UFO Nightlight

About: G'day everyone. I'm a maker of things. Nerdy decor, props, experimental woodwork and more.

I can't decide if I've made a cool alien themed nightlight for my daughter's bedroom or a creepy nightmare-inducing lamp. Thankfully my girls love it so i think it's the former.

I have seen similar lamps online however since i like working with wood, i decided to woodturn this nightlight from an old piece of scrap wood (upcycled from a kitchen bench top).

If you have a woodturning lathe, i know you're probably looking for new and exciting things to turn and this project will give you that opportunity. If you don't have a lathe, you could make the UFO from foam, clay or may other things, however this instructable will be showcasing a wood turned UFO.



  • 2 x pieces of wood. The wood i used was about 7"x7"x2". This is to turn into the UFO.
  • A plastic cup. This is for the abduction beam.
  • A small keychain LED light.
  • Small magnets
  • Hot glue and super glue
  • Wax or polish
  • Hobby foliage/moss
  • Cork sheet
  • PVA glue
  • Fishing line
  • A small plastic animal figurine


  • Woodturning lathe
  • Saw - I used a drop saw to cut my wood to size before turning
  • Hot glue gun
  • Drill
  • Utility knife
  • You may also need a dremel depending on what shape keychain light you choose.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Wood Turn the UFO Shape

Using a saw cut your scrap wood to rough size.

Attach to your lathe. I do this using hot glue.

Begin turning the wood into a nice round shape.

The first face you should turn is the bottom of the UFO. Turn out a little hole in this face to fit the key chain light.

Take the whole thing off and flip it over to start turning the top face of the UFO.

Refer to the last attached picture above for a basic profile.

Once you are happy with your shape, sand and wax.

Step 2: Fit the Light

Depending on what shape key chain light you chose, you may need to carve out some more wood using a Dremel.

Make sure you can fit the light in and it is level with the base of the UFO.

Now it is time to attach the magnets. These magnets will hold the light in place and the UFO onto the cup.

The reason for this is so that the batteries can by replaced on the light.

Using a drill make some shallow holes to glue the magnets into position. I did one in the centre for the light and three around the edge for the cup. Please refer the the attached pictures.

USe hotglue or superglue to fix the magnets into their positions.

Step 3: Turn the Base

Back on the lathe again, it's time to turn the base.

My base was smaller than my UFO. My UFO turned out to be about 7" and the base about 5".

The last picture above shows the basic profile. Turn out a shallow dish in the base to glue on the foliage in the next step.

Step 4: Glue on the Grass

Apply some PVA glue to the top of the base piece. Only apply it to the centre area where you made the shallow dish (leave the outside rim clean).

Sprinkle on a very generous amount of hobby foliage and pat down.

Allow to dry then blow away any excess.

Step 5: Add a Cork Base

Cut around the base onto some cork sheeting.

Glue this cork circle to the bottom of the base using PVA glue.

You may need to sit something heavy on top while it dries.

Step 6: Suspend the Animal Using Fishing Line

Using superglue, attach one end of some fishing line to the animals tail (or any other body part).

For this project cow's work best however i used a lamb as i couldn't find a cow at my local toy shop.

Drill a small hole into the base of your plastic cup and thread through the other end of the fishing line. Then glue this end to the base of the cup in a position that makes the animal suspended in the air.

Trim away the excess line.

Step 7: Assemble Your New UFO Nightlight / Desk Lamp

Now you should have three pieces:

  • The base with the grass
  • The plastic cup with the animal suspended with line
  • The top wooden UFO with the light attached inside with magnets

It's time to put them all together.

Simply flip the cup over and press the rim into the grass. The turn the lgiht on and place the UFO onto the cup lining up the magnets.

Enjoy your new wood turned UFO nightlight or desk lamp.

I made a video of me making this project. Check it out here :)

Thank you for taking the time to read through my instructable and i hope you liked it.


Indoor Lighting Contest

This is an entry in the
Indoor Lighting Contest

Be the First to Share


    • CNC Contest

      CNC Contest
    • Teacher Contest

      Teacher Contest
    • Maps Challenge

      Maps Challenge