DIY R2D2 Lamp From $10 IKEA Lamp




This one came from shear distraction and procrastination, things that invaded my everyday life.

I am building a full size R2D2 from scratch, when you are scratch building everything begins look like a potential part, well this lamp I just got from IKEA really reminded me of the little domed one so I got bored and with a little bit of tweaking I got him looking pretty good.

I happen to have access to a cutter, and while it makes it a bit easier it is not necessary to complete this project.  You could just get the vinyl and cut it with scissors, or you could even just use regular labels that you painted blue.  I would bet that even with sharpie you could get the point accross.

the great thing about R2 is that he has such a an iconic look that you really only have to capture a few bits and pieces to make him look right.  The main eye, the stripes and the top sections.

I think from the pictures you can get an idea of panels I had made up.  (I might be able to make these available)

Update: sorry folks for the disappearing act, I'm on baby watch and my wife is due any day now so I had to make a mad dash to complete some stuff for work. 

I did manage to get these up on ETSY, figured that would be an easy way to make them available.


Let's see these R2 lamps everywhere :D

Step 1: Materials

first you'll need a lamp that looks like R2.  I used the Tertial lamp from IKEA.  It was $9 at my IKEA and only comes in silver.  It also has a pixar-ey kinda look to it too with the springs I liked it as a lamp before I decided to sticker it up.

You will also need stickers.  I used sign vinyl.  you should be able to pick up vinyl sheet stickers at any craft store.  If you are not going to use colored vinyl, you could paint plain white stickers or use a sharpie and just draw them in.

an exacto blade is also helpful.

Here's a pic of the vinyl material I used (Like I said I had my stickers cut on a machine)

You can use these pics to get an idea of the shape of the panels, you can also find pics on the internet of R2, but like I said so long as you have the main parts pretty much everyone will know it's R2. 

Step 2: Determine the Front of the Lamp

you'll need to figure out where you want R2 "looking" the goos thing about this lamp is you can rotate the dome around but you'll want to know where you want R2's primary gaze to be. depending on your desk situation you might want R2 to face the door to great guests with your utter geekiness (this is how I plan to do it for the one that goes in my office, this on is in my workbench so it faces front)

mark the front with a pencil.

Step 3: Pinstriping...all the Cool Cars Have It

First step I chose to go with is the pinstripe along the bottom.  pretty much all the other stickers go from this one so if you get this one fairly straight all the others will look fine.

the sticker material is fairly forgiving so as you work around if the line isn't to your liking just lift it up and place it down again.  I like to press one end down and pull the line around with a little tension.  this keeps the line straight.

the stickers I made have this stripe as 2 parts so start the stripe away from the center mark you made so that the overlap doesn't occur right in the front of the lamp.

Step 4: The Eyes Have It

Now mount the eye, this is pretty much what give R2 his look and where most people will look right away. 

start with the lower left peice.  where you set this determines the rest of the stickers.

once that is set put the main eye piece in place.  I start at the lower left so you can get the right relationship with the first rectangle. then push the right side of the eye down.  notice in the 3rd picture I have the left portion of the eye still hanging.  dude to the curve of the dome y can't just have flat stickers so you kinda have to play with this piece to get it just right.  just don't push it down in place until you get it right.  It should meet up at the top and make the circle complete.

finally add the long bottom piece and the window pane looking piece to the left of the eye. 

Step 5: Left Side Panels

Lastly add the panels.  I took some liberties with "screen accuracy" for my lamp...after all it is a $9 lamp and admittedly I should be doing other things, but bringing the nerd bling is so much fun

Step 6: Right Side Panels

these panels extend from the right of the eye.  First there is a round panel,  then 3 small panels and one long one. 

I also have one panel that I made for the rear center.  you can really put it anywhere you want. 

Step 7: Pie Anyone?

the top "pie panels" are last.  I start at the front where people will be able to notice them the most.  that way if the gaps are off they are off in the back.

I start right about the eye and work my around alternating left and right, that way the front spaces will look equal.

Step 8: I Love Lamp

alright, this one is out there, but it's cheap and pretty cool, in a very nerdy kinda way.

Check out my Han in Carbonite hidden door and you'll see this fits right in with my style :P

Like I said I could possible make these sticker sheets available so you could turn your own $9 lamp into an R2lamp quite easily.  send me a PM I guess and we'll go from there.




    • Build a Tool Contest

      Build a Tool Contest
    • Trash to Treasure

      Trash to Treasure
    • Tape Contest

      Tape Contest

    29 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    That is really cool and well made. Check out my R2-D2 Project.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Made this last night, the lamp is another one from Ikea, probably more than 9 bucks lol.

    Even heating the top thingies wouldn't make them stay flat, so it looks pretty ghetto at the moment.

    Like the shiny?

    2 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    that looks awesome!!!

    $9 one for the kiddos rooms and $59 one for my desk!


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Its called Forsa, and at $59 bucks should've got your one!

    Forsa Lamp $59.JPG
    nylananrc jedi

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction much awesome in one pic!!

    I have a full size r2 as well...well I have 100% of the parts and they are 50%

    I got a Spektrum DX7 to control him so I am always looking at other stuff to control with that awesome plane!

    I'm Muttley on


    7 years ago on Introduction

    This creation has inspired my dear friend and I and we've decided to have a contest on who can create the most geekiest star wars DIY lamp.

    My friend created another version of this R2d2 Lamp using a Blue lamp instead of a silver. I decided to go for the iconic Darth Vader. Below are some pictures for your reference:

    For more info, visit our albums:

    R2d2 lamp:

    Vader Lamp:

    Geek Out!!! @_@
    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    AWESOME! Love that VADER. You sparked me to get off my tail and submit another one I created.....for the Mario Fans out there


    8 years ago on Introduction

    has anyone ever maybe think about a pen holder/cup that looks like R2's body to accompany the lamp? then it would look like R2's being built and the pens are the insides and a crane is putting on the head. just an idea. anyway, great instructable.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I like!!  BTW - DO you happen to have the R2D2 vinyl layout available - maybe as an .eps file? (for those of us who DO have a vinyl cutter at the home/office?)

    Thanks again for a neat looking lamp!

    2 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Several years back, I bought a Chinese knock-off - the Master Tiger 1000.  Not the quietest cutter in the world, but does a full 24" wide roll of vinyl, and is very accurate.

    I've used it to make vinyl signage for retail shop windows, vinyl coroplast signs, custom cut names and numbers for heat transfer to tshirts & caps... etc...  I also use it to cut vinyl masking for doing glass etching...  The first job I used it for - paid for itself when I used it to cut vinyl to re-do the oputside lettering on a Dr's office that faced a western setting sun in the Dallas, Texas area.  The old vinyl had cracked badly, and was unsightly... After a window scraping, cleaning, and new vinyl application - I was happy, and so was the Dr.

    I made one of these for my boy's 4th birthday and he loves it.  I cut the stickers by hand, and kept track of the sizes.  You'll have to do some trimming to get it just right, but this will at least get the scaling close. 

    1 @ 5/16" x 21" (this length will vary depending where you place the pinstripe)
    3 @ 1.5" x 3/4"
    1 @  1.5" x 1/2"
    2 @  1.5" x 1.5"
    1 @ 2" x 1" w/ 3/4" circle cut out
    1 @ 1/2" x 1"
    1 @ 2.5" x 1.5" w/ 1" circle cut out.  this is the main "eye" piece, you'll need to cut the edges on a slant.
    1 @ 1" x 1.5" w/ 2 squares cut out
    1 @ 5/16" x 1.5"
    1 @ 1.5" x 3.5"

    You'll also need 2 circles about 3/4" or 1".  I forgot to measure these.

    The top arc "pie" pieces were the toughest to figure.  See the pic for that.  I started with a piece 1.75" x 1", then used a 3" diameter plastic cup to trace the bottom curve and a ~2" diameter play-doh lid for the upper arc.  I eyeballed the angle on the sides.

    Hope this is helpful.  I think I covered all the pieces.  If I missed something, feel free to post a correction.

    r2 lamp.JPGr2.bmp
    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    SWEET!  I love seeing this!

    The beauty of it is so long as you have a the few key's R2!

    Yeah, figuring out the curves on the shapes PLUS taking into account the shape of the dome was real tricky.  my original prototype I just cut the decals right on the lamp.  I peeled them off to see what the flat shape should look like. 

    the Eye and those top pie pieces were indeed the trickiest.

    Again..I LOVE IT!! hope your kiddo had a great birthday.  sorry I couldn't get stickers to ya sooner.  


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Any issues with the heat from the lamp & the stickers?  Would imagine there to be some warping.  That said, cool idea!

    2 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

     Plus, vinyl decals are used on cars every day ( I have some on my Mini Cooper now) and they sit in the sun and with a hot engine underneath and after years and years, there might be very small cracks...

    Nice job Nylanan!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    no, not all.  not sure if that's the lamp design or because I'm using a CFL, but it doesn't get hot at all, which is good because I use this right over my work when I'm soldering or whatever

    I left it on, on accident, all night and not an issue at all.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Where can i get the stickers.. I want to make them for my friends for Christmas need about 7 sets of stickers. Best idea i have seen in a longtime and so simple. Love it. can i get you to make them for me or order them somewhere?