Ikea ROTERA Lantern Lamp



Bored of the lamps you can find at walmart? Like the flair of ye olde street lamps? Just like to make things and fill your room with them? Well then do I have the instructable for you!

This instructable leaves you with a functional, unique, and rather dashing looking lamp made from a repurposed Rotera ikea lamp. Project cost me less than $25, including the price of the lamp which I had leftover from my wedding. Finished within a day, though with some steps included elbow grease if you don't have the proper tools

Step 1: Supplies and Tools

Pictured is essentially most of what you will require for this project. These are the minimum, and as such I have included a list of other tools/supplies which could help you.


Coarse Sand Paper (used 60)

Power cord with rotating switch (or preference)

Lamp socket

Lamp Nipples (heehee)


S hooks

11/16 x 1.5 x 8' Wood (I used Oak)

5/16" Dowel (at least 1.5')

Glue (used Weldbond)

ROTERA ikea lamp (in your choice of color, Black is used here)





5/16" Drill Bit



Schematics (2nd photo)

Staple Gun

Small screwdriver (or knife, lots of things really) [Step 2]

Helpful Tools:


-Sanding Bit
-Cutting Bit (For precision/minimal waste)

Sand Blaster OR commercial Glass Froster (Spray)

Step 2: Prep the Lantern

To start, we need to convert the Rotera lamp from a tealight lantern to something we can use. First step is to use your pliers to remove the tealight setting, just twist and pull until the small anchor gives way.

Now, using a small screwdriver or whichever, press down the tabs that hold the glass panels in place. Do this for each panel until all the glass is removed. Set aside for now.

After this, use the drill to create a 5/16" sized hole in the top. Make sure your drill bit is appropriate for cutting through thin metal

Step 3: Lamp Assembly

Now that you have the glass removed (ignore the first pictures glass), tealight holder removed, and hole in the top, run the cable through the hole, through a nipple and locknut, and attach to the Socket.

General Rules: (But verify with your individual model)

Ribbed wire is Neutral and will connect to the Negative screw. Smooth wire to the Positive screw.

Brass screw will be Positive, Silver will be negative.

Once everything is connected and tight, insuring no bare wires are touching, screw the nipple into the socket base and tighten with the locknut. Now pull the cable out of the lamp until the socket assembly is pressed against the roof of the lamp. I used a vise grip to very slightly keep the cable in place while inverted.

I then applied glue along the base of the socket to attach it to the lamp. The method I used was sucking glue halfway up a straw, and then blowing it out around the base. In the pictures you can see I used a spot-glue method, but ended up needing to reinforce with more glue in order to resist the torque of twisting in a lightbulb.

Set aside to dry and begin with the wood.

Step 4: Preparing the Wood

Using the schematics, cut your 1 1/2"x 11/16" wood to size. To recap, you will need

1x 50cm Flat-end Bar (This is the height of your lamp, should you want a longer lamp then cut to size. No guarantee on stability if you go too high though)

2x 28cm bars with one side cut to a 45° angle

2x 21cm bars with one side cut to a 45° angle

1x 20cm bar with both sides cut to a 45° angle

You should be able to utilize the 45° angle cuts to only do them 4 times (one diagonal cut between the two 28cm pieces, one diagonal cut between the two 21cm pieces, and two cuts on each end of the 20cm bar)

Once you have those pieces cut, you can either decide to keep the pointed end or cut them off according to the blueprints (2.5cm from end, 1cm of length cut off). Feel free to sand at this point to smooth out edges that were cut

Also cut the dowel at this point: 7x 5cm/2in lengths (These are slightly over-sized so they can be sanded to flush)

Step 5: Drilling Holes

As you can see from my photos, my drilling skills could use improvement. My suggestion is to place mating parts on top of each other to insure the hole drilled will be perfectly aligned. Here is where a drill press will insure precision and a straight hole. For any clarifications, check blueprints for location of holes.

Afterwards, sand holes slightly until the dowel is a tight fit, but still able to get in. If no sanding is required, perfect! however, if dowel is slightly loose that is fine as it can be secured with glue.

Assemble the stand first at the base, using the two longer 45° pieces, the long bar and two pieces of dowel. Once those are secured at a 90° angle, add the stabilizing back piece using another two dowel pieces.

Now assemble the top arm using two dowel to attach the short arms to the long bar, as well as a third dowel at the end. This third dowel will support the lantern.

Step 6: Frosting the Glass

Now comes the elbow grease. If you have a sand blaster, or spent the extra money for the commercial Glass Froster (found at most hardware stores) you can just blast/spray the panels and they will have a frosted appearance (which is our goal). However, if you do not have access to these then grab your panels and your coarse sand paper

You only need to sand one side, and I chose the side that did NOT have the cut-in star. This was preference, but left my with the star pattern untouched but still the frosting. Just keep rubbing the glass upon the sandpaper until it has become completely scratched up. I used back and forth, rotating, and cussing to pass the time.

Caution: Do not inhale glass dust, and clean thoroughly afterwards. Suggest wearing face mask.

Alternative: If you do not have a sandblaster or frost spray, but do have access to a dremel and sanding bits you can attempt to frost the glass this way. I did not attempt it as I was unsure of whether I could achieve a uniform finish.

Step 7: Attaching the Lamp

Depending on your glue, it may be dry now, or still setting. If you are unsure, it may be best to wait till fully dried before moving.

Once it is cured, re-insert the glass panels doing the reverse process of taking them out (put them in, and secure with the tabs using a screwdriver to position). Then use an S hook on the end dowel to attach the handle of the Rotera lamp. Then you can run the cable along the arms and staple to the top, and along the bar down to the bottom support beam and in either direction.

Carefully! screw in a lightbulb (too much force could unstick your socket, depending on the glue you used) and plug in. Congratulations! you now have a lamp made almost exclusively by you!


I used a CFL lightbulb which takes time to warm up. On the first few tries turning it on the light was perfect, however when I later left it on for longer and the lightbulb reached its maximum luminosity I found the frosting wasn't diffracting enough light for it to be at eye level. I inserted a piece of paper printer (cut to size) behind the panel facing my eyesight and it fixed the issue. However, now I do not leave it on unattended just in case the paper comes free and falls on the lightbulb. But it did create a nice soft light for my desk, lighting up the room perfectly but not blinding myself.

And I apologize for any lack of information or images, I compiled the instructable a few weeks after finishing the project due to a busy schedule. However, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask!



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