Cityscape Christmas Lamp




Introduction: Cityscape Christmas Lamp

About: I need to buy myself a power saw. This pipe cutting saw is very exhausting.

Five years ago I tried to make this lamp and failed miserably with the use of expanding gorilla glue instead of hot glue, a set of scissors that creased paper rather than cut it, and procrastination may have also played a part. Here is my second attempt at the same idea of a lamp.

My lamp has a Christmas theme which has a cityscape silhouette and features Santa riding up and down the sky in his sleigh, but you can make a completely different theme. Fast forward to step 8 "Picking Your Lamp Theme" to view a few theme ideas that I came up with.

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Step 1: Gather Supplies and Tools


  • (1) ¾” x 3’ Wooden Rod – $2 (Home Depot)
  • (3) 0.39” x 5.08” x 2’ Wood Boards – $0 (I found mine, but they can be bought or made)
  • (1) Red High Gloss Spray Paint – $5 (Walmart)
  • (8) M4-.7 T-Nuts – $2.50 (Home Depot)
  • (1) Rotating Crystal Display – Includes 5volt AC Adapter – $7 (Ebay)
  • (1) E10 4.5V Miniature Bulb and Base – $4 (Ebay
  • (1) Ball Bearing – $0 (Old Skateboard Bearing)
  • (1) Paper Clip – $0 (Supply Room at Work)
  • (2) Laminated Burlap Sheets – $5 (Walmart)
  • (8) 4MM x 16MM Cap Screws – $2.50 (Home Depot)


  • Saw
  • Sandpaper (360 – 600 Grit)
  • Wood Glue
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Soldering Iron
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Laminator w/ 2 Laminating Sheets
  • X-Acto Knife
  • Double Sided Tape
  • Dremel (Not used)

*All supply and tool items are listed in order of use.

Step 2: Measure and Cut the Columns

Measure and cut four 5” pieces from the wooden rod. Then sandpaper all four pieces.These pieces will be used as the columns which will form the box.

Step 3: Measure and Cut the Base and Lid of the Box

Measure and Cut Six 5.9” pieces from the three wood boards. Sandpaper and wood glue the first 3 pieces together then do the same for the second set of boards, this will form the base and lid of the box. Take your time sanding as this will determine how smooth your paint finish will be in the end.

Step 4: Drilling Some Holes

Drill a hole 2cm deep into both ends of each of the columns, these holes are where we will eventually hammer the T-Nuts into. Next, drill holes into all four corners of the base and lid of the box, these holes are where the columns will be connected to. The holes on the base and lid must be strategically placed to make room for the rotating crystal display which will be placed in the center of the base.

Step 5: Paint Job

Spray paint everything red or whichever color you choose. I think white would have looked look really nice as well. Be sure to apply several coats of paint and allow the pieces to dry in between coats. I used a blow dryer at medium heat and held it about 2 feet away. Too much heat too close will cause the fresh paint to bubble, we don’t want that.

Step 6: First Time Using T-Nuts

Hammer the T-Nuts into the ends of the painted columns. The advantage of using T-nuts is that you could use a hex key to easily remove the lid, if and when the light bulb goes out.

Step 7: Let There Be Light... in the Box

Remove the glass from the rotating crystal display and replace the LED light assembly with the 4.5V miniature bulb and base. Solder the black to black and the red to red wires together, and hot glue the Miniature Bulb and Base to the to display.

Step 8: Picking Your Lamp Theme

Using Google images, search “Cityscape Silhouette” and “Santa’s Sleigh Silhouette”. I wanted to make my lamp a Christmas theme so that every year around Christmas time I would be excited to take it out of storage, but you can choose any theme you would like. I’ve listed a few theme combination examples below:

  • “Grassy Hills Silhouette & Bicycle Silhouette”
  • “Cityscape Silhouette & Hot Air Balloon Silhouette”
  • “Ocean Floor Silhouette & Whale Silhouette”
  • “Forrest Silhouette & Bird Silhouette”

I can go on forever with all the different types of lamp themes, just be sure that you are not printing something too small which will cause the casted shadow to be unclear.

Once you choose your theme you are going to want to cut the shapes out using the X-Acto knife and laminate all the pieces. Place the pieces towards the bottom of the laminating sheets, while the laminating sheets are in landscape orientation. The top half of the laminated sheets will be used in the next step.

Step 9: Wrap It Around

Use the top half of the laminated sheet and wrap it around the updated crystal display. This will eventually be the track of where Santa and his sleigh will ride.

Step 10: Key Component (Skateboard Bearing)

Cut out the laminated Santa’s Sleigh Silhouette and attach it to bearing using hot glue and use the paper clip as a frame. I also used a small piece of the laminated sheet to hold Santa to the bearing.

Next, attach the bearing to the rotating platform on the updated crystal display and use the X-acto knife to cut a few hills into the laminated sheet that is wrapped around the crystal display.

The bearing is used so that the outside can be glued to the rotating platform while the inside of the bearing moves freely, which is what is connected to Santa's sleigh.

Step 11: Making the Burlap Side Panels

Cut the laminated cityscape pieces and use double sided tape to attach them to the burlap sheets.

Step 12: Attaching the Crystal Display to the Base

Attach the columns to the base of the box, place the updated crystal display in the center of the base and screw the crystal display to the base to keep it in place.

Step 13: Completing the Lamp

Hot glue the burlap side panels to the sides of the box, and finally screw on the lid of the box.

Thank you SO much for viewing.


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    3 Discussions


    5 years ago

    very cool! my better half may "unground" me from the wood working store to make this.


    Reply 5 years ago

    Thank you! Here is a video of the lamp in action.