After having picked a drill as my 5 year anniversary gift from my job, I was inspired to make some sort of large lamp for the patio of my apartment. I was also discouraged because all I had to make the lamp with was a drill, however the pieces all fell together and I am extremely happy with the end product which I have come to call the "Grass Patio Lamp"
Step 1: Gather Supplies and Tools
Due to the lack of tools I knew I couldn't be afraid of looking in a dumpster or two, to find the perfect supplies needed for this project. That's when I came across a broken TRON Gaming Chair which is what inspired my design.
- Find or construct a wooden frame, any shape will work. (I used the rockers from a broken TRON Gaming Chair)
- Chain (5 ft long)
- Can of Spray Paint (Any color of your choice)
- Grass/Straw Mats
- Wood Screws
- One Wooden Tree Stake
- Curtain Rod
- Light Bulb Assemblies (Two light bulbs, two sockets, & 1 threaded lamp stem).
- Small Eyelet Screws x4
- Small Cup Hooks x4
- Large Cup Hooks x2
- Medium Twist-on Wire Connectors x2
- Extension Cord (10 ft long)
- Double Sided Mounting Tape (Not shown in picture)
- Needle Nose Pliers
- Small Saw
- Sanding Block & Sandpaper
Step 2: Sand and Paint
- Using a 40 to 60 grit sandpaper, strip and remove all paint from your frame.
- Slowly and patiently work your way to a 360 to 600 grit sandpaper making your frame surface as smooth as possible.
- Apply several coats of paint to both 5ft chain and frame, with 15 minute drying intervals in between coats. Let them both sit overnight.
Step 3: Construct the Cross Section
- Measure the width of one grass/straw mat, this will be the width of the completed lamp.
- Using the small hand saw cut both pieces of the curtain rod equal to that of the straw mat.
- Use the end of the rods to impress a circle onto the wooden stake, which will act as a guide when drilling a hole.
- Use the drill to drill a hole big enough for the curtain rod to fit through TIGHTLY. Complete this step for both ends.
- Drill a hole in the middle of the stake which will hold the light bulb assembly.
- You now have a cross section in the shape of the letter "H".
Step 4: Fold the Ends
This step must be done after the cross section has been constructed.
- Measure the width of the frame accurately. Anything shorter or longer may cause an improper fit of the grass/straw mat.
- Using the pliers bend the ends of the rods to the same width of the frame.
Step 5: Adding Grass to the Sides
- Use the frame as a stencil to cut the grass to the desired shape.
- The straw is a very delicate material so before you make the cut you must also apply double sided mounting tape to the inner part of your outline. This will keep the straw from unraveling.
- Cut around the mounting tape.
- Peel off the other side of the mounting tape and mount the oval straw shape to the inside of the frame.
Step 6: Bulb Assembly and Connect Frame
- Assemble the bulb assembly in center of the wooden stake.
- Cut 4 1inch pieces of mounting tape.
- Measure and place the pieces of mounting tape where you would like to drill in the cross section.
- Drill pilot holes through the strategically placed mounting tape and onto the frame.
- Using the wood screws, screw in the ends of the cross section to both sides of the frame.
Step 7: Wiring
- Cut the end of the extension cord and strip both the black and white wire so that a portion of the copper wire is showing.
- Add the small eyelet screws to hold the extension cord cable in place, run the cables through the eyelet screws.
- Using the twist-on wire connectors join the wires together. (BLACK TO BLACK) & (WHITE TO WHITE).
Step 8: Start Mounting the Straw
- Using the double sided mounting tape start mounting the straw onto the frame. Be sure to pull tightly as you are applying so that the straw is uniform and straight.
- If you would like and if you have a staple gun, add some staples to secure its position.
- As you get 3/4 of the whole way around, STOP, and start applying Velcro to both ends. I used the mounting tape to attach the Velcro. (The Velcro allows for easy bulb replacement if and when a bulb burns out)
Step 9: Add Hooks, Chain, and Mount the Lamp!
- Add the small cup hooks to all 4 ends of the lamp frame (measure for even placement).
- Add two larger hooks to the ceiling of your patio and mount the lamp using the chain (cut chain if necessary).
Runner Up in the
Lamps and Lighting