Introduction: Wastelamp

  • A recycled desk lamp ! Doesn't it look like Luxo Jr (also known as the Pixar lamp) ?

Wastelamp is an indispensable desk device we designed for you! Made our of coffee wastes and bottle caps, it will enlight your life, and bring joy to your work!

For this project, you will need an iron solder, so it is best to do it in a fablab (given that not everybody has one at home!). For now, only the Makerlab at CRI (in Paris) can welcome you, but you can always go in another fablab to do it ! Click here to see where the CRI is!


Here is the list of supplies you will need :

  • 16 coffee capsules (for a 20 cm pole)
  • a plastic cup
  • bottle caps
  • an iron wire of the double
  • the desire length of the pole
  • an old sponge
  • electronic device : 2 electric wires of different colors (15 cm longer than the pole), a white led (3V alimentation) and 2 batteries (1,5V) with their case
  • cutter / scissor
  • clamp
  • soldering
  • oven, aspiration
  • system, and
  • heatproof gloves
  • round die-cut/punch
  • driller

Step 1: Making the Base

In this first step, you will be able to bake plastic in an oven ! Isn't that the experience of a lifetime ?

1) Exchange your bottle caps for shredded plastic or, if you have time, find someone to explain you the functionment of the shredding machine, and shred your bottle caps by yourself

2) In the makerlab, find a person who knows how to use the oven and the aspiration system and listen to safety measures

3) Preheat the oven for 10 min at 230°C

WARNING : Always wear heatproof gloves for the following steps until step 7

4) Put a round metal piece (~8,5 cm diameter) on a plate going into the oven, with baking paper under it. Put the shredded plastic pieces in the metal piece. Put everything in the oven

5) Check regularly the aspect of the plastic. Usually, after 20 min, the base should be ready, but you should refer more to the aspect (because melting could differ according to the oven used)

6) Let it cool down at least 15 min

7) Detach the base from the mold. Here is what it will look like :

Step 2: Making the Electrical Circuit

To light a LED, you need wires and batteries :

1) In the makerlab, find someone to explain you how to solder.

2) Solder the two wires to the LED (yellow to the + and black to the -)

3) Put the batteries in their case

Step 3: Preparing the Material for the Pole

When you take a coffee capsule out of the machine, it is not yet ready to be used! Here are the things you need to do :

1) With a cutter or scissors, remove the lid of the coffee capsules

2) Empty the coffee and filters, and wash the capsules.

3) Let them dry.

4) Cut stripes of sponge (you can remove the hairy part on the top) and make small cubes

5) Make a hole in the centre of the sponge cubes and the top of the coffee capsules

Step 4: Making the Head and the Pole

Now it's the fun part :

1) Pluck two small holes in the back of the plastic coffee cup. The distance between the two holes should be the size of the LED.

2) Insert your soldered LED with wires going through the holes

3) Take the iron wire and fold it in half. Then with a clamp, pinch the end with the two extremities and twist at the other end until almost all the wire is twisted. Cut the untwisted end.

4) Entwine the two electrical wires around the iron wire

5) Pass a coffee capsule on the pole like a bead on a thread. Alternate coffee capsules and sponge cubes until you reach the desired length. Don’t forget to put a sponge cube at the end and curl the iron wire to fix it.

6) Fix the remaining iron wire to the head of the lamp : cut two holes in the side of the coffee cup, pass the wires and twist them back together again.

7) Cut a little opening on the last capsule for the wires to pass through

Step 5: Assembling

You are nearly there ! Assemble the parts together and you can read a book in the dark without problems !

1) Fix the lamp to the base with hot glue

2) Solder the electric wires of the lamp to the one of the battery

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