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DIY Lamps & Lights | Roundup of Home Décor Craft Projects

Updated on May 8, 2015

How to Make Your Own Lights & Lampshades

Lights are an important feature of most rooms in the home, and if you would like to create your very own lamps and lampshades, you will find a huge resource of creative ideas on this page.

The tutorials below range from the very easy to more technical constructions, with a great range of styles and prices. So if you are DIY minded or perhaps you want to add a personal touch with some unique décor, you are bound to find a project to inspire you here.

I hope you will enjoy the craft how-tos I have compiled :-)

Cheese Grater Lamp


An Introduction

Making Your Own Decorative Lighting

All kinds of objects can be converted into lamps including animal ornaments, cheese graters and colanders, so it's a brilliant craft to get creative with - and the finished results will certainly impress your friends!

Some of the how-tos below are super easy 2-step processes whilst others are more in-depth. Some include recycled objects, some are revamps of existing lanterns or lampshades, and some consist of sculpting a lamp completely from scratch. Whatever your level of crafting expertise, you will find projects you can confidently accomplish.

Although the more advanced projects on this page are for plug-in lamps rather than built-in household lighting, if you are not comfortable with wiring a plug or doing the electrical work involved in any of them, please leave this to someone who has experience and knowledge in this area. If you don't know anyone personally who could do it, ask at an electrical/hardware type store.

If you are not sure where to start, the simplest projects for beginners are the fairy light revamping projects, as well as candle holders and lampshade DIYs. My favorite things to make are light garlands for Christmas and other special occasions.

SAFETY: Always keep safety in mind when working with electrics, and make sure lightbulbs have nothing flammable near to them when in use. If there are flammable materials like paper being used in a lampshade design, it would be best to use low watt/low heat bulbs. Always make sure air is allowed to circulate around the bulb, and please don't leave a candle or a lamp unattended when lit/switched on.

Lamp-Making Craft Books

Here is a selection of inspiring books for making your own lanterns, candles, crafts and lampshades.

Jar Lanterns


Awesome DIY Constellation Canvas

Recycled CD Lamp

Fun light idea for Christmas or even a disco!
Fun light idea for Christmas or even a disco! | Source

Drilled Can Lanterns

Click here for the tutorial for these lamps.

Photo by Potholes and Pantyhose.

DIY 'Starry Night' Canvas Art


What you will need:

* Stretched art canvas; white in color and quite large in size to accommodate the lights - approx. 20-25" tall

* Paints; I'd recommend acrylics

* Paintbrushes

* Pencil

* Contact paper

* Craft knife and cutting mat (optional)

* Scissors

* Strand of small fairy (Christmas) lights; either yellow or white colored lights would work, and the larger the canvas you use, the longer the strand you'll need.

* Awl, punching tool, screwdriver...whatever you have to make a hole in the canvas.

* Stiff board

- I would recommend drawing the basic design of the tent in pencil, and marking where you want to insert the light bulb 'stars' in the canvas, before you start. Remember that you won't be able to insert lights around the border where the wooden frame is.

- Cut out out two triangles from the contact paper to represent the opening of the tent. Stick the triangles onto the canvas in the correct position as shown in the diagram. This will keep the paint off this area.

- Paint your tent and sky design. You don't need to be much of an artist for this because the majority of the canvas will simply be black or midnight-blue! Remember to paint the edges of the canvas too.

- Remove the contact paper.

- Punch holes in the front of the canvas with the awl. Put the holes where you want the lights to be positioned, bearing in mind how many you have available to use on your strand; you should try to use all or most of them. The holes shouldn't be made too big because the lights will have to fit snugly in the canvas in order for them to stay put. To stop the fairy lights from dragging down on the canvas, you can use tape to hold the cord onto the wooden frame in a few places for support.

- To stop the lights from falling out of the back, it would be a good idea to lastly glue a section of stiff board onto the wooden frame at the bottom of the canvas.

- Finished!

Note: Please do not leave any DIY lights switched on for long periods of time, or unsupervised. Thanks :)

Wire Ball Pendant Light


Hanging Globe Lights


Egg Carton Fairy Lights


Ways to Decorate Paper Lanterns

Spherical paper lanterns are cheap lampshades you can buy in plenty of shops such as IKEA and they are usually plain - so the following tutorials show you how you can make them a lot more interesting!

Inexpensive Paper Lanterns To Decorate

WGI 8" Paper Lantern - White (3 Pieces)
WGI 8" Paper Lantern - White (3 Pieces)

Paper lanterns are the easiest way to make your own unique lampshade because they can be painted, drawn on and can also have items glued onto the surface.

Plus they are inexpensive and work well as temporary decor for parties.

Check out the lantern decorating tutorials listed above for ideas.


