Upcycle Progress 1: Cardboard Lamp

I have not as yet made any huge leaps and bounds in terms of project progress. Last Sunday I went to ReSource in Boulder and it’s awesome. they have a whole outdoor yard full of furniture, tubs, glass, particle board, tiles, and miscellaneous junk. I didn’t think to take any photos while I was there-lesson learned.

I’ve been struggling with the idea of upcycling in terms of how much new stuff you are allowed to add. If you glue two things together, but you had to buy the glue, does that still count? If you paint something but don’t use recycled paint, does that count as well?

Regardless, I’ve decided to make a lamp from old lamp parts and…something else. I was thinking cardboard because it would be easy for me to laser cut or some other easily laser-able material to make manufacturing go faster. Layers of material are the idea here.

In line with this lamp theme, I looked up how to take a lamp apart, and sketched the instructions:

and how to put a lamp back together, including the “underwriter’s knot” for safety:

My next step will be to go to goodwill, or maybe look around my house for something to make into the lamp base, and also I will be needing a lamp shade. I’d like to use modge podge (basically paper mache glue) in that somehow.

The aesthetic I’m going for is going to a geometric style, because I like the idea of something clean cut, being made out of something that is normally so smushed, like cardboard.


cardboard, Lamp, laser cutter
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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Jimmy Speedy
    April 23, 2017 7:15 pm

    Really great idea! I like how much detail you’ve gone into at this point, it will make the manufacturing process much easier. I really like the idea of using something that you can laser cut, especially if you have experience with the laser cutter. I think cardboard could get a little flimsy, and it is quite flammable, so I don’t think that I would personally use cardboard. Definitely excited to see how the project turns out!

  • Interesting idea! The functionality is evident in how frequent such an artifact would be used. The concept reminds me of those cardboard “taxidermy” wall mounts. I kind of picture an entire room with one or two of those as well as lighting fixtures like yours. Very cool, minimalistic, and concise aesthetic!


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