Convert a Regular IKEA APPLARO Lamp Into a Pretty Lamp.




About: Ars longa, vita brevis, occasio praeceps, experimentum periculosum, iudicium difficile. -Hippocrates

My roommate bought a couple of IKEA APPLARO lamps and I thought putting some of my leftover art paper on top of it would make it look better. And it sure does look better. The project took about 2.5-3 hours. You can use any thin paper that will not block light and paint and stain the wood to whatever you like. Customize!

Step 1: Supplies

Tools of this trade:
Ruler with smooth sides - skinnier the better
Cutting mat
X-Acto knife
Dust gun
Spray Adhesive
Dust gun
Tweezers (not shown)
Flashlight - To check the progress of the project by shining the light to see how the paper is laying on the edges. Faster and cooler than screwing the bulb enclosure.

Pretty paper from art store.

Step 2: The IKEA APPLARO Lamp.

A regular IKEA APPLARO lamp. Blah. Clean it up and make sure there's no sticker residue. Some little bits of wood splinters may stick out too so remove it as well.

Step 3: Cut a Chunk of Paper.

Lay out and cut a big chunk of paper over the lamp.

Step 4: Fold to Fit.

Start folding it into the lamp, one side at a time.

Step 5: Trimming the Paper.

After folding, trim with X-Acto knife. I fold then trim a side, fold then trim another side. When trimming, add a little more paper, about 1-3 cm. (Yeah that's right, I'm american and I said CENTIMETERS). You'll see why.

Step 6: Some Mishaps to Be Careful Of.

This is what happens when you trim on the fold line. It may come a little short. This was my first attempt but was promptly corrected afterwards. Also, be careful of using spray adhesive. In my haste it sprayed a big clump and had to remove the excess from the paper.

Step 7: Smoothing and Tucking the Paper.

Used a ruler to smooth the paper on. Can also use a bone folder which a tool used in the paper arts. There's also a Teflon folder for the veggie people out there. Noticed that the white plastic has some give. Could press down with finger and slip the ruler. This is where it's useful to have that extra bit of paper.

Step 8: Tucking and Leverage.

Instead of laying it flat on the table. I changed my position and it became easier to insert the paper this way.

Step 9: Mishap From Ruler.

Be careful with the ruler. It slipped and caused a small rip. Thanks to structure of the paper, managed to repair it. Can you find it?

Step 10: Trim and Tweeze Paper.

Sometimes it's not possible to slip the ruler in. So use XActo knife as another way. The reason I didn't do this in the first place is because I don't want to risk damaging the wood or the plastic. Use tweezers to remove excess paper.

Step 11: Nice Edges.

Due to the new techniques, created a nice edge and the paper looks like it is part of the lamp and not just placed there. Repeat on all sides of lamp and enjoy.



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    18 Discussions

    Doc Holliday

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Any idea where to get paper like that generally? In my case, "Bellevue Arts and Crafts" or "Michael's", here in Bellevue, WA. Are there other terms for it that I can ask for? Great idea, and since I have SADS, I can put a full spectrum light inside something other than a full y boring table lamp! I can hang it too!

    2 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah, the Japanese have an amazing variety of really cool papers. Something to do with their tradition of giving elaborately wrapped gifts, I guess. You can try asking around for "Japanese art paper" or somesuch. Art supply stores or artsy paper stores often carry them.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah, I didn't know about that Instructable until after I published this one. I'm a little wet behind the ears at Instructables and wasn't aware of the IKEA hack group as well. IKEA stuff is a good canvas for creativity.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Oh, no problem! It's a great instructable either way. There's no reason we can't have multiple instructables on a similar topic, and yours was very well done, and with some nice pictures. I just wanted to show an alternative implementation, in case someone is inspired to hack their own Ikea lamp...


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Hey Corinna! Glad to see you here...that hack looks great. I might have to try that myself when we move into a nicer place next month. Hey post more tutorials, you know alot of cool stuff.

    1 reply

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Wonderful job.

    Very nicely done, looks great at the end, one of the best Ikea hacks I've seen, they're all very cool and awesome.

    Nice job, +1 rating, you did an amazing job once again (if I didn't say it, then wow, you did an awesome job.).


    1 reply

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I got it at Pearl Art & Craft Supplies in Chicago. I think it was less than $4.
    It is 26 X 38. And my roommate's cat just ruined my other piece just now. >:( Sigh, time to get more.