Garbage to Gorgeous® Episode 25: Gum Ball Lamp DIY | Dorm Room Decor

8 Materials
2 Hours

Learn how to make fun, easy and inexpensive dorm room decor with this colorful lamp that looks like a bunch of gum balls!

Be sure to watch the video, so you can see exactly how I made it!

I found this globe/light cover at the thrift store for $0.99. I actually bought three, so this is the first project with them.

I also had this simple wood plaque and plan on using it as the base.

Originally, I was going to paint ping pong balls, but when I found these beautifully colored ping pong balls, I thought they were perfect!

 I attached the balls to the globe by using a combination of glue that dries clear and hot glue. The hot glue holds the ball in place, while the clear drying glue is drying.

I kept adding more balls, until it was completely covered.

*I thought one package of 50 would be enough, but turns out I needed a second package.

The globe I had was clear and the ping pong balls don’t perfectly abut one another and in some spots there were larger gaps. If I had had a white globe, I think it would have been fine to stop at one layer. However, I did not want to be able to see the lightbulb through the gaps, so I added additional balls to cover the gaps. It gave it a little more of a freeform look, which I wasn’t sure I would like, but turns out I love it too!

I had my dad drill a hole into the base. It’s about one inch in diameter.

It was cut specifically to fit the light kit I bought. The light kit clamps in and fits snuggly.

I painted the base purple and used two different colors of purple, since I couldn’t decide on just one.

I used dowel caps and painted them different colors, to keep with the overall theme. I glued the dowel caps onto the bottom of the base. You can screw them on as well for a more secure application.

I added my light kit. Now, with the base raised, the cord can run out from underneath the lamp and not throw it off balance. I added an LED lightbulb.

Then I put it all together.

Here it is all lit up!

It looks just as cute in the daylight! That's it! Thanks for stopping by! For more pics, please see my post at Gumball Lamp!

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Mona  ~ Craft Klatch

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Sue
    on Sep 7, 2020

    This is wild!! I love gumball machines anyway so this is right up my alley. Where did you find the ping pong balls in colors?

  • Jane Hurl
    on Sep 12, 2020

    Just a thought: if you prefer the single layer of ping pong balls (as I do -- just looks more "organized" to me), couldn't you paint the inside of the globe? I'm thinking a pale pink for a girl's room or pale blue for a boy's.

    • Mona ~ Craft Klatch
      7 days ago

      Hi Jane - I thought I answered this yesterday, but I don't see my response. Sorry for the delay! You absolutely could paint the inside of the globe. I would use a stained glass paint (it comes in many different colors) because it will still let light through, while blocking the the clear glass.

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