Steampunk Lamp Globe




A few months ago, I found this really cool steampunk themed lamp in the heavily discounted clearance section of my local Bed, Bath & Beyond. For US$10, I couldn't resist!  One great feature about this retro style illuminating device is the dual lamp feature: a standard bulb socket on top, and a separate fixture underneath for a miniature bulb.

The design of this lamp was reminiscent of something that could have been on Jules Verne's Nautilus, but without a shade, this lamp certainly looked incomplete.

A few days later, I found a discarded floor lamp on the street, with a frosted plastic semi-globe that was the right design to fit my new steampunk lamp. But as-is, it certainly lacked the requisite flare!

So here's how I turned a plain plastic half-globe lamp shade into a stylish and attractive steampunk accompaniment.

• Pliers
• Metal snips
• Screw driver
• Rotary tool
• Power drill

• Lamp shade/ plastic half-globe
• Brackets
• Brass machine screws and nuts

Step 1: Select Lamp and Shade

As mentioned in the intro, I bought this lamp, so I can take any credit for the design. (I think it may have been manufactured by Hampton Bay, but not sure). And the shade I found in the trash.

But the simple technique I used for this Instructable can be used on pretty much any type of lamp shade, and for any lamp, which is why I decided to share this project with the Instructables community.

Step 2: Prepare Brackets

Really all that is involved in this project is applying brackets to a plastic lamp globe, to give it a more industrial look.

I chose to use a strip of gold painted brackets, (the type you would mount inside a cabinet to hang shelves, also reclaimed from the trash;-)

These brackets are extremely maleable, and were very easy to bend to the proper contour of the globe, by gently pressing against my knee.

With the proper contour bent into shape, trim the bracket with a metal cutter. Before cutting, make sure you line up the holes for the screws where you want to screw the bracket to the shade.

Step 3: Prepare Shade

The reason I chose a plastic shade for this project is that while it looks like glass, it's very easy to drill through the plastic, (and not very easy to drill through glass;-) And the finished project looks pretty much the same as a glass globe.

I pre-drilled holes at the base, but ended-up not using these holes, as the brackets didn't quite line-up. Easy enough to drill new holes!

Step 4: Attach Brackets

With the brackets bent and cut to size, place machine screw through bracket at the base of the shade, and attach the nut to the screw on the inside of the shade.

With the base screw in place, bend the bracket to the contour of the shade. With your power drill, drill a second hole through the shade, and insert a machine screw at the top edge of the shade, and then bend the end off the bracket over the top edge, and squeeze tight with a pliers.

Repeat this process for all four brackets.

Step 5: Trim Edges Around Base

Once you have all the brackets in place, trim the sharp edges around the base, where the shade will slide over the lamp.

Use a rotary tool with a blade to trim the excess metal, so the shade will fit onto the lamp.

Note: Be careful when working with sharp metal! And wear goggles when cutting it!

Step 6: Select a Bulb

Even though it cost almost as much as the lamp, I chose a retro Edison-style bulb, for that classic vintage look!

Step 7: Finished!

Here are a few photos of the finished lamp, with some of my other steampunk creations.

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    16 Discussions


    3 years ago

    So cool! I like this project a lot! It is very beautiful. I wish I can do something similar. In my every day life I use these lamps, it has very good quality and looks really great!

    1 reply
    Winged FistMarinaM25

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks for your comment! This lamp shade project was very simple and really changed the whole look of the lamp! If you do make one like it, please post a photo here!


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you very much. your project is very cool. I am working on something very different but the bulbs are the icing on the cake.

    Winged Fistwolfgang64

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Got the bulb at Home Depot, but I'm sure you can find online too if you search for "Edison style bulb."


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Mr. Fist.
    Very nice project, glad you posted it, I hit the junk stores from time to time, and though it seems like it would be easy to come up with a pleasing lamp project when it comes to actually putting something togeather it's far more difficult than first imagined.

    This is a wonderful project I would love to have in my home.
    I have at least two lamps just sitting in the crawl space just waiting for this level of inspiration.

    1 reply

    Thanks Bill! I hope this humble little lampshade project gives you some of the inspiration you need to get those lamps out of the crawl space and onto Instructables!;-)

    Aye, while I know it's been a fair bit of time since I've commented on anything,
    I thought I'd let you know that your project made the Steampunk Facebook group!
    They even linked back to here for you!
    (Though I got it as a notification via Instructables earlier)
    Anyways, here is the link to the direct posting!

    ~Best of Wishes and Clockwork Dreams,
    Brefelan Silverpaw/ (DJ) Electfire

    1 reply

    Thanks Electfire! As one of the last human beings on earth without a Facebook account, I wouldn't have notice this if you hadn't mentioned! Explains the uptick in traffic for this humble Instructable;-)
    Winged Fist


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Looks great. Apologies if I missed it, but what is giving the red glow at the bottom? Something you did or built into the lamp?

    4 replies
    Winged Fistoldmicah

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    My bad... I should have made this clearer - This dual-lamp has a normal socket on top, and a small socket underneath. I added a small Christmas-style bulb in the lower socket to achieve that ominous "red glow."

    oldmicahWinged Fist

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    No worries! I like the mod and the glow adds a lot. ...And I Like the othe props on the table as well!