Lamp Clock (or Clock Lamp?)




About: I love creating. I love ART in all its forms. I am a daughter of the 50s, born in 1992. I had the pleasure to be a Featured Author on this fabulous site, and you can read my interview here: https://www.ins...

I almost convinced myself that I couldn't create lamps anymore, but since I started with the first one, I keep thinking of new ones! I can't stop making lamps anymore...HELP!! :D

Anyway, I actually got this idea thinking about a clock that had light coming out of its numbers.
I first made one a few weeks ago but it didn't really work, so I gave up. Then I was thinking about something to do with all the dowels I have, and after "playing" with them for a while I thought about trying again making some changes...and this is the result!

The dowels I used are the same ones that I used for the Spiral Lamp - 7cm (2.75 inches) long with a diameter of 5mm (0.19 inches).
If you don't have these, you can use different ones, paper straws or anything else you can think of. But make sure to adjust the measures in case your materials are different.

Especially for this lamp, I always recommend using LED light bulbs or at least low-energy light bulbs, especially the cold light ones.

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Step 1: What You Need

  • 29 wood dowels
  • plastic bag
  • cardboard
  • super glue
  • hot glue
  • glue stick or white glue
  • black acrylic paint
  • pencil
  • ruler
  • scissors/cutter
  • light bulb and holder
  • clock mechanism

Step 2:

Let's start with the structure.

Take 2 dowels and glue their tips together with hot glue to create a longer dowel.
Keep doing this with others until you have 12 long dowels.

Now create 2 squares using a long dowel for each side. The squares are created using the same technique I used on Step 2 here.

Glue the last 4 long dowels perpendicular to the corners of the first square, as you can see in pictures, then glue the second square at the top of the structure to create a cube.

Step 3:

Now we have to make the structure that will hold the bulb holder.

Make a square out of cardboard, it has to be about 7x7cm (2.75 inches).
Draw the outline of your bulb holder on the center of the cardboard square and cut it out. This way you will be able to insert your bulb holder in it.
Cut the angles of the square, as if you were cutting out semicircles.

Now take 4 of the original dowels that were left.
It's better if you look at the pictures now because this step is pretty hard to explain! :)
Let's start with one dowel: you have to glue one of its tip to one of the bottom corners of the cube, placing it at about 45°. This way the other tip will face the top of the cube.
Do the same for all 4 bottom corners.

Take the cardboard square you just prepared and, always using hot glue, glue it between the 4 dowels.
I know this is kind of tricky but I hope the pictures make it clear!

Step 4:

Put your wood structure apart for a while now and take your plastic bag.
Cut its bottom and handles and keep the central part.
Cut one side of the bag and open the bag so that you have a big sheet of plastic.

Draw a scheme on your piece of plastic, like the one you can see in the picture then cut it.

Cut out all the angles of your new piece of plastic then place your wood cube on the central square of the plastic.
You will notice that the square is a little bigger than the side of the cube so place it at the center.
As you can see in the last pictures, cut 2 little triangles where the corners of the cube meet the sheet of plastic at the bottom, then make 2 cuts at the top, always where the corners meet the plastic.

Step 5:

Now using super glue, attach the back side of the cube to the central plastic square.
Also glue the other 2 sides to the plastic, leaving the upper square free for a while.
Pull the plastic while you do all this so that it's as tight as possible.

You will see that the plastic squares are always a little bigger (I did it purposely), so glue the bigger edges to the inside of the dowels.

Now you can finally glue the upper square to the top of the cube and make sure to glue the final edge to the inside too. If the 2 opposite sides of it are too big, you can always cut them a little so that they won't go over the other plastic.

The front is still free because that's where the clock will be.
The lamp part is ready!

Step 6:

Let's make the clock now!

Place the front face of your cube on a piece of cardboard and draw its outline on it then cut it.
Now you have the front side for your cube that will become a clock!

Using a ruler, find the half for each side of the cardboard square then draw lines that connect the opposite sides together to find the center of the square.

Draw the numbers 3, 6, 9 and 12 in the middle of the sides, as you can see in the picture, and cut them out very carefully using a cutter.

Finally, make a hole in the middle of the square.
Remember, it must be big enough for your clock mechanism to pass through.

Step 7:

Color your clock using black acrylic paint.
You are free to use a different color, it's up to you! :)

Now using the leftovers of your plastic bag, cut many little pieces of it. They can be triangles, rectangles...mine are just casual!
Using glue stick or white glue, attach these little pieces of plastic on your clock, as if you were making a mosaic.

Once you have covered your whole surface, you can add transparent varnish on it to protect it and have a glossy effect.

Cut a piece of plastic that is as big as your clock and glue it behind the cardboard. 
Again, make a hole in the middle.

Step 8:

Finally, I had to find a way to keep the clock still with the rest of the lamp, but I also wanted to be able to open it whenever I needed to, so this is my solution.
Let me know if you have a better idea! :D

Cut a dowel in 2.
Take one and glue one of its tips behind the upper corner of the clock, but make sure to leave a thin frame free. I used 2 dowels as guides, as you can see in the picture. This way the dowel won't beat the cube structure.
Do the same on the other upper corner.
Be careful not to glue the guides...just in case you used them! :D

I carefully used hot glue to do this and it worked, luckily the plastic didn't melt.

Now you can finally insert your bulb holder and light bulb in the lamp, the clock mechanism in the clock, close it and try it! :)

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32 Discussions


Question 1 year ago on Step 8

how does the light bulb light up? I'm very confused where the electricity comes from.


3 years ago

Nice clock/ lamp! I made one of my own, in a different way, but I used yours as inspiration. I think mine turned out very well!



6 years ago on Introduction

Very nice! I wonder if there can be a way to put the clock inside the box, with lights fixed on the arms (LEDs for instance) so that number-shaped holes become brighter as long as the arm, turning, gets nearer the hole, and less bright while the arm moves away from the hole. It wouldn't be a very precise clock, but the effect may be nice. What do you think about it?
In italian: cercherei una soluzione per mettere l'orologio DENTRO la scatola, con dei LED attaccati in cima alle lancette (è la parte più complessa direi, soprattutto evitare l'aggrovigliamento intorno all'asse) in modo che i numeri si illuminino sempre più all'avvicinarsi delle lancette. Che ne dici?

1 reply

Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

Wow, che bella idea! Non sarebbe affatto male. Io non ho mai usato i led e non ne so molto purtroppo, quindi non saprei esattamente come fare, ma fossi in te proverei in qualche modo...comunque, se mi viene un'ispirazione te lo dico! :D
Fammi sapere se riesci, sarebbe davvero bello!! :)


Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

hahaha too many!!! I don't know where to put them anymore...I think I must start selling some :D

Be very warned Linda, you seems to be suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Lamp Syndrome . There is no cure for it and you have to live with it life long. I know how it feels like :D

1 reply