Skip to main content

DIY Lamps & Lights | Roundup of Home Décor Craft Projects

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.

Geeky & Techy Lamps

Jar Lanterns

Awesome DIY Constellation Canvas

Lamp Making Tutorials

Recycled CD Lamp

Fun light idea for Christmas or even a disco!

Fun light idea for Christmas or even a disco!

Drilled Can Lanterns


Click here for the tutorial for these lamps.

Photo by Potholes and Pantyhose.

DIY Lampshades

Scroll to Continue

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

Lanterns & Creative Candle Holders

Hanging Globe Lights

Ceiling Light How-Tos

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

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:

Fairy Light How-Tos

Ruffle Lamp

Candlesticks & Light-Up Wall Art

Paper Lampshades on Glasses

Home Light Projects

Hanging Coffee Can Lamp

Candles & More Cool Lights

Cocktail Umbrella Lamp

DIY Globe Nightlight

Fun Lighting Projects

Foam Bloom Lamp

Tutorials For More Things To Make

Road Cone Lamp

A great use for old and worn road cones.

A great use for old and worn road cones.

Fairy Light Fishbowl

Creative Handmade Lighting

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.

Lighting Ideas & Inspiration

Granny Square Lampshade

Please Leave a Comment!

thpalex on February 22, 2016:

Thanks for discussing great lens, was helpful to me.

sbconcepts on July 03, 2014:

Awesome lens with so much info! Thanks!

AnonymousC831 from Kentucky on January 20, 2014:

Great lens

Angela F from Seattle, WA on December 21, 2013:

Love the cheese grater lamp!

anonymous on September 17, 2013:

nice as visit I appreciate you.

ehomedesignidea1 on August 23, 2013:

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

anonymous on August 20, 2013:

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!

anonymous on August 19, 2013:

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

Tricia Deed from Orlando, Florida on August 18, 2013:

I love your original creations. Great stuff.

BlowDryBar on August 09, 2013:

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 on July 30, 2013:

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! :-)

jasmints on July 15, 2013:

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

lindarose92 on February 14, 2013:

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

cargoliftken on January 10, 2013:

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

siennabrown1 on November 23, 2012:

Awesome suggestions, thanks a lot :))

anonymous on October 24, 2012:

Nice ideas! <3 it! tenkyu..

anonymous on October 07, 2012:

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 on October 05, 2012:

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 on September 27, 2012:

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

anonymous on September 26, 2012:

Love the Egg Carton Fairy Lights!

BradfordBrain on September 21, 2012:

Great and unique ideas! Love it!

Joy Neasley from Nashville, TN on September 12, 2012:

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

pimbels lm on August 25, 2012:

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

MrAdvice LM on July 24, 2012:

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

elliot-small on July 19, 2012:

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 on May 26, 2012:

Fantastic lens ..pinned too!

allmysonsjacksonville on May 21, 2012:

These are all awesome ideas!

Oosquid on April 21, 2012:

Love your cheese grater lamp idea. Nice lens.

BestLaminateInc1 on April 12, 2012:

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

nelchee on March 05, 2012:

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 on February 29, 2012:

Thanks for the inspiration!

Renaissance Woman from Colorado on February 12, 2012:

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

KevCooper on February 04, 2012:

Some very cool ideas.

anonymous on January 28, 2012:

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

VarietyWriter2 on December 17, 2011:

Great ideas. Blessed by a Squid Angel :)

anonymous on December 09, 2011:

Very original deco items...keep it up.

anonymous on November 17, 2011:

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

Pam Irie from Land of Aloha on October 01, 2011:

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

Heatherseesthel on August 18, 2011:

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!

anonymous on July 22, 2011:

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