Intro: Light Cube
Hello and welcome to my instructable!
With this instructable I would like to share with you how I made this cubic lamp using electrical socket frames.
I was fortunate to come across a wholesale where the selling price was 10 cents of euro each, which is really cheap for this kind of material. When I bought them I didn´t have a clue of what I would make with them, but they were so nice I couldn´t resist.
Initially when I played around with them, I thought of making some kind of a photo frame, but as the 12 I bought where the exact number to construct a cube, and the frame was crystal clear, I projected a lamp.
I´m really happy with the outcome, and with the unexpected use for this material.
I think you can use any kind of socket frame, as long as the edges are straight. It is really a simple project.
I would love to see similar work! Truly hoping this instructable can inspire you to make one and share it with us!
Step 1: What You´ll Need
There are not many materials needed for this project.
The main issue is to find squared edge electrical socket frames like the ones in the picture. What we will be doing is to glue them to make a cube, and make some acrylic squares to cover the openings of the frames. Additionally you will need a electrical lamp socket, electrical cord and light switch (I used one from an old lamp so no wiring was necessary). So this is what you will need:
* 12 double electrical socket frames (as seen in the picture)
* Electrical cord + switch + lamp socket (I recomend, that like me you reuse a whole set from an old lamp, so that you have no wiring to do). This way, even if you are not familiar to wiring, it´s more easy to do, and you get to reuse old things you may have around the house)
* led lamp
* acrylic transparent sheet (As thick as you like, but I recomend it to be thinner so the light can shine more brighter trough it)
* white silk paper (we will be gluing it to the acrylic). If you have white acrylic instead of crystal/tranparent, you can use it instead and save a lot of time. I didn´t have white, so I applied silk white paper over the transparent acrylic.
* découpage glue (this is to apply the silk paper on the acrylic) Again, using white acrylic will make this unecessary.
* liquid silicon
* silicon for glass ( I used universal silicon, as you can see in the picture)
* x-acto craft knife
* brush (to apply the découpage glue)
Step 2: Making the Faces of the Cube
This is a very easy step. As the socket frames are doubles, each one has two open squares, so we only need to glue two to make a face of the cube. We will be doing this six times to end up with the six needed faces to make a cube.
Just join two frames together and apply glass or universal silicon. Then make sure they are well aligned and let dry.
Step 3: Cutting the Acrylic Squares
This is the most difficult step, and you need patience to cut perfect squares out of an acrylic sheet.
First you have to measure your frame, so you can cut the acrylic squares for a tight fit.
I had this acrylic sheet from IKEA, and this is why I didn´t go buy a transparent white sheet. But if you are going to buy one, I recommend you buy white so you just have to cut the squares to fit the frame, and can skip the next step of applying white silk paper on the squares.
I measured carefully and marked using the ruler and a x-acto craft knife. Then the best way I found to cut the acrylic was to use a scissor.
Finally you have you squares ready to découpage the white silk paper.
You will need 24 but I made some extras... just in case something goes wrong on the découpage step..
Step 4: Découpaging the Squares
This step is a bit time consuming and you will need a little patience. But again, very easy to do.
Start by cutting squares from the white silk paper that are bigger than your acrylic squares.
Then, one by one, apply to one of the surfaces of the acrylic squares a generous amount of décupage glue and spread it well. Then glue the large square of acrylic paper to it, and again apply décupage glue on top. Do this to all your acrylic squares and let them dry well.
When they are dry, use the x-acto knife to cut off the borders of the squares, removing the excess silk paper.
You will end up with white acrylic squares ready to put on the frames of your lamp.
Step 5: Gluing the Acrylic White Squares on the Frames
Now it´s time to glue your acrylic squares onto the frames.
For this, use liquid silicon on the edges. The frames have plastic corners, where the switch or plug would attach if we were using the frames for their traditional use. For us, it makes things easier to glue on our squares. Apply the liquid silicon and then insert your acrylic squares. As we measured the cut of the squares to tight fit the frames, you do not need to apply much silicon, as they will fit perfectly. However I felt that they needed to be glued so that they don´t come off when using the lamp.
You will have to leave one square opened as this time, so that your electrical cord and plug will pass. As mine was from an old lamp and I didn´t want to do wiring, I left one square opened, because a needed the whole plug to pass trough it, before gluing the acrylic square. Before gluing it I also had to cut a corner of the acrylic square so that the electrical cord will pass, but I´ll show you later. For now, glue all but one, and make sure the one you leave open is where you want the cord to pass.
Step 6: Assembling the Light Cube
Again we will use glass or universal silicone to glue the cube faces.
I first placed the face that will be the base, and applied silicone on all the edges. The I went of placing three of the faces and let dry a bit, making sure they stayed in place and were perfectly aligned.
Not letting the silicone totally dry, I then made a little base for my lamp socket from foam I had from a cell phone packaging and glue it to the bottom, at the inner center of my cube.
I passes the cord trough the open frame (the one left, where I didn´t glue the acrylic square) and when on to silicon glue the last face.
The top face of the cube isn´t glued! It works like a lid, so you can open it to change the lamp.
important: remember not to glue the top face, you will need it to be able to open, so that you can change the lamp when necessary.
As you can see in the picture I then made a little cut on the corner of the last acrylic square and glued it with silicon glue like a did the others, but now with the cord passing trough it.
Make sure it all dries very very well, and in place.
Step 7: Light It Up!
Now, open the lid, place a led lamp, and light it up!
Hope you enjoyed it as much as me!
I´m so looking forward to see your work!