DIY Lamp – Make light fixtures from recyclable materials

recycled lighting

Simply put, ‘Recycled lighting’  is a term defining  light fixtures constructed from stuff lying around your house/basement that you are probably trying to get rid of, but don’t know how to. Now instead of trashing these things, why not just get the best out of recycled materials? Devise creative ideas to reuse a few items of trash lying around  to make stunning lamp shades and other light fixtures. Featured here are several DIY lamps and lampshades that are sure to accentuate your home interiors!

DIY lamp ideas

diy lighting - recycled lighting

Take this recycled lamp shade for instance. It has been artistically made out of  left over yarn wrapped around a metal wire framework to form a spherical shape. And to top it, cute little muffin wrappers have been pasted all over.  Then you put in a zero watt bulb or energy efficient light fixtures like CFL.

diy lighting - recycled lighting

This lovely free standing recycled lamp shade is made of  paper cups glued together. Make good use of left over paper cups from a birthday party or any occasion. You can even place this  upside down to look like a lit up dome.  Spice it up with a few tiny cuddly cushions or other accessories thrown in.

diy lighting - ceiling light

This affordable ceiling light is made of PVC pipe fittings and multicolored zero watt bulbs. All you need to do is cut the pipe fittings and attach them, adhering to a preconceived design. The number of branches in this ceiling light can be increased to form chandelier shades. Lovely ceiling lights for studio apartments, hostel rooms and PG accommodations.

diy lighting - recycled lighting

If you have an old wooden box or crate to spare, go for this neat looking fabric and yarn lamp shade. Remove a few planks of the crate or carve out holes in it. Use multicolored left over fabric, crepe paper or tissue paper to wrap around the wooden box. Add a layer of colored yarn and you have a fabulous looking floor lamp shade to show your friends and all.

diy lighting - accordion lanterns

This accordion lamp shade is made of  a recycled cardboard box  and gateway paper. Cut out a fold-able flap from an old cardboard box. You can even use mount board for this. Cover it with colored paper or decorative material. Cut a hole, small enough to hold a zero watt bulb. Make an accordion with gateway paper. Paste the accordion over the hole meant for the bulb. Turn the light on and voila – you have a nice innovative accordion lampshade . Make pyramids, cubes or any 3d shapes with gateway paper, for lamp shades. You can use these instead of the accordion.

diy lighting - recycled lighting

This one is the simplest  DIY lamp to make. Take an old transparent glass or transparent plastic jar. Make a few patterns with Fevicryl 3d outliners. Fill in these patterns with glass colors. Make a tiny hole at the bottom. Fix an LED light strip at the bottom and pass the connected electrical wire through the hole. Else just drop in some tiny string lights into it. Economical and beautiful, this lamp looks stunning and livens up any corner of your room.

These are affordable, nice and thrifty ways to make recycled DIY lamps, lamp shades and light fixtures. Anyone can make these at home. So get your creative juices flowing and make one this instant!

Note: All the lamps and lamp shades featured here were made by the students of  Interior  Design and Fashion Design  at INIFD, Vashi, as part of their annual exhibition – Saksham 2012.

Self watering planters

Do you often forget to water your plants? Or do you wish to go on a vacation without having to bother about watering your plants? Then these innovative and cool self watering flower pots are just the thing for you. These intelligent planters do not need manual watering daily, you just need to water your plants once and then these self watering plant pots will take care of the rest, say for a week or even two. Your plants will be just as fresh, when you return from work or from a week long vacation.

Self watering planters   Photo Credits: One wintry night pottery

Let us check out how these intelligent containers work. Self watering planters have a container that is filled with water. This is the water reservoir from which the soil draws water every time it dries up, by the basic principle of Osmosis. This also ensures that plants get just the right amount of water and not a lot of it. You can add a dilute solution of fertilizer to the water in the reservoir to achieve optimum results. These innovative planters save prevent wastage of water by way of evaporation and excessive watering. You can make eco-friendly, self-watering planters from recyclable materials instead of going for the more expensive ready-made ones.

Self watering plant pots Photo Credits: Sugar Pond

Self watering plant containers Photo Credits: canarsiebk

Points to note
1. This works wonders for many herbs, climbers and flowering plants. But some plants need drier soil conditions and cannot be planted in self watering plant pots. You have to ascertain this before planting.
2. Mosquitoes may grow in the water reservoir. You can prevent this by adding some drops of light weight vegetable oil to the water. The oil will float and suffocate the mosquito larvae.

How to build  self watering planters

Here is a very informative and useful video by BalconyGrow that precisely tells you how to build your very own self watering plant pot.

Now these self watering planters need not be all drab and ugly. You can add a dash of creativity by spray painting the outer container with some nice Krylon paint or arranging containers of different shapes and sizes on beautiful planter stands.

Beautiful planter stands for self watering planters Photo Credits: Haldane Martin

You can user beautiful pots made of  terracotta, stone and ceramic for making these planters. Large patio planters can be made from large buckets and barrels. By proper arrangement of these self watering planters, you can add a beautiful design to the landscape of your garden.

If you are not the ‘DIY’ types, you can even shop online for some beautiful self watering plant containers that embellish your garden. Overall, a self watering container can be an interesting add-on to your indoor as well as outdoor garden in addition to being a boon to your plants.