DIY: Upcycle milk cartons into MilkWheel lampshade by Gilbert de Rooij

Written by Gilbert de Rooij on. Posted in Design, DIY, Lighting

upcycleDZINE_MilkWheelLamp_02 Photo © Gilbert de Rooij
Here’s another DIY lampshade I’m adding to the other upcycle design lampshades I made. Again it’s a design that uses discarded plastic milk cartons. After making some upcycle lampshades using the side parts of the milk cartons, all the top parts where left. So I had to do something with them, just like the bottom part [see the next DIY lampshade]. So after some trial and error I came to this lampshade I call ‘MilkWheel’. It’s a lampshade that can be used as a pendant or floorlamp.  
The fun part is that you can use the caps to screw them back on and give the design your own touch. There are lots of variations to be made!
upcycleDZINE_MilkWheelLamp_06 upcycleDZINE_MilkWheelLamp_04 upcycleDZINE_MilkWheelLamp_03 Photos © Gilbert de Rooij
After cuttting out pieces I started joining them by using an ‘Eyelet Crimping and Hole Punch Function Pliers‘ and eyelets. This way I was able to create rows of top pieces. You can make these rows as long as you want. The result has to fit the lamp frame. In the end I combined all the rows into one drum like shape. The final step was to attach the lamp frame inside the drum. And that’s it.
Well all in all it’s, just like the other DIY lampshades, a reasonable easy lampshade to make. Just take a look in the next section at the tutorial and photos and you may find yourself making your own ‘MilkWheel’ lampshade.
See TUTORIAL and photos
What you’ll need:
  • 48 [+ 1 spare] Plastic milk cartons
  • Small snap-off blade knife
  • Scissors
  • Eyelet Crimping and Hole Punch Function Pliers with eyelets
  • Lamp frame [in this case 40 cm. diameter]
  • Tie-wraps, 20 cm. / ± 3 mm.
upcycleDZINE_DIY_MilkDropLamp_300_00 1. These are the plastic milk cartons I used.
upcycleDZINE_DIY_MilkDropLamp_300_02 2. Cut a piece like this from your spare milk carton to use as template. It’s the middle part of a carton cut in half.
upcycleDZINE_DIY_MilkDropLamp_300_03 3. Use the blade knife to make cuts into the plastic. By doing this a few times you will finally cut through the carton.
upcycleDZINE_DIY_MilkDropLamp_300_04 4. Just cut throught at one side.
upcycleDZINE_DIY_MilkDropLamp_300_05 5. Take the sciccors and follow the line you’ve made in the plastic. 
upcycleDZINE_DIY_MilkDropLamp_300_06 6. After using the sciccors you’ll end up with three parts. For this design we’ll use the top part. Another design that uses the bottom part will follow soon!  
upcycleDZINE_DIY_MilkWheelLamp_300_01 7. This is the top part we’re going to use.
upcycleDZINE_DIY_MilkWheelLamp_300_02 8. Now it’s time to use the ‘Eyelet Crimping and Hole Punch Function Pliers’ to punch holes in the plastic pieces. You need to be precise with the spot of the wholes. Otherwise the parts will not align.
upcycleDZINE_DIY_MilkWheelLamp_300_03 9. This is how it looks after attaching two pieces together using an eyelet.
upcycleDZINE_DIY_MilkWheelLamp_300_04 10. For this design I made 4 rows of 12 top parts each. These 4 rows are put together using the eyelets and pliers. When you’ve got all rows attached then it’s time to make the drum shape by attaching one end to the other.  
upcycleDZINE_DIY_MilkWheelLamp_300_05 11. So now you should have a drum like shape and the only thing missing is the lamp frame. The frame fits on the inside of the drum and is going the be secured by using tie-wraps. 
upcycleDZINE_DIY_MilkWheelLamp_300_06 12. Last step is removing the ends of the tie-wraps and voila, you got yourself a MilkWheel lampshade.
Photos © Gilbert de Rooij
You’re done and hopefully you’re satisfied with the result.
Please share your result and/or findings with me.
Have fun!
DIY and design by Gilbert de Rooij | upcycleDZINE

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Comments (2)

  • Jay


    I love it Gilbert. What do you use to cut the plastic so straight?
    I have a bunch of plastic containers waiting to be used as concrete molds for my lamps, might as well try this…I don’t know if the US is ready for this though…


    • Gilbert


      Hi Jay,
      Thanks for your compliment.
      See the tutorial on how to cut it. I used a template made from a part of the carton and took a snap-off blade knife and scissors.
      Looking forward to your version. Success!


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