Popcorn Lamp




A basic lamp with a popcorn cover; if this is new to you, the skills learned here can be applied in making other lamps out of nearly anything: PCs (I knew they were good for something), outdated gaming systems, textbooks...

Anyway, here are the materials:
Popcorn container. A google search for this can be found here. Choose which kind you want to use.
A basic light fixture (see pictures)
A "click" switch (again, see picture)
Scrap of wood at least 1.5 inches thick (softer is better, but not too soft)

Power Drill and bits
A small philips head screwdriver

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Use the diagram below to look at materials

*****Edit as of 7/20/07******

Apparently the cords with the switches can be found around the house.

Step 2: Click Switch

1. Put on click switch
I don't know if everyone's switch will be similar, but the basic step should be to cut ONE SIDE of the wire (don't do both or you'll have to tape it) and lay the wires into the switch so that one side continues through while the other is stopped. The way this switch works is by poking holes through the wire insulation with metal contacts that conduct electricity. This means that you may have to press hard to get the switch into the wire.

Step 3: Drill Your Holes

This step may seem out of order, but to continue with assembly, we need to go ahead and do this. Find a bit for your drill that is slightly wider (1/8 of an inch) than the pole sticking out of the light fixture. Use this bit to drill a hole in the bottom of the popcorn container, as well as one in the side (for the cord). Drill a hole using the same bit into your block of wood. It really doesn't matter if you go all the way through the wood, but make sure the fixture sits in there fully. If you need to make either hole wider, increase the bit size by 1/16 of an inch.

Step 4: Assemble the Light Fixture

First, put the cord through the side hole of the popcorn container. Then, disassemble the light fixture so you have three parts: a cover, a bottom, and a switch mechanism. Put the stripped wire ends through the hole in the bottom part. Then loosen the screws on the sides of the fixture. Put one wire side under one screw and tighten, and repeat for the other side. Make sure it is very tight and that all the copper is under the screw. It doesn't matter which side goes to which. Now reassemble the fixture so it looks like when you first had it, and screw in your lightbulb. Plug into the wall to see if the bulb works. Play with the two switches to see what configuration turns the bulb on. When you turn off the bulb, only turn off the click switch, and do not touch the other switch. If you can't get the light to turn on, now is the time to troubleshoot. My most common problem was that the bulb was not screwed in tightly enough. Reference the pictures for this step especially, because all of the "heavy lampmaking" happens here.

Finally, pull your cord back through the hole and push the pole from the fixture through your bottom hole.

Step 5: Putting It All Together

Now tighten the spinner on the pole so that the cover stays attached to the fixture, and push the pole into the hole on the wood. Plug it in, spin the switch, and voila! a lamp.

Use the skills you have learned from this simple instructable to make all kinds of lamps. Tell me about what you make, and ask any and all questions you may have. Also, please give me feedback, as this is my first instructable.

Happy lamping!



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    18 Discussions

    cracker jacker

    5 years ago

    very good . lamp you should make more


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Hi! I made this project- It turned out amazing! Thanks for the idea- The only problem i had was that since i was using a light bulb high in wattage it was legit melting the plastic, thankfully since i went to Iparty to get the popcorn container it came in a package of two so i can replace it if it gets to hot, so far i have not had a problem since i changed to a lower wattage bulb! The stand i made on solid works and sent it up to House Carpentry! But it turned out great!!! I love mine! Thank you for this idea!


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Tasty Instructable! Any clues from the peanut gallery where to find tempature resistant plastic popcorn? would the fake christmas stuff resistbulb temps well enough? How about if we switched to a CCFL instead of incandescent? Are you gonna do a matching "Monster Cup" theater drink light?

    1 reply
    i_make_stuffGthing 2.0

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    I don't remember exactly how much I paid, but all I bought was the switch; I had everything else in my house: the popcorn cover was from a party, the light fixture and cord was from my brother's science project, and I had the wood sitting around in my house. For most people, the most expensive part would be the cover, which is where you get to be creative!


    Cool man, supa-cool. Definitely try to get a really high wattage bulb and try to cook popcorn in it =P


    12 years ago on Introduction

    In one of my classes we had a mass production unit as the final project and we made wood and masonite lamps (which looks like crap) and then we each got to take one home. Mine broke the day I brought it home. If you use some other design with an actual lampshade do not spray paint the shade, "dude that's some good lamp, auwesum huh."


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Also, forgot to add that it will probably pop actual popcorn you put in it :)


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Very well done , It "Pops" with me , just the thing for the family room !


    12 years ago on Introduction

    This looks good, and I could well imagine people paying good money for something like this. L