How to Make a Steampunk Lamp

8 Materials
5 Hours

I am going through a steampunk phase at the moment, and what bedroom would not be complete without a steampunk lamp. The structure of the lamp is made using galvanized pipes and fittings and decorated using a mixed media technique. I will warn you that the process for this lamp is very messy and looks like something the cat threw up. But keep going to the end you may be surprised.

Materials needed

For this project, I used recycled galvanized plumbing fittings that is why they look such a mess. Start by just putting the pieces together to get a design you like. The more fittings you have the more creative you can be. I sat for ages just moving the pieces around until I had a design that I liked.

These are the material that i used

  • 1 x Floor flange
  • 2 x nipples
  • 1 x T-piece
  • 3 x elbow
  • 1 x socket reducing
  • 3 x 100 mm pipe
  • 1 x 150 mm pipe
  • 1 x socket hex
  • Lamp fitting
  • wood
  • Nuts and bolts for stand
  • clock mechanism

Once you have the design you can paint the pipes and fittings using black gesso. At this stage, you do not glue the pipes together because you need to feed the electrical cord through later.

making the clock

I had the idea in my head to have a clock on my lamp but I could not find what I was looking for. So my next step was to make the clock. I used a plastic container with a lid for the structure of the clock. The container was cut in half, you use the half with the lid.

I found an image of a clock on the internet and printed it on textured paper. The clock can then be cut out and glued onto some thick cardboard.

Poke a hole in the middle and fit your clock mechanism, the lid will hide the mechanism. I cut a strip of faux leather and covered the plastic container. Add some decoration to the leather, I used some half pearls, a strip of burlap fabric and a broken necklace.

Decorate the lamp

If you are not familiar with mixed media, Mixed media is a term used to describe artworks composed of a combination of different media or materials. I use mainly items that I find around my house and workshop in my mixed media projects. Broken jewellery and cheap charms, thumbtack studs are a great way to go.

I am no expert on mixed media, but I like to add my embellishments randomly and I like to try and cover most of the surface. To me, it makes your project more interesting when you have lots of detail.

I have taken some close up images so you can see what items I used. I used black hot glue to add most of the embellishments and as you can see you don’t need to be perfect. Any mess will be covered with the paint later.

The clear charms you can see in some of the images I made using silicone moulds and resin. These work great for a project like this because you can heat them up and bend them around the surface.

At this stage, it looks like a total mess but it does get better so don't give up.

Once you have covered most of the surface with the embellishments you can paint everything black again. The reason I paint the pipes black first is that once you start adding all the embellishments it is hard to get into all the nooks and crannies.

Make sure you have covered all areas and that no colour is showing through.

Add the copper metallic wax paste

Dip the top of your finger in the wax and wipe it over all the raised surfaces, try not to cover in all the black as you see in the image. This will make the embellishments stand out more. You don’t need to be perfect doing this either.

Once you have covered all the raised embellishment use a small brush and rub a light coat over some of the black areas in between the charms. Blend it in using a small circular motion. The wax will need about 12 hours to dry, then seal the lamp with 2 coats of clear acrylic spray. This will make the colours pop and prevent fading over time.

To get the electrical cord through the lamp you need to take the lamp apart at the elbow joints.

I used a basic light fitting because it fits snuggly into the last fitting and it had the switch included. Once the cord is through all the pipes you can use epoxy glue to glue all the fittings together.

To make the base you will need a piece of wood cut into a circle. Drill 4 holes into the wood for the legs. I added the legs because the electrical wire had to come out of the bottom, so the base had to be lifted off the surface.

I used some nuts and bolts to make some legs as per the image above.

The base plate can now be fitted to the wood. You paint all the wood and fitting black and highlight them with the copper wax.

To glue the clock to the lamp I used epoxy glue.

It was hard to photograph this lamp because the camera does not pick up all the detail. So I have included a few up close photos.

This project was made from mainly recycle materials and items I already had at home. So your cost will depend on the items you have at home, mine is just a guesstimate.

Do you want to get a head start on your Halloween decor, I have included to of my favorites. This one is made from recycled wine bottles.

Check out this creepy Halloween mirror

Resources for this project:

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Unique Creations By Anita
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