Feb 14, 2012

Last Minute Romance - A DIY Star Lamp

You may have seen the "DIY star projector" that was all over the interwebs around the Holidays.  The parts ship from China for you to assemble into a lamp that sprays constellations about the room.  So beautiful, right?

I wanted to do something similarly sweet for Valentine's Day, but of course hadn't thought to order the actual projector in advance.  After a bit of trial and error I came up with a true DIY mini-star lamp, made from elements I already had around the house. 

DIY Mini Star Lamp

Cheap aluminum-reflector work lamp (the ones I own cost about $7 at a big box hardware store)
LED flashlight (my husband always has several of these around the house)
Aluminum foil
Masking tape
Roofing nail (or similar punching tool)


(1) Unscrew the entire lightbulb base from work lamp, and insert the LED flashlight in its place.  (I used a bit of foil and tape to hold the flashlight in place.  It doesn't look pretty, but it does the job.)

(2) Print out a star map or photograph.  I used this one, courtesy of NASA

(3) Securely tape the star map to a flat sheet of aluminum foil.  Make sure the foil is larger than the paper.

Step 4: Place the star map over the front of the work lamp.  Crumple the excess foil over the sides of the lamp to hold it in place securely.


Step 5: Using your roofing nail or other punch, poke holes at all of the star locations.  For the larger stars, wiggle the nail in a circle to make it bigger.

Turn the flashlight on, and point the lamp at the wall of a dark room - you're done!  The lamp itself is a bit awkward-looking, so I'd suggest tucking it in the corner.  You can also experiment with colored LEDs or punching your own constellations rather than using a map as a guide.  Have fun, and enjoy a little romance today, for yourself or with your significant other.

p.s.  Feel free to share this tutorial with whomever you please, but I'd ask that you credit me with a link back to this post.  Thanks!

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