Woodwork Lamp with Customized Lampshade

Materials: Hemma lamp (18″), Lobbo shade (12″), bench-top scroll saw, 1/4″ plywood, 1″ pine board

Description: I designed this project for a day camp woodworking group.

Customizing the lampshade was a challenge – it’s made of polypropylene and polyethylene, and it’s almost impossible to paint with fume-free, non-toxic materials! We ended up using transparent laser mailing labels, stuck to the inside of the shade. The text is printed in reverse (mirrored), so that it reads the right way from the adhesive side of the label. The lettering on the label is only visible when light shines through the lamp shade, which is a cool effect.

The sides of the wooden box are 1/4″ plywood. I cut the wood down to size on a table saw, and the campers then traced and cut out the animal shapes with bench-top scroll saws.

In the assembled lamp, there’s a second, slightly smaller piece of plywood, stained in a contrasting color, behind each of the cutouts. The cutouts are about 1/4″ longer than the inner pieces, so that they form a lip around the base of the Hemma lamp.

The top of the box is made of 1″ pine, with a 1/2″ hole cut through the center. I used a dado to form a lip around its edge, so that the lid fits inside the box and covers the top edges of the sides. The only way to get the lid around the lamp’s stem (without cutting and splicing the power cord) was to cut the lid in half – diagonally, so that it would still be square when reassembled.

I used Loctite Sumo glue to attach the wooden box to the metal base, but I suspect a hot glue gun would work, too.

(The inscription’s religious – as is the day camp – and it’s in Hebrew. I’m not going to translate it here unless I’m asked to, but if people like, they can ask for a translation in the comments section.)

~ Alter Raubvogel, Cincinnati, Ohio