found inside the VHS tape, except the 6 small nails.

(2 Film reels, screws, small plastic parts, front/back part of tape, plastic part that covers the film)


cut cases along the folds as shown in the picture as needed. The thin strips will be later used to fill the gaps.

Step 3: Create Base

Use a whole case to create the lamp base

Cut the case so that it fits the base of the lamp.

Glue the case and the lamp together.

Step 4: Create Lamp Body: Basic Construction

There are no rules on where specific parts go, but in order to create neat edges and unique parts, there are instructions on following steps on how to make different parts and how to fill in the gaps.

The lamp that I used turned out to be three VHS tapes high.

Step 5: Construct Lamp Body: Film Reel Part 1

Materials needed

-One set of film reel

-part of case with film holding part

-2 small nails


1. First we need to nail the reels into the case so that it rotates but stays safely locked in place. To do so, first find the tiny black part in the middle of the reel and break it off with a nail and hammer.

2. Hammer a hole through the middle of each reel and another in the center of the circular parts attached to the case. (This helps to nail the reel to the case more accurately).

*The film should wind in the direction shown in the picture*

3. Nail the reels and the case together.

4. Holding the reels in place, turn the case over and put hot glue around the penetrated part of the nail (shown in picture)

5. Make a maximum of 3 parts total

Step 6: Construct Lamp Body: Film Reel Part 2

To make rotating easier and more entertaining, we will make handles to attach to the reels.

1. Locate 2 metal cylindrical parts and 2 white plastic cylinder parts for each set of reels.

*The white parts can be substituted with the black screws from the VHS Tape*

2. Insert and glue the white part through the metal cylinder, the length of both parts should be similar.

3. Glue handles onto the reel as pictured using the glue gun. The handles should be near the outer edge.

Now you have rotating film mechanism :]

Step 7: Construct Lamp Body: Hole for Cord

With the base, the height where the cord comes out of the lamp matches with the height of the hole on the VHS part.

Pull the cord through the whole in the VHS part and glue the video onto the base.

Step 8: Construct Lamp Body: Hole for Light Switch

For this specific part you will need:

-one individual film reel (if there is film on it, either tape it down or use a reel that has no film )

-VHS part with the two holes

-tools to make hole on film reel

1. You will glue the part of the tape with one film reel. Refer to picture above for the way the reel is glued.

2. Hammer a hole in the middle of the reel part that is big enough for the light switch to come out to the exterior of the lamp.

3. After pulling it outside, you can see that it is too short and uncomfortable to turn the lights on.

The instructions for making its handle comes later in the instructions.

Step 9: Construct Lamp Body: Edges

For edges you can either use the thin strip of the case material or the thin black part that covers the film on the tape. Or, use both. :]

Make sure you experiment with the placing of each part before actually gluing them together.

Step 10: Construct Lamp Body: Piece 1


-front and back of case

-single film reel with film (the one left over from making light switch hole)

1. glue the end of film to place shown in first picture.

2. wrap, wind the film around the case in any way you want

*Be careful for film is highly flammable. Keep if from going near the lightbulb*

3. Glue the film reel to the inside of the casing part that is flat.

4. Close the case with the pairing part.

5. Glue to any location of lamp. Mine is on the second tier.

Step 11: Construct Lamp Body: Light Switch


- two white and two black plastic parts shown in picture

-2 small metal rods

- metal cylinder

1. Alternate white and black parts and glue them together by inserting the metal rods with hot glue into the parts. 2. On both ends have the rods protruding just slightly.

3. Glue one end to the existing light switch and the other into the metal cylinder.

Step 12: Top/Lid- Shaping Lid

1. After construction of the lamp body, determine the shape the lid should be by looking down from above.

2. Cut the left over case parts to create a shape similar to the lamp body.

Step 13: Top/Lid- Stabilizing

If you glue the top to the lamp body, you won't be able to change your lightbulb in the future.

To stabilize the top without gluing it together follow the instructions below.

You will need:

-metal cylinder part

-one black screw

-3 mini plastic parts that have a L shape

1. Close the lid and adjust so that it fills most gaps.

(the pictured lamp had two plastic parts across from each other, one film reel part, and one case part that has ledges. The lid was built according to the structure.)

2. glue the metal cylinder to the side of the lid. It is the side that has the film reel part.

3. On the interior of the film reel part, or any flat part, glue the L shaped part and the screw as pictured so that the screw fits into the cylinder when closed.

4. On the two sides adjacent to the side that has the screw/cylinder, use the L-shaped parts as a dowel that prevents the lid from swaying side to side.

Step 14: Done!

You are now done. Turn on the light to see different ways the light shines through different parts of the lamp!