Cardboard Desktop Lamp


It’s been a busy month and I wish I can update my blog more regularly than now. However my plan has always been to blog about every craft project that I did. And it seems that I’ve only manage to finish one craft project per month (which is kinda slow, I know. lol!). 

Putting that aside, let’s talk about our topic of today, my first lamp project. Or specifically, a Cardboard Desktop Lamp project. Sounds cool? Please read on.

This project is inspired by the work of Fabio Afonso, which created a cardboard lamp named Cartonado (even the name is cool) for Vicara.

(Photo Credit :

The coolest part is that the design uses corrugated cardboard, my favourite material =) so it doesn’t took me long to get this project started straight away after I was done with my Bonsai project. For this project I use a fairly thick corrugated cardboard (around 10mm thick) to make a sturdy lamp. The process in making this lamp is quite simple: I draw the lamp design in AutoCAD, print out the template on A4 paper, cut out the cardboard and then assemble the body.

The Cartonado stands at 350mm height, in order for me to create an A4 size template, I design a smaller lamp which is only 250mm tall. As for the lamp’s body itself, with a 10mm thick corrugated cardboard I decided that the suitable size is to have 12 ‘sides’ attach to each other to make the lamp. And that means to cut (by hand) each template on the cardboard 12 times. After few hours later (if not days) I managed to cut all 12 sides and keep my sanity as well.

Just a reminder to myself and those of you who would like to try this project, the edge of the lamp has to be cut over the cardboard corrugated line, not along the the corrugated line. The image below will explain what I meant with that. The picture on the right (the top cardboard) is the first cut that I made which is a mistake and the bottom cardboard is how it was suppose to be cut. Having the corrugated pattern shown on the edge of the lamp not only make the lamp look good, but it kept the structure stable and sturdier.

Here are the completed 12 ‘sides’ of the lamp which I later attach using craft tape on both sides except on the last two piece. Why is the last two piece is left unattached? Because we want to create an ‘opening’ to allow the lamp fitting to be inserted inside the lamp later on. In order to hold the lamp structure altogether I made a removable ‘ring’ placed on top of the lamp  as shown below.

Now that the lamp structure is basically complete it’s time to do some touch ups. I use craft papers to cover the tape and the ugly surface of the cardboard.

And finally, my Desktop Cardboard Lamp is complete!

If you ever wonder what those rings are, the inner one is for the top cover as I’ve explained earlier and the outer ring is for the lamp fitting. Without it the lamp fitting wouldn’t sit nicely inside the lamp base.

The lamp in action when the light goes off.

If you’re interested to build one yourself and need the template please post in the comment section below.

Thanks for reading!

June 2015

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