Carriage Lantern , Light Steampunkstyle




About: Former technics and arts and crafts teacher at a school for mentally disabled young adults.

For my slightly steampunked mini-kitchen I was searching for a nice wall light.
And I found one, see the second picture! A old fashioned carriage-light inspired little thing.
I spend an evening in a fierce fight with a bidding war.
And lost.

But I knew there must be a way to capture the spirit of that lamp with some clever combining of materials.
And if you check the result on the third photo,you will agree that this is the right style for this situation.
Read on what I used. You will be amazed.

Step 1: What I Used

Two plastic wheels from a big toy truck
An empty bottle of schoolpaint
A wooden plate
A engraved glass plate, sounds expensive but was less than 1 euro
A old damaged metall bike basket
Two different caps from detergent bottles
One metall ring
one sheet of printing paper
three pieces of iron rod 28 cm and two of 7 cm, all 6 mm thick

and some normal things
some electric wire, socket, switch and plug and a energy saving lamp that does not generate too much heat.

Acrylic ( artists) paint in black, gold and copper. (You could use spray cans, i did not)

An electric drill
some pliers
metall scissors
a jigsaw
a file

Step 2: The Bottle

Cut off top and bottom of the plastic bottle. Save the top for later.
Cut out a piece of printing paper witch fits round the bottle
Use this as a template on the bike basket and cut a rectangle the same size
Roll the metall mesh up so it fits in the bottle
roll up the paper as well and put it inside

Step 3: The Wheels

With both wheels:
Divide the circumference in three equal parts. Drill 6 mm holes on the edge. Make sure the bottle (step2) fits between them. 

Step 4: The Top

Take the top part of the bottle, leave the cap on but remove the small cover. I found a bottle cap that fits neatly over the original cap.
Secure it with a screw on top. Drill two hole in the cap almost horizontal. Bend the metall ring a bit open ( mine had a gap) and fit it in the two holes. Squeeze it to make it stick in the holes. A little glue is not forbidden.
In the last picture (with paint) it is visible how I glued this part on one of the wheels.

Step 5: Bottom Wheel

Mark the size of the cap on the base wheel. Drill several holes next to each other and remove the center of the wheel. I used a jigsaw as well. Create a gap that fits snug around the rim of the bottle cap. May be a file will come in handy.  I din't need any glue. It stays in place without further attachments. Drill two 6 mm holes in the side of the tire. Stick two pieces of 6 mm rod in them, about 7 cm long. These pieces of rod will be the connection to the wall plates.

Step 6: The Wall Plates

Drill a shallow hole in the back of the wooden plate. attacht a bracket for hanging. Glue the plates together with a strong contact glue.
Drill two hole just below the rim of the glass plate, about 4 cm apart. The two pieces of rod placed in the lower wheel (step 5) should fit neatly.

Step 7: The Socket

I found a bottle cap that fits neatly round a socket. So I drilled a hole in the bottom for the wire and attached wire, switch and plug to the socket. I don't think it is necessary to explain the details of this. Then I let the socket slide into the bottle cap. There is no further attachment needed to the socket.

Step 8: The Paint

Everything is painted with acrylic black paint for a base coat. The I used  very little gold and copper acrylic paint on almost dry brushes. Just touch the surface, but let the black shine through. The paint blends the different materials and gives the whole piece its more or less steampunkish look. 

Not everyone will find exactly the same materials, but I am sure you will find pieces to replace them. Look in the shed, the attic, the basement. And just may be it inspires you to make a sleek minimalist design in white or steel color.

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I Could Make That Contest



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    14 Discussions

    Ok. My Dutch should have been "Mijn Herr, dit is prachtig". But when I lived in Amsterdam (centuries ago) I never heard "Danke vielmals", but "Dank U Wel"... I guess that's the language spoken at Utrecht :-) .
    By the way: I downloaded your book on flacons. No wonder you come from the same country that produced Maurit Escher... Wonderful, incredibly imaginative ideas. Thanks a lot. Doei!

    hey, Claud,
    Wonderful that you tried to write dutch and even more so that you downloaded the book. Tell me when you can't understand something in the book. I can translate (parts, not the whole book)
    But you missed the point about meinherr (its german just like danke vielmals). In dutch its "mijnheer". But there is no need for that. Ruud will do. And "Doei" is perfect, although most teenagers now say "later!"


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Incredible what you've managed to! You turn some random everyday items into a stylish antique lamp. Nice job!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Great job, i would like to have such ideas !


    5 years ago on Introduction

    The one you made looks better than the one you lost in the auction!! :-)


    5 years ago on Step 4

    WOW!!! The paintjob is unbelievable. I saw the wheel and plastic parts for the top and thought "ugh"... then i saw the last (painted) picture... Amazing


    5 years ago

    that is awesome

    Great idea to reuse the bike basket as mesh material! I should keep mine smashed basket for later use.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Amazing how you have seen a wonderful steampunkstyle lantern in those materials.
    I won't say that you didn't win the bids... I think that you have really won due to the price you didn't pay..


    5 years ago on Introduction

    That's fantastic. I like yours better than the ones you were trying to buy!