Creative Craft Lamp Videos

Lamp & Candle Making Kits

Here is an excellent range of lamp and candle making kits to help you with your DIY project:

Ruffle Lamp


Paper Lampshades on Glasses


Hanging Coffee Can Lamp


Cocktail Umbrella Lamp


DIY Globe Nightlight


Foam Bloom Lamp


Road Cone Lamp

A great use for old and worn road cones.
A great use for old and worn road cones. | Source

Fairy Light Fishbowl


DIY Candle Centrepiece

Dim candle lighting makes a romantic setting for a dinner date.
Dim candle lighting makes a romantic setting for a dinner date. | Source

Granny Square Lampshade


Have you made a lamp before?

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Please Leave a Comment!

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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Thanks for discussing great lens, was helpful to me.

    • sbconcepts profile image


      5 years ago

      Awesome lens with so much info! Thanks!

    • AnonymousC831 profile image


      5 years ago from Kentucky

      Great lens

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 

      5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Love the cheese grater lamp!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      nice as visit I appreciate you.

    • ehomedesignidea1 profile image


      6 years ago

      I really love this lens. I'm inspired to come up with my own DIY lamp.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Love the foam light, now where to find that foam at is the question! Cd light is very cool! Gonna make our lamp out of 33 lp's! and the egg crate lights are really neat idea too! Want to add some color though, maybe paint inside and outside. Thanks! Gonna try making them!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Such creative and wonderful lamps! I never even imagined or thought of doing anything like this before

    • Tricia Deed profile image

      Tricia Deed 

      6 years ago from Orlando, Florida

      I love your original creations. Great stuff.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I made a really simple lamp once. It was a giant rubber ducky with a light bulb inside. It looked really cool lit up!

    • ToolHire LM profile image

      ToolHire LM 

      6 years ago

      I never would have thought that a cheese grater could look so cool! Amazing ideas, I 've got a lot of reading and practicing to do. Thank you! :-)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very cool lamp ideas and lens! Thanks for sharing :)

    • lindarose92 profile image


      6 years ago

      Beautiful ideas! Check out my lens "Make Your Own Lamp" if you can, I hope you like it :)

    • cargoliftken profile image


      6 years ago

      the cheese grater lamp is brilliant!!! No pun intended ;-)

    • siennabrown1 profile image


      6 years ago

      Awesome suggestions, thanks a lot :))

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice ideas! <3 it! tenkyu..

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Some fantastic ideas on here wow, thank you you have got my mind ticking know with what I can use to make a lamp :D

    • ArmchairBuilder1 profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow, I never knew how much you could do to make your own lighting! And what better than to use stuff that would normally go to a landfill. Thanks for sharing.

    • Essentially Ind profile image

      Essentially Ind 

      7 years ago

      I just loved the lamp designs of Ruffle Lamp, Foam Bloom Lamp, Cocktail Umbrella Lamp. Each design is beautiful and too unique.........:)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Love the Egg Carton Fairy Lights!

    • BradfordBrain profile image


      7 years ago

      Great and unique ideas! Love it!

    • Joy Neasley profile image

      Joy Neasley 

      7 years ago from Nashville, TN

      Love the ideas. I love the elegant look and atmosphere that lights can give when they are done right.

    • pimbels lm profile image

      pimbels lm 

      7 years ago

      Wow, I love this lens, very nice, thank you for sharing.

    • MrAdvice LM profile image

      MrAdvice LM 

      7 years ago

      What a creative idea. Thank you for sharing. I like the fishbowl with Christmas lights for a deck. A+ lens

    • elliot-small profile image


      7 years ago

      Loving this page!! I do a fair few bits my self, would be great if you could stop by my page so we can share tips etc. have a look at some of my work on

      I am about to turn a giant torpedo into a standard lamp!! would be great if you could look at the pic and give me some pointers, you can't miss it, its the huge yellow torpedo amongst a load of antiques :)

    • UKGhostwriter profile image


      7 years ago

      Fantastic lens ..pinned too!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      These are all awesome ideas!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Love your cheese grater lamp idea. Nice lens.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      What great ideas!! I love it! I know what I'm doing this weekend. :)

    • nelchee profile image


      7 years ago

      Great resources!

      I always wanted to make lamps but haven't gotten to it yet (I do have some sketches for them). My ex boyfriend made the most amazing electric lamp by painting floral motives on a CD spindle cover and no one could ever guess what it's made of.

    • mommafox profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      7 years ago from Colorado

      Really creative ideas for lighting. I feel inspired to get crafting. Thanks!

    • KevCooper profile image


      7 years ago

      Some very cool ideas.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Never seen so many handmade lamps before, my favorite is the outside jar hanging on trees. Well done indeed on this.

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image


      7 years ago

      Great ideas. Blessed by a Squid Angel :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Very original deco items...keep it up.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      You have got some really excellent ideas here it must have taken you ages researching DIY sites

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 

      8 years ago from Land of Aloha

      This is one of the best compilation of DIY lamp info I've seen. Super lens!

    • Heatherseesthel profile image


      8 years ago

      What a creative lens! I love the cheese grater lamp! I'm totally posting a link to this on my facebook wall: AffordableLamps Facebook Page. Keep up the good work, Studentz! Someday I'll have to try the road cone lamp!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      love all of the ideas, the cheese grater is so nice


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