Wood n Paper Floor Lamp

Here’s my latest attempt in the DIY world. A wooden floor lamp with Paper Cover.


The result is a bit of a saving grace because I learned a lot of things which work  and which don’t in this project.

For this floor lamp, the intended dimensions were: Three feet high and six inches wide & deep.

I started with half an inch thick wooden strips. After cutting them to the desired length with a handsaw, I lightly sand-papered them with emery paper number 80. This was to remove any splinters from the wood surface and also make it smoother. There was no need to smooth-en it any further because I was going to attach the paper on it. In case you want to make some kind of removable cloth or paper cover, you may want to smooth-en the surface further.

I decided to nail the wood together. Not a very good idea. The wood strips are very thin and also it is difficult to keep the long and small piece exactly perpendicular while nailing them together.


Because of the fact that I could not figure out a very good way of nailing the wood at 90 degrees, the result was a slightly skewed frame. Although not visible in the photograph above, there is a slight bend towards right.

Anyway, moving on, I attached some wooden board at the bottom to act as the base for the eventual bulb holder.

Not visible in the frame picture (you can see it in the top photo) is the support I added halfway in the frame. In hindsight, I don’t think it is required and also breaks the clean view when the lamp is lit.

I found a very beautiful hand made paper at the local stationary shop and used paper glue to attach the paper onto to the lamp.


I glued a tracing sheet onto the frame before attaching the hand made paper. The reason was to ensure that light spreads evenly inside the frame and the bulb does not see-through the paper.

To attach the paper onto the wooden frame, I placed the paper on the floor. After applying glue to one side of the frame, I placed the frame on top of the paper. Slightly tricky as the paper may move and cause you problems. You can tape the paper to the floor to prevent it.

Then, apply the glue to the next side and roll the whole thing over. You may want to rub the paper where it joins with the frame while it is still wet. This is to prevent wrinkles forming on the paper.

I just placed a bulb holder on the floor and used a 20 watts CFL (compact florescent lamp) to test. Advantage of CFL is that it gives less heat than an incandescent bulb. It also saves electricity.

The result is quite good and I am kind of satisfied with my first attempt.

What all things I would change about the project:

1. Instead of nailing, it might be better to glue the wood together to achieve close to perfect alignment.

2. The bulb holder mechanism is now raised to the middle of the lamp. Even after using a 20 watts CFL Lamp, the light was not reaching to the top when the CFL was placed at the bottom of the lamp. You can also use two bulbs at top and bottom to achieve a uniform glow from the lamp.

3. There is no anchor weight at the bottom to keep the lamp steady. Standing alone, it is ready to topple over if a gust of wind comes thru the window. Some mechanism to add weight at the bottom would be a nice add-on.

Do you think it has come out decent or should I make another attempt? Ideas, suggestions are always welcome.


About Writer

Being based in India, I will focus primarily from that perspective.
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7 Responses to Wood n Paper Floor Lamp

  1. Wow, absolutely stunning. Floor lamps are so wonderful to make and this one has come out really nice. Besides tracing sheet, are you aware of anything else that can be used. I have been looking for it for quite sometime now.

    I have had the 90 degree issue for a while. But then after few projects, I first glued the sticks together, allowed them to dry overnight and then did the nailing. Worked perfectly. Will look forward to more of your work 🙂

    • woodenmint says:

      Thanks Somu,
      Always look forward to your work and your comments.
      I investigated the milky acrylic board for the sides. It would have allowed new things like cutwork in the paper etc. But it was quite expensive. You can get it to desired sizes. Any shop which advertises for Glo-signs would have it.
      Another thing could be the clear plastic sheet which is used when you get the framing done from a professional shop. Dont yet know about the pricing though. Anyone else having other ideas??

      • I thought about plastic sheet, but I was not too keen because too much of heat can cause plastic to melt. Acrylic board is new. I shall try that out. Thanks for the input.

        • woodenmint says:

          Hi Somu, Even for plastic sheet, you can experiment by using CFLs, they dont give out as much heat as a bulb and might work out if the enclosure is big enough. Do update if you get to try acrylic sheet.

  2. Kittu says:

    Nice project. Most well known woodworkers keep improving their designs over the years till they reach a point of satisfaction. That is part of the process. This is a nice job. You got a usable product out of it apart from the lessons in making it.

    You could cut a dado on the vertical strip on both outer sides. Also cut a dado on the inside side of the horizontal strips. Booth need to be such exactly half of the width of the horizontal strips. This way you can glue the strips of wood. You will get long grain to long grain glue joint and also the notched vertical strip will provide a haunch for the horizontal ones to sit on. You may either miter the ends of the horizontal pieces or make them so that they sit square. If you do it right you will not need any screws as glue joints can be strong.

    If you want to give a support in the middle it can be thinner and does not need to be on the outside surface. you could even use an old metal hanger to make a wire which can be looped on the end to take a screw. This way your shadow will be almost not visible.

    A Sock or two filled with sand and tied around the a long nail in the middle of the bottom plank will give it some weight. Else make a small sack and fix it so that it does not touch the edges of the paper. Put two bulbs one at top and one at bottom to give even light.

    A small woodworking bench with a bench vise and bench dogs, a shooting board and a bench hook a few wood clamps can dramatically ease your woodworking.

    • woodenmint says:

      Thanks Kittu,
      These are some very good suggestions.

      I have not yet started working on the joints of wood. (Don’t yet have any chisels and stuff to make dado joints) but I will try something out in the future projects.

      The idea about a sand filled sock is very nice. In India, I am afraid to use anything which is not easy to maintain as there is lot of dust/humidity around but this gives me an idea to just fill a cheap plastic box with sand and place at the bottom, probably tape it to the bottom. I think it will give the necessary support.

      Metal hanger wire to act as support in the middle is simply superb. They are easy to find and I will keep this in mind for any project not just for the lamp.

      I also figured out that if glued properly, it is not necessary to use nails for such small and light objects. While working on a smaller table lamp on similar lines, I only used glue and it has come out quite good. I will capture that when I blog about that project.

      Don’t yet have a wood working bench as the hobby is still taking shape. It is an uphill task to try and search for hooks and clamps around here. So for the moment I try and use things lying around the house, but yes, the right tool can make a world of a difference. I will keep my eyes open for such stuff.

  3. Pingback: A handmade Table Light for a gift « woodenmint

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