How to Make Cardboard Lamps

Written by farozan jivraj
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How to Make Cardboard Lamps
Recycle cardboard to make a custom lamp for your home. (cardboard box image by MAXFX from

Cardboard is a versatile material that can be used for a variety of projects around the house. Lamps made from cardboard can be used in the family room or to give a fancy touch to a kid's room. Making cardboard lamps allows you to recycle cardboard boxes instead of throwing them away. With some paint, crafty decorations and a lamp wiring kit, a cardboard lamp can be an easy one-day project.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Cardboard
  • Letter-size paper (8.5 by 11 inches)
  • Strong glue
  • Ruler or measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Lamp wiring kit
  • Paint or decorations

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  1. 1

    Use the letter-size paper as a template to cut cardboard squares of the same size. Trace the paper onto the cardboard. Cut four cardboard squares to make the sides of the cube-shaped lamp. Cut another piece of cardboard 8.5-by-8.5-inches square to form the base of the lamp.

  2. 2

    Measure 2 inches inside each side of the paper. Use the ruler to help you draw a straight edge 2 inches inside the edges. The light that you use will reflect through this newly drawn rectangle. Draw your designs inside the new rectangle.

  3. 3

    Measure 2 inches inside each side of the cardboard rectangles. Use the ruler to help you draw a straight edge 2 inches inside the edges. Cut out the interior rectangle. The cardboard that is left should be open in the middle, like a picture frame.

  4. 4

    Glue the paper to the inside of the cardboard frames. You should have four window-like cardboard frames, with your decorated paper showing through the middle. Decorate the cardboard frames as you like.

  5. 5

    Glue the four cardboard frames together to form a cube.

  6. 6

    Drill or cut a hole in the centre of the cardboard base square to attach the lamp wiring kit. Install the lamp wiring kit according to manufacturer directions. Glue the base cardboard piece to the cardboard cube.

Tips and warnings

  • You can also use a tea-light candle or an LED light inside the lamp.
  • Use your computer to print decorative patterns on the paper before gluing it to the cardboard frames.
  • Try using coloured paper instead of plain white.
  • Always monitor the lamp in use, as cardboard and paper can burn easily. Keep the lamp away from children.

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