How to Make a Lotus Lamp (or a Copycat Version of Ikea Knappa Lamp)




Now let's go straight to the details, saw this gorgeous lamp in Ikea, seems easy enough to make one thyself. Plus it doesn't cost £17.99.

Hence investigation on the interweb... Lamp very popular on Apartment Therapy, found Ikea provides copies of their assembly instructions for download, and here it is for the said lamp:
Under 'K' - Knappa Pendant Lamp

Whilst, the template for the leaves and skeleton is there, not really much you can do, unless you draw one and experiment to get the right shape. See PDF grab below.

There's this nifty FREE program from eMachineShop - ver1.69 - Windows only

I don't use their services, but the program is a very easy to use CAD program. All the template files with extension EMS are to be opened with this program. Next step!

See end-result below for motivation

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Step 1: Using the Template

Material you need:

1) Plastic file folder - choose a material that feels like 2 to 3 (max)  sheet of 80gm paper. The folder I've got cost only £1.50, felt like polypropylene. I've found white teflon sheets 30x20cm sold on-line, they have excellent temperature tolerance, if you use them, choose a thickness of 0.25mm ~ 0.5mm, as what I had measured on my plastic folder.

2) Pair of sturdy scissor, like fabric scissors. Use this to cut the plastic with template.

3) Double sided tape - Stick the print out on plastic, simply cut the trace, avoid tissue type these are hard to remove

4) Single core wire, roughly 1mm diameter should do fine. This to secure the leaf together.

The list of files:

knappa_ext.ems - This is the separator that hold the shape of the lamp, the way the leaf overlap and opens out like a lotus flower. There are 2 rings, one is 5cm, the other 7cm.You will only need 4 'rings' for 8 C-shape seperator in each case.

knappa_ext-x8.ems - This is the ring copied 8 times, limited to A4 size print outs, for your convenient.

knappa-leaf-small.ems - is sized for the 5cm ring, this is probably as small as you can make this. Any smaller you'll need hands the size of infants or Santa's elves or Foxconn employee.

knappa-leaf-small-x16 - Again fits A4 printout. You will need 40 of these leaf.

knappa-leaf-medium.ems - is sized for 7cm ring
knappa-leaf-medium-x9.ems - again for print out

- A4 PDF, is the ring for both sizing, you need 8 of these so make 2 copies
knappa-leaf-small-x16.pdf - is A4 PDF
knappa-leaf-medium-x9.pdf - is A4 PDF, if you are using letter size paper, remember to use 'shrink to fit' on your printer option

Irrespective, you want a bigger size, on the software, drag and select the entire drawing, from the menu, Line -> Transform -> select scale button to scale it up.

Next step - cutting it out and assembly

Step 2: Assembling

As with the actual Ikea lamp, 5 leaf make up a single segment and there are 8 segments, hence 40 leaf.

The photo shows an assembly of 3 segments of the 7cm 'medium' version.

2 segments share a single C-shape separator (cut from the ring template). Each leaf overlaps.

e.g. Look at the close-up photo, first leaf, hole 1 and 2, second leaf, hole 3 and 4, third leaf hole 5 and 6, and so on.... Hole 2 and 3 overlapped, hole 4 and 5 overlapped and so on.... Tie these together with wire.

To finish tying all 8 segments is repetitive and straight forward.

Next step - finishing, difficult!

Step 3: Finishing

The most difficult task is to string up the 8 segments together, basically the bigger the lamp, the easier it is to reach in and tie the wire. You simply have to secure the 1st and last (8th) segments together.

The 7cm version is just about the limit to stick your hands in, the 5cm version you might need pliers.

The photo below shows the 5cm version in daylight. With top view and bottom view.

7cm version lit with LED.

Step 4: Final Touch

If a base for the lamp is required, for the 7cm version, a cheap lamp base from Habitat is most suitable, but only use energy saving bulb,  7w golf ball type work great.

Unfortunately I had not taken a photo together with this base before packing it away for as present. (Update, finally got a photo with the Habitat base, the gunmetal colour one seems to be sold out.)

DO NOT use incandescent bulb, they generate too much heat!

For the 5cm version, I had made a LED lamp base.

The aluminium enclosure which double as the heat sink is from Maplin:

The 3W mains power LED driver is from Dealextreme:

There's an extra bit that hold the thing in place:
knappa snap hold fingers.ems - note this is size for 5cm, use scaling if you need a 7cm version, simply scale up by 140% (7/5 *100)



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    37 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Oh my my... I promised the photo a long time ago... here it is!
    It looks weird because the ceiling is sloped (:

    2 replies

    Reply 1 year ago

    That’s gorgeous! What did you use for the plastic leaves?


    1 year ago

    Excellent tutorial. I’m not sure I’m
    Smart enough to follow it but I get the basic idea. Thanks for giving me a great place to start..I wasn’t quite sure where to begin but now I’m confident I’ll figure it out. You provided a lot of inspiration and insight as well as all the research and resources you posted. Not to mention the time you took to do all that but then share your expertise and valuable knowledge with the rest of us in a nice, tidy tutorial! Thanks again! A lot of people really appreciate when others take the time to do this. I know I sure do!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you very much for giving me an inspiration on a birthday present for my gf! I put 3 RGB LEDs together with some electronics into it and the lamp turned out just outstanding.

    Here's a vid showing how it looks:

    2 replies

    6 years ago on Introduction

    what do i do with the circle cut outs after looking at the instructions im unsure i wish there was a photo that showed how they are used

    I NEED HELP WITH THE FILES FOR A APPLE COMPUTER...I can not open nor change the file extension. Not to mention there is no ems program to use for apple -at least that i could find...any help would be really appreciated!

    3 replies

    8 years ago on Introduction

    I just made one and in looks absolutely amazing! All my family loved it and I already have a lot of lamps to do D:
    Thank you very much for sharing your archives and the instructions, I wouldn't even think about doing one if it wasn't for your instructable.
    I'll post a picture tomorrow (:
    Again, thanks!



    8 years ago on Step 3

    Congratulations really!!! excellent job.
    thanks for sharing :))


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Affordable, yet elegant and functional craft!
    Thanks for sharing


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Amaising instructable! Thanks a bunch for sharing, way to go! Greetings from Serbia, have started making the lamp, will put up some photos how it turned out :)! Once again thanks! All thumbs up!

    2 replies

    Glad you like it, do enjoy making one!

    The thing is, cutting and making those holes for the 40 leafs might take some patience, but I like it so much that I made 2 of these. Assembly it and seeing it slowly take shape is very satisfying.

    Ikea don't make these in any colour other than white, so....

    Bought the material! I decided to make it out of those plastic sheets that are yoused for spiraling stuff in copy centres etc... They've had this nice choice of colors and different % of transparency...So I ended up bying milky white one with some rough surface that looks almost like a sand glass. Now I come to the question(s) and forgive me if I haven't been too attentive to the comments, was a 'bit' distracted by awsomness of the project ;) :
    Are all pieces of the same size? and what did you use to drill the holes? Also, how did you copy the shape onto the plastic filefolders?Did you copy the shape through transparent sheets and if so what did you use for it? Also, I have really sharp pare of scissors but no matter what I do the edges keep being rough... scalpel is an issue because I can't make this nice round line with it... Any advice you can share on this?