Upcycle Progress: Cardboard Lamp

For this project I knew what object I wanted to create, but I did not know what I wanted to make it out of. To determine what I was going to make it out of I used my go-to design-process. This process always begins with an initial idea and I then ask other people for their opinions. I try to ask as many people as possible such as my parents, roommates, friends, class mates etc.. After asking people I mull it over for a couple of days and keep it in the back of my head. Usually my best ideas come out when I am in the shower, which is exactly where I got this idea. For the base of the lamp I plan on making it look like a spiral staircase made out of a ton of thin cardboard pieces made from boxes as shown below.

Shape for the individual cardboard cutouts of the base of the lamp.
Some of the cutouts for the base of the lamp.

I plan to make the frame of the lamp shade out of an old wire fence from my backyard, as shown below. For the electrical parts of the lamp I plan on taking those from an old lamp of mine that has a broken base, also shown below. This part of the design I am willing to change on and have not yet fully committed to it. Just like with any other design-process it is dynamic and full of back-tracking.

Broken lamp stand that I will dissect for the electrical components.
Wire fence I will use to make the frame of the lamp shade out of.

For the actual lampshade I have not yet decided on what it will be made of. One idea I have is coffee filters, but I am not yet sold on the idea. As the project continues I will continue to change the original ideas of the product, until I am satisfied with the outcome.

cardboard, Lamp, Upcycle Project, Wire
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3 Comments. Leave new

  • […] Upcycle Progress: Cardboard Lamp […]

  • Nicholas Degenhart
    February 3, 2019 2:30 pm

    This is a really great idea, how you plan to use the cardboard to replicate a spiral staircase is a unique design for a lamp. Have you thought of possibly using the fence as a base for the lamp? If you have any extra after making the shade, you may be able to bind it together in order to make a thin cylinder. This would hide the electrical components while also providing a great framework for mounting the cardboard pieces. This may not tie in with the specific aesthetic you’re trying to portray but it could give your piece a unique geometric aesthetic.

  • Brittany,

    I loved this idea. It was original and I could tell you had quite a few ideas. Have you thought about the heat and how it will have an impact on the cardboard shade pieces? What if you were to go to the laser cutter and take scrap wood to engrave it? Is this going to be harder to fasten together the way you are thinking? In other words, how structured do you want the lamp shade? Also, have you decided on the base yet? I noticed you are dissecting the old lamp for its electrical components. What if you were to do a giant rock that you liked as the base and form the wires about this? I am looking for the kind of aesthetic you are going for. I am thinking more of a natural aesthetic.


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