Archive | DIY Lighting

L&L Design Guide: DIY Lighting Ideas and Projects

There are so many amazing DIY lighting projects to do. Here is a recap of the best ideas we have gathered here at Lights & Lights.  They range from advanced – create your own constellation ceiling, to the incredibly simple – use color changing lights to paint a room any color you want, any time.

IKEA Lighting Hack Ideas

DIY Dioder Hacks

In our post 6 of The Best IKEA Dioder Hack Ideas we found a number of great ways to use the Dioder LED strip for DIY home lighting projects. The Dioder is an ideal choice for creating mood lighting, as you can control the color of the light. Some DIY ideas from the post include creating a floating bedside table/shelf, creating an artistic piece to hang behind your TV, or using the Dioder to create a colorful room divider.

Color a Room

mood lighting

This is one of the simpler home lighting DIY projects. In our Go Green: A Range of Energy Efficient Lamps post, we highlighted a few mood lighting fixtures such as the Yantouch Jellyfish, or an LED light bulb that fits into any regular light socket (ceiling or lamp) – which you can control via a remote the color that the light shines. You can transform any room with these lights. If it is cold and grey outside, why not fill the room with a glow of yellow or green. Or if you want to create a romantic setting, how about filling the room with a glow of deep blue or purple.

Philips also has a collection of mood lights to choose from – which you can find here: Color Your Rooms With The Philips Mood Light Collection

Advanced DIY Lighting Project – Create a Fiber Optic Constellation

DIY fiber optic constellation ceiling

If you are up for a large scale lighting project, then have a look at what Danny Mavromatis did to his home theater. He used 11,000 feet of fiber optics to create 250 constellation stars, 600 milky way stars, and a shooting star that travels 12’. Find out more here.

Building Your Own Lamp Projects

DIY Wine Bottle Lamp

In our L&L Design Guide: 6 DIY Lamp Ideas and Projects post, we showcased a wonderful range of ideas. Ideas like using a wine bottle and string lights to create a lamp or using birch veneer and acrylic to create a wooden looking table lamp. For other ideas, such as reusing old toys to create a one of a kind lamp, have a look at our post here: Upcycled Lamps: 7 Unique Projects and Ideas

Custom Made Lamp Shades

dip dye lamp shade DIY

There are a number of ways to go about this. One of the best DIY projects we have seen takes fabric lamp shades and dip dyes them into fabric dye. You are left with a beautiful gradient – DIY Dip Dye Lamps: Create Colorful Gradient Lamp Shades. You could also head over to Lamps in a Box who will print out any image you want onto a lamp shade.

Other DIY Lighting Ideas:



How To Make Floating Candles at Home

Floating Candles

Candlelight is a typical go-to option for adding a little ambiance to a dinner party, romantic get-together or quiet evening at home, but they can present some safety concerns. Open flames are easy to accidentally knock into or over, especially if your guests are children or just plain prone to clumsiness. Then there is the idea of leaving them unattended. Instead of giving up on the beauty of real candles for their electronic equivalents or risking the fire hazard, learn how to make floating candles at home that create a relaxing atmosphere while putting a water barrier around the flames. To start, find yourself a good floating candle mold.

Floating Candles

Choosing a Candle Mold

Molds can be made from almost anything, from cookie cutters to real soap molds. Be creative, and choose shapes that fit the occasion. To stay upright in water, your candles should taper at the base, so that the top is wider than the bottom. Muffin tins are the perfect shape for large floating candles, like the kind you might place into a glass bowl, dinner table centerpiece or bathtub. Smaller candles can go into a water-filled martini glass or flower vase, and work well for side table decor.

If you have chosen a food grade mold, like a cookie cutter or muffin tin, be sure you are willing to part with it. Candle wax should not be ingested, so reusing these molds for your next dessert project would be a toxic mistake. Coat the inside of all non-commercial molds with vegetable oil so that the wax does not stick to the sides.

candle making supplies

Prepping the Wax

Candle wax burns like chocolate, so set up your melting pot as a double boiler by placing a coffee can inside of a water-filled pot. This saves your kitchen hardware from wax contamination and melts the wax at a low, even temperature. Turn the burner up to medium and add your wax to the can. You can use a lump of new beeswax, purchased from a candle-making supply store, or simply melt down chunks of old candles. For scented candles, drizzle in a teaspoon of your favorite essential oils.

Shaping the Candles

While your wax is melting, get your candle wicks ready by cutting them down to two inches longer than the height of each mold. Weight one end of each wick with a piece of metal hardware like a nut or bolt, and place the wicks into the centers of the molds. When the wax has melted, fill each mold with liquid wax.

Wicks are often prone to falling into the wax while it is hardening, so you can either keep an eye on them or prop them up against horizontal popsicle sticks/pencils, placed over the top of each mold. Once the wax hardens, you will be well on your way to mastering how to make floating candles. Carefully pop or dump the candles out of the molds, then suspend them in an attractive container filled with water. For extra ambiance, you can tint the water with food coloring, add flower petals or place the container over a mirror to mimic the lighting effects. Or they can work as great floating pool candles.

For more ideas on how to make floating candles centerpieces and arrangements have a look at these posts in the wedding section:

image credits: Neil


DIY Decor Ideas Using Outdoor String Party Lights

Outdoor string lights are great for decorating an outdoor party because they are lightweight and inexpensive. Another great light fixture to use are paper lanterns (DIY Paper Lanterns: Our 5 Favorite Posts). Here are a few ideas on how you can create unique shades for outdoor string party lights and different ways you can use them to decorate an outdoor space.

Origami String Lights

origami lights

Over at the Wit and Whistle website, they have created paper origami shades to cover LED string lights. The great thing about this idea is that you can create any sort of origami shapes from hearts, to flowers and fit them onto the string lights. LED string lights were used as they give off less heat – link.

Ping Pong

DIY ping pong lights

Steven over at Instructables has taken plain colored ping pong balls, and multicolored string lights to create these colorful DIY string lights –link.

Dixie Paper Cup Party Lights

Dixie Cup Lights

Create party lights by using Dixie cups and scrapbook paper to create a garland – link.

Decorating With String Lights

canopy lights

There are a number of ways you can use string lights to decorate an outdoor party. They can be simply wrapped around railing, trees, or hung over fences or bushes. You can create a curtain of lighting by hanging a number of string lights side by side. Another idea would be to hang string lights in rows overhead which will create a starry night effect. They can be hung overhead either from the walls of the house, from trees, or plant a pole into the soil to hang them from. If you hang the string lights upwards onto a pole you can create a nice canopy/tent effect.

Alternative: Floating Balloon Lights

floating light balloons

You can easily create festive and colorful party lights by putting glow sticks or battery powered LED lights inside of balloons and blowing them up. These glowing balloons can then be scattered around outdoors (they will even float in pools). Or if you want to go a step further, look to rent a helium tank and buy helium specific balloons from a party store to create floating glowing lights, which can be tied down around the backyard.


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DIY Paper Lanterns: Our 5 Favorite Posts

Paper lanterns are great for DIY lighting projects because they are so lightweight and inexpensive. Here is a quick round up of our top posts on DIY paper lanterns (with an added bonus at the end). First up is the fluffy lantern: a huge 38” paper lantern that had 1200 coffee filters hot glued on it – coffee filter lantern.

coffee filter lantern

It’s so FLUFFY! DIY Coffee Filter Lantern

The paper punch flower lantern:

flower punch paper lantern

Paper Punch + Paper Lantern = Flower Light

Using vintage maps to create a unique DIY paper lantern for a nursery light:

Creative Vintage Map Paper Lantern

A Simple DIY Idea: The Vintage Map Paper Lantern

Another time consuming paper lantern DIY project, but the end result looks absolutely stunning – Paper Fortune Teller Lights:

fortune teller lamp

DIY Paper Fortune Teller Lights

Bonus: We’ve highlighted the DIY project of dip dying lamp shades into fabric dye to create your own colorful lamp shades. Well this same process can be used to create dip dyed paper lanterns!

dip dye lamp

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6 of The Best IKEA Dioder Hack Ideas

Ikea Hacks

Here are 6 of the best IKEA DIODER hack ideas that we have found.

First up is a floating LACK cross shelf that doubles as a bedroom side table and mood lighting. It is kept off of the wall by 2 inches using the LACK shelving brackets. You can find the step by step hack guide here.

Ikea Hack 01

Looking to create some mood lighting in the living room? Here is an indirect lighting idea using DIODER LED lights and a PAX FEVIK wardrobe door – instructions here.

Ikea Hack 02

Create an LED room divider using IKEA Dioder lights and an ORGEL paper lamp by following these instructions.

Ikea Hack 03

A backlit mini bar using DIODER, EXPEDIT, HUTTEN, and RILL IKEA units – DIY Guide.

Ikea Hack 04

One for the guitarists: a back lit pedal board – DIY Guide.

Ikea Hack 05

Last but not least is this image changing picture frame. How this works is by painting one image a certain color, and another image a different shade of color on top of each other. By changing the color of the light, only one of the images will show at a time – instructions.

Ikea Hack 06


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Upcycled Lamps: 7 Unique Projects and Ideas

Here are some of the best upcycled lamps we’ve seen. These ideas and projects are simple and inexpensive to do. Leave us a comment and link if you try any of them out.

The Sharpie Doodle Lamp

You can easily upgrade a lamp by using a sharpie. Better Homes and Gardens upcycled a teal colored lamp into a one of a kind piece by simply drawing doodles on it – link.

Upcycled sharpie lamp

Superhero Lamp

Ryan McElhinney (who has worked at such places as Disney and 20th Century Fox) took old toys, a lamp and created stunning lamps. Using a hot glue gun, he stuck together a bunch of superhero toys to the base of a lamp, and then used a high gloss paint to create the unified look. – link

recycled toys lamp

Relumine: Florescent Light Strip Lamps

Because we are switching to using more energy efficient compact florescent light bulbs instead of incandescent ones, Studio mischer‘traxler wanted to go out and redesign normal lamps to use those long florescent strips. They ended up with these playful looking lamps that look like something from a Pixar movie – link.

florescent lamps

The Picasa Photo Lamp

Marie over at Under the Sycamore has used the photo sharing website Picasa to upcycle her lamps into one of a kind light pieces.  Picasa allows you to create collages with your photos and edit them into black or white if you want, which can then be printed out on vellum and hot glued onto a lamp shade – link.

recycled lamp shade

Camera Film Lamp

Here is an idea: use an old IKEA lamp and glue black and white negative film onto the glass – 6 DIY Lamp Ideas.

diy film lamp idea

Christmas Ornament Upcycled Lamp

Looking to recreate a designer lamp, Brooke over at All Things Thrifty used Christmas ornaments and a lamp to create this lovely piece – link.

upcycled floor lamp

Dip Dye

Simply and instantly upcycle lamps by getting fabric dye and dip dying the lamp shades to create gorgeous color gradients. It works best on light colored fabric lamp shades – link.

dip dye lamp


Related Posts:

    • DIY Paper Lanterns: Our Favorite Posts [coming soon]