Upcycle Project: Flower/Spiral Lamp

For my upcycle project I created a lamp with a spiral cardboard base and a floral, coffee filter lampshade. The base was made of a repeating shape that spiraled upward. Each piece was glued together with tacky glue. Shown below the individual pieces are shown and also in-progress pictures of the base being glued together. The base is inspired by a Facebook ‘Do It Yourself’video by Ben Uyeda. In the video Ben Uyeda makes a spiral staircase out of repeating wood pieces. You can view the video at Ben Uyedas Instagram account at https://www.instagram.com/benjaminuyeda/?hl=en. The spiral ended up being painted with a brown metallic color with hints of red.

Individual Pieces
Beginning of Spiral
Spiral Before it was spray painted

The lampshade was made out of an old lampshade I had lying around my house that does not go with any other lamp I currently have, shown below. On the lamp shade I glued on rows of coffee filters.The coffee filters gave the lampshade a very floral aesthetic. I love floral aesthetics. I have personally been drawn to very effeminate, delicate aesthetics. The coffee filters gave this exact aesthetic. Below in progress photos of the coffee filters being added to the lampshade are shown. The very last aspect added the lampshade was red dyed coffee filters. The red coffee filters were dipped in pomegranate juice.

Old lampshade from my house
In progress photo of coffee filters being added
Second in progress photos of coffee filters being added to lampshade
Third in progress photo of coffee filters being added to lampshade
Final photo of all coffee filters added to lampshade

An example of the floral aesthetic that inspired the lampshade is shown below. The photo was taken by Hane at Pixdaus.com. Here is a link to Hane and his work: http://pixdaus.com/hane/user/profile/67182/ .

Example of floral aesthetic. Photo taken by Hane.

The finished product ended up being very beautiful. I love the lampshade and how the light comes through it. Images of the finished lamp are shown below. Unfortunately, it is not a functional lamp. My original plan was to take apart an old lamp base that was broken and to take out the electronic parts for my lamp. This did not work out. Due to this I was not able to make it into a functional lamp. The lamp is definitely design over function. Another problem I ran into was that the base is very fragile. If I was to redo the project I would stabilize the base with a thin piece of wood through the middle. Overall, my roadblocks in the project led a to a trial and error based design process, with a product I absolutely love.

Spray painted base with lampshade
Finished lamp lit in the dark
Finished lamp in the light

A video of me presenting the product and design process is shown in the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBgxK5DWy_E&feature=youtu.be

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12 Comments. Leave new

  • […] Upcycle Project: Flower/Spiral Lamp […]

  • Brittany I enjoyed your presentation and the addition of the red implements an appealing aesthetic to your project. I’m impressed with your creativity and ability to re purpose the coffee filters to create a cool upcycling project. I think you could have increased the floral aesthetic by implementing other colors. Overall great project.

  • Joseph Coulombe
    February 18, 2019 8:41 am

    The look of the coffee filters came out really nice along with the pomegranate juice used to create the red tint. Using the filters to that aesthetic I wonder what else could be designed using that technique.

  • Brittany, excellent job! Very natural presentation and honest discussion on inspiration from Facebook which is a plus. Great that you iterated thru different ideas. Very repetitive layers of the coffee filter like Dr. Hertzberg said makes it look very good. Interesting choice of colors, you should have mentioned the pomegranate juice into the actual presentation not in the questions since its one of the highlights of the design.

  • Brittany,

    I love how you were able to make such a floral design out of coffee filters and loved how you even dyed them with pomegranate juice! The lamp shade is pretty enough to keep in my opinion, have you thought about recreating the base so it is functional?

  • Taylor Whittemore
    February 13, 2019 1:24 pm

    I really enjoyed the final product of your project. I think that there is something to be said about objects that sacrifice utility for beauty. I also really enjoyed that you dyed the paper with pomegranate juice. I think if you were to redo this project, you could use the base of a lamp to stabilize the cardboard and then use the electronics from the lamp.

  • Nice work incorporating the color. It really tied in nicely with the flow aesthetic.

    For the base it might be work expanding on the spiral design and having a higher tolerance with something like laser cutting.

  • I liked how the coffee filter can be this beautiful. I would actually put this in my bedroom if I can get this for free. I probably use the technique that can express flower look by the coffee filters for the future project.

  • Brittany, you talked about how your design process consists of a lot of trial and error as a bad thing. That’s what the design process is all about and I think it shows in your final product. Although you said your cardboard base was not stable, did you think about trying some other structure made out of cardboard for the base?

  • Ibrahim Alhajji
    February 13, 2019 1:21 pm

    I really like the end result. The lamp looks very beautiful. Using the coffee filters is really smart and made the lamp looks very good.

  • Ambrogino Depolo
    February 13, 2019 1:20 pm

    Hi Brittany! I would have never of guessed that your phone was in the middle of the lamp shade. That does make me wonder about the other side of the creation. Is it semi lighting all around? What were your intentions for the lighting in a best case scenario?

  • Your final design is very floral, which you mentioned, and I agree, it looks good! With your presentation, you could’ve had a more linear organization with your slides, which might’ve helped the flow, since you seemed to jump around from inspiration, to process, to the final, to inspiration, which made it a somewhat difficult narrative to follow.


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