Spiral 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...

After a few weeks without any idea that I really liked, I am finally back with this spiral lamp! 

I was in the middle of upholstering a chair in the basement, when I found a bag full of old wood dowels that my father didn't need anymore. I have never really worked with wood but I always wished I could try so I thought this would be the perfect occasion to start doing it!

I didn't want to cut them to make things easier so I played with them for a while before I actually came up with the structure of this lamp.

The dowels I used are about 7cm (2.75 inches) long with a diameter of 5mm (0.19 inches) so the whole lamp is quite small, but it could also be done using bigger dowels.

If you don't have wood dowels, another idea I had would be using paper straws. You can see how I make them on Step 2 here.
Anyhow, I always recommend using LED light bulbs or at least low-energy light bulbs, especially the cold light ones.

Step 1: What You Need

  • 124 wood dowels - you can get them here.
  • hot glue*
  • piece of cardboard
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • light bulb and bulb holder
*I used hot glue because it dries much faster (and I admit I am very impatient sometimes). If you want a better result with more resistance, use white glue which is perfect for wood.

Step 2:

Take 4 dowels and glue them together to create a square, as you can see in the pictures. Each dowel is a side of the square.
The 2 ending parts of the dowels are round: I glued them in a way that you can see a round side for each of them. I am sure it's much easier to understand looking at the pictures!

Make 31 equal squares this way.

Step 3:

Now start taking 2 squares: place one above the other, rotating it a little on the right, so that the edges of a square don't touch the ones of the other square. Always look at the pictures for a better understanding.
Make sure that your squares always have the same side facing. They must look identical.

Glue them together where the squares intersect.
I glued 2 opposite sides only but you can glue all of them if you prefer.

Add another square above the others doing exactly the same process.
Keep doing this until you have glued together 28 squares, one above the other (always rotating them).

The rotation will automatically create the spiral effect.

Step 4:

My dowels are 7cm long (2.75 inches) so I cut a 7x7cm square out of cardboard. Adjust this measure to the size of your dowels.

Trace the outline of your bulb holder in the middle of the cardboard square and cut it out.
Your light bulb holder will pass through this hole to stay still inside the lamp.

Glue the cardboard square to the bottom of your spiral lampshade.

Step 5:

Take the remaining 3 wood squares you made previously.
Glue them one above the other, turning the middle one upside down. This way the facing side will look different from the other ones. 
Do NOT rotate the squares this time.

All you have to do now is gluing these 3 squares structure to the bottom of your lampshade and it's done!

Insert your light bulb and bulb holder in the lamp and try it...the effect of the light coming out from the spiral is amazing! :)

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Participated in the
Indestructibles Contest

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Participated in the
Lamps & Lighting Contest

3 People Made This Project!


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72 Discussions


1 year ago on Step 5

Your tutorial is really cool and simple:) Love it!!


3 years ago

your lamp has helped me a lot in the project from school, I dedicate my high note :3


3 years ago on Introduction

I love the idea. I have some wood stick that I have from my old school project. I'll turn them to this one and some of your other cool cardboard lamp shade ideas.

Thank you! I'll post them once I get a chance to sit down and create. :D


5 years ago

I just painted my front living room turquoise. I am going to make this lamp but paint the dowels. Will use a longer dowel so the light is bigger! This is so cute! I really will post pictures for you!

1 reply

5 years ago

I was curious if anyone tried using a non-led bulb. If anyone has what were your results? My worry is that it will get too hot and either catch on fire or remelt the hot glue! Please help!

1 reply

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

I did try an incandescent bulb when I first made it because that was the only one I had, but I kept it on for a very little time just to try my lamp since I was afraid it would get too hot. So nothing happened. I wouldn't use a bulb that is more than 40watt anyway, and since I don't know much about all these things, I prefer to stay on the safe side using a LED bulb or at least a CFL bulb that doesn't get too hot.

If you are concerned about the glue, you could also use white glue so it won't remelt, just like I did for my other lamp. It's probably more resistant too! :)


5 years ago

Fun to make with Popsicle sticks and wood glue too...I'm too lazy to cut dowels. :)

1 reply

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

Definitely! My dowels were already cut like that...if they weren't, I think I wouldn't have done it either :D