Dinosaur Diorama Lamp




Lamps and light are a necessary part of every household, allowing us to keep playing, working, and living into the night. Since they can be found in almost every room of the house, I thought it would be fun if they could be themed. While recently at Ikea, I saw the Brån Lamp, a beautiful glass based lamp that was begging for a customization or two.

Step 1: Materials

You'll need the following:

  • Ikea Brån Lamp
  • Hair Dryer or Heat Gun
  • Long Tweezers

Optional Inner Decoration Materials:

  • Moss
  • Pebbles or Rocks
  • Sand
  • Tiny Dinosaurs

You can get creative with almost anything--sea shells, buttons, action figures, sand, etc. For those that have the time, this lamp could be an ideal space for an entire scene or diorama set up, for example, ship in a lamp instead of a bottle?

Step 2: Removing the Top

In order to stick anything in your Brån lamp base, you will have to remove the top first. The top portion is glued into place and the easiest way I've found to remove it is to heat up the glue and pry off the metal top. This way you avoid denting or damaging the metal fixture as well as avoid scratching the glass base. 

You can use a hair dryer or a heat gun for this step, whatever you have on hand. I used a heat gun on it's lowest setting. Pointing it directly at the metal, rotate your Brån lamp base as you heat the metal. With a heat gun this step took about 7 seconds. Using a blunt object, or your fingers with heat protective gloves, begin to pry the metal fixture off of the glass base. If the glue has not gotten hot enough, try heating it again. Once you have broken the glue bond, you can finish removing the metal fixture using your hands. PLEASE BE VERY CAREFUL in this step as the metal can still be fairly hot and can burn your hands. If the metal is too hot to touch, use heat protective gloves or other tools to aide in the removal so that you can avoid skin contact. 

Step 3: Threading

Push more of the electrical cord into the lamp base from the bottom inlet. This will make it easier to pull the metal fixture away from the opening providing easier access to your glass base. 

Step 4: Removing the Glue

This is an optional step. Removing the glue will allow your metal fixture to sit tighter on your glass base. You can try to pick it off with your fingers, although I found it to be exceptionally hard. I would imagine you could also reheat the glue with your hair dryer or heat gun and it would become more pliable and easy to pull off.

I chose to leave the majority of the glue. Again, this step is optional and purely aesthetic.  

Step 5: Base Medium

After your cord decoration is set up, pour in your base medium. I chose sand as a base medium so that I could confidently place my props, settling them in the sand. 

Step 6: Staging

Once your base medium is in place, use your long tweezers to place your props.

Step 7: Put It Back Together

Your scene is set. Gently slide the electrical cord back into place and snuggly fit the metal fitting on to your glass base. You'll want to do this over an easily cleanable surface, as some sand will come through and out of your glass base in the groove of the electrical cord. I also found that it helps to keep tension on the electrical cord via the metal fixture as you pull the cord through from the bottom. this will prevent the cord from knocking over any of the props you have just spent time setting up.

You can connect your metal top with blue tack or another easily removable adhesive. 

Step 8: Plug In

Plug in your lamp and you're good to go!

Enjoy. Anytime you're ready to pick the tweezers back up you can change your lamp scene!

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    21 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Great lamp! I wonder if there's a way to set it permanently. I've got 3 boys that'd love this, but would turn it into a paleontology exhibit in a few shakes.

    4 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Or use grout like in setting mosaics? It would set and solidify, so anything that was placed inside of it should be stable as well.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Theres like some pour epoxy kind of stuff at home depot. Could mix it in.

    Something along the lines of this.


    I had the same thought. I was considering the possibility of mixing watered down elmer's glue (or some other glue) in with the sand before putting it inside the glass, so it was still pourable but would harden. Then you could put the dinosaurs on top/smoosh them into the surface while it's still wet... Not sure if that'd actually work or not

    I trying it now, and I cant get the top off... I'm applying heat, but it won't budge, and I'm worried too much heat will damage the electrical components...

    Has anyone had this issue?

    1 reply

    Hi LeftHanded Camila--sorry for the delay! What are you applying heat with? When I applied it with a heat gun, I only had to apply the heat for a little under a minute. I would imagine a hair dryer would take a little longer. A friend also shared with me that he poured boiling water on his and the top came off easily using that method as well. Maybe try that? You could control the stream of boiling water with a kettle so that it is just hitting the base. I haven't tried that method but he said it worked really well!

    Did you end up making progress on your lamp?


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Very lovely idea. I loved the customization part. A person can add toys/accents as per ones personality or the home decor.

    Is the Lamp LED?


    5 years ago

    I like the idea. But, I think my grand sons will like a jungle scene better. I've got a small ape figurine. I think I'll glue it to the cord, like he's swinging on a vine. Thanks.

    3 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Maybe you could pull out the cord and paint it brown like a tree? Please post a picture when you're done!


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Way ahead of you. I found a similar lamp that has a black cord and a bigger opening. It's sorta like a cookie/ginger jar shape with a cork top that holds the lamp works. It's made from hard plastic. It should be safer for the kids. Now my daughter wants one for each child. Back to the store. Will send photos later.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome! I'd love to see photos too. I had originally thought of wrapping the cord in embroidery floss which would give it texture and color. You could go with a tree or something else entirely. Or maybe cover it with a paper cone and make a volcano for the prehistoric scene?? The options are endless!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    if you could seal the hole, you could do one of those oil and blue water things with the floaty fish. or live fish would work too...for a few hours.


    that's a great idea. I'll have to do that for my youngest son, he is a dinosaur freak.