How to Make a Lamp From a Toy Tugboat
When your child outgrows his favorite toy, turn it into a lamp, or find an old toy at a garage sale or thrift shop to make a lamp. You can use a toy truck, boat or even a plastic barn.
We used a toddler's toy to make our lamp — one in which a child would insert a big Ping-Pong ball in the top and watch it roll down to the bottom. You can use most any type of plastic, metal or wood toy to make your own lamp.
Materials and Tools
- drill and 3/8" drill bit
- hole-saw drill bit
- wire strippers
- piece of wood for plug
- thread pipe and a piece of copper pipe that will slide over it
- lamp kit
- light bulb and lampshade
Drill and Wire
To accommodate the wiring, drill two holes in the toy, one through the top (in our case, it is a smokestack) and one through the back. Feed the wire through the back and up through the top hole.
Add a Wooden Plug and Pipe
If you have extra space to fill, like we do in our smokestack, make a wooden plug to sit inside the hole so it holds up the threaded pipe. Measure the diameter of the hole, then cut the wooden plug to size. Drill a hole in the center to hold the threaded pipe. Place the wooden plug with threaded pipe down over the wire and into the toy. Tap it into place.
Cover the Threaded Pipe and Add a Harp
Cover the threaded pipe with a copper pipe as a sleeve. Leave 1/2 inch on top to accommodate the connector and harp (Image 1). Place harp onto the pipe (Image 2).
Add the Socket
Wire the socket according to lamp kit package. Add an energy efficient low-wattage bulb and a lampshade.