The DIY Artichoke Lamp




Hello People!

As promised, to the 1400+ pair of eyeballs that did wandered through the last instructable, here's the plans for the artichoke lamp.

A bit of history...

The design is based on this  1950s pendant lamp, designed by

All you need is scissors, some Polypropylene sheet from the craft store (in UK try Paperchase) and paper fasteners 

See next step for the templates.

Step 1: The Templates

I have decided to use only PDF for the templates, many people seems exasperated as to how to open those EMS file using the free CAD program from eMachine shop. If you want them, put in the comments.

You need to print 1 copy each of Artichoke Branch and Artichoke Stem. 5 copies each of Artichoke leaves part 1 and part 2.

Step 2: Assemblying the Templates

Yeah... So instead of me waffling on, just click on the photos, comment if things get confusing.

  • The 'branches' angle gets smaller as with the smaller the leaves, follow what is show on the PDF
  • The 'stem' folds to a conical shape on one end
  • The stem has a diameter of 60mm, this would allow you to fit those golf ball size (E14/E12, 7w) compact florescent lamps, hence you can top this like a lamp shade. The conical shaped end will hold it in place. DO NOT USE INCANDESCENT OR HALOGEN.

Step 3: Easter Egg! an Instructable Within an Instructable!

While I was working on this thing, I thought it might be a good idea to show this other thing...

How to modify your coffee table into a desk! Bonus!

You can either try this fellow instructor's solution:

Or you can buy it from:

It cost roughly US$70++ (£40) to ship it to UK (They upgraded mine to DHL!), but compared to the cost of getting a new desk and running out of space, I think it is a good deal. The mechanism is actually quite well-made, if you have a heavy coffee table, it is not a problem, it comes with attachable springs to counter the weight.

The no assembly is required, all you need to do is retrofit the support beam with strip wood 20x40mm, I had only a hacksaw and a regular power drill to managed this! Easy-Peasy!  (^_^)

See photo for details.

Step 4: So What's Next?! the Beehive Lamp!

Stay tuned and subscribe!

RIP Amy.




  • Pie Contest

    Pie Contest
  • Remix Contest

    Remix Contest
  • Pocket Sized Contest

    Pocket Sized Contest

33 Discussions


4 years ago

Instead of written instructions, why don't you shoot a video while you make one? This way is would be even easier for us to understand and less painful for you

1 reply

Hi there!

I really liked this tutorial (I have a soft spot for lamps) and I decided to feature it on my website. You can see the page here:

If, for any reason, you do not wish to appear on my website, just let me know and I'll remove my post right away!


1 reply

7 years ago on Introduction

What thickness polypropylene is best? And has anyone got any links to online stores (preferable UK based!)?

Do the triangles with the greater angles (i.e. the ones less like triangles) go with the bigger leaves or the smaller ones?


1 reply

The one I use is 0.35mm about 3 sheet of printer paper thick, in UK, Paperchase is where I brought mine, frosted polypropylene 500x600mm, £1.75

Yes the bigger angle goes with the larger leaves, the angle gets smaller with the smaller leaves, kind of logical, note there are 2 set of leaves that are the same size.

You can play with the shape of the leave, palm leaves? Ferns? Square?


7 years ago on Step 2

Hey nice design. I will see if I can do that out of a square paper as well. J

For those too lazy to view the documents and images and read your along annotations here is a quick step by step as I picture it:

0> Print out the four documents, 1x stem, 1x branch, 5x leaves part 1 and 4x leaves part 2. Get the mentioned plastic sheets in your flavour.
1> cut out everything on the sheets and create the marked holes.
2> take the small fans on a leave and fit them both through the middle of one of the connectors from the sheet called branches. Repeat this step for all other leaves left on your table. (see picture three)
3> roll up the stem to slot in the branches/connector-thingy into your stem. (see the last picture). After you managed to fit in the next leave, connect them together with a paper clip through the holes in the overlapping leaves. Repeat this around and up the stem until your lamp looks fancy enough.

is no DIY

1 reply

Heh, thanks for the extra explanation, 100% agree, it is easier to see what's happening with the print outs.

But of course all comments 101% welcome!


7 years ago on Step 2

Definitely needs notes. Soooooo confusing just in pictures. Find myself thinking "how did she get THAT out of THAT?"


7 years ago on Introduction

Very nice. I am going to try this. I think they would be beautiful around the yard for the Grandkids or me to follow at dusk. Thanks again

1 reply

Goodness... I thought people just love browsing the pictures.

Yo guys, abuse the office printer, compare print out to the photos. There's really not a lot of nitty gritties to write about...

It is a lot of cutting and assembling the pieces into the slots.

Don't get me wrong, I love the design and this instructable. I'm fairly good at paper crafts such as origami. Just some quick notes would be appreciated. Awesome job otherwise!

To be fair you did tell people to comment if it becomes confusing ;)

Personally though I'm about to print out the templates with paper to play around first, then if I'm really stuck then I'll post with a specific question.

I've got a bunch of white LEDs I've been meaning to use for a project and I think this would work really well!


Coincidently, I am going to have another instructable on the Joule Thief (without coiling your own transformer), it is the AA powered white LED boost driver, capable delivering 200mW or more.

The deal is the user need not stick to my chosen values for components and can pick any available inductor value between 1mH to 1uH, and starts calculating from there.

Probably be up soon-ish, has done the shopping on eBay already! (^_^).


7 years ago on Step 2

Instead of complaining, someone who likes writing could help add to this, corrugator supercilii obviously is not that way inclined... (maybe i should volunteer... and i might. I'll just work from the pictures till i've done it all and write instructions along the way.) I think this is a bloody beautiful design and my fingers are itching.

1 reply


Glad you are keen to give it a go... I do have 8 other instructables posted, some of them are quite long and detailed, but my observation is, most like to just browse through the steps, enjoy the creation process (like me), maybe learn a few new trick... Few actually get their hands dirty.

When you see the print outs, and compare it to the photos, it would be clear what's going on.


7 years ago on Step 2

Smorgenster: it would be wonderful if you made instructions to this. my room really needs a new lamp :)