Reducing waste through upcycling, repurposing, refashioning and reloving.

Upcycle: Light-up cardboard!


Last week I posted a round-up of ideas for upcyling cardboard tubes. While I worked on that, an idea for a light slowly dawned (no, I cannot resist the obvious pun). This light was simple to make and because I used found materials, cost nothing.




I guess under "what you need", I should really