The Snailamp Box




Introduction: The Snailamp Box

Hi everyone,

In this article I describe how I made these boxes for my grandmothers as Christmas gifts.

Quick overview:

I bought wooden boxes and I have decorated them with mosses, wood and snail shells that I converted into tiny lamps.

Cost, time and level:

It costs less than 5€, and I am sure you can do it for free with stuffs around you. It took me around 2 hours because I had no clear idea of the final product, but with this instructable is might take about half an hour. And it is really easy to do, but you need to know how to handle a drill, a hot glue gun and a soldering iron. I have also used a 3D printer (you can download the files if you want to print the same pieces), but I guess you can easily manage this step with cardboard.

The steps:

  • STEP 1: Materials
  • STEP 2: The snailamp
  • STEP 3: The boxes decorations
  • STEP 4: Battery holder
  • STEP 5: The circuit
  • STEP 6: Last step
  • STEP 7: Ready to offer!

Step 1: Materials

For the boxes and the decorations I have used:

  • Two tiny wooden boxes, I found them here.
  • Mosses. I bought it here, but I guess you can collect natural mosses in any forest.
  • Driftwood found during a walk in the calanques of Marseille.
  • And snail shells found during another walk in the calanques. Of course I made sure they were emtpy before to bring them home! This little snail is called Tudorella, but it is also called "élégante des calanques". And it has a really nice pink-orange Boxesshell color .

To enlighten the snail shells, I have used:

  • Wires.
  • Magnets.
  • Switches.
  • Batteries.
  • LEDs.
  • 20 Ohms resistors.

And the tools:

  • A hot glue gun.
  • A driller.
  • A soldering iron.

Step 2: The Snailamp

I have cut the LEDs top so the light can diffuse better. As I only had white LEDs, I have painted them with a red marker and, compared both of them when they are insode of the shell. And the red one was much better.

Step 3: The Boxes Decorations

To decorate the boxes I choose driftwood parts and broke them so they fit on the top of the boxes. I have drilled a hole where I wanted the snail to be, and I made sure the electric wires connected to the LEDs can pass through the holes.

Then I glued the wood with hot glue, and I added the mosses at the end.

Step 4: Battery Holder

Then I built my own battery holder. It also serves to hide the wires, and there is a place for the switch, as shown on the pictures.

I have also made a lid to cover the battery holder. This is to protect the the battery from any metallic part in the box, and it also looks better. I made this lid with an offset of 70 micrometer compared to the battery holder: this way it is possible to assemble both pieces, but they are in close contact and stay together. And it is also possible to remove the top by pulling on it.

Step 5: The Circuit

The circuit is really simple and just consist of the battery, a switch, a resistor of 22 Ohm, and the LED. So I soldered all these components together as shown on the scheme.

To connect the battery to the circuit, I have used magnets. One is stuck to the battery holder, the other one is connected to a free wire so it can be remove when changing the battery.

Here the resistor is not necessary as the battery provides 3V and the LED needs 3V. However I have added a small resistor to reduce the current flowing through the LED and protect it.

Step 6: Last Step

The last step was to glue the battery holder inside the lid of the box with hot glue. And add the lid of the battery holder to close it.

Then I glued the snail to the wood with hot glue again. I think the hot glue looks similar to the snail texture, so I am quite satisfied.

Step 7: Ready to Offer!

Now it is ready! I just packed it and now I am waiting for Christmas!


It was a quick and easy project that took less time than expected. I am really happy with the result: everything works perfectly and I think it looks great!

Feel free to comment if you have any remark about it or if made it!

Epilog Contest 8

Participated in the
Epilog Contest 8

Make it Glow Contest 2016

Participated in the
Make it Glow Contest 2016

Homemade Gifts Contest 2016

Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2016

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    3 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Great work. The electronics housing is very clever.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks! :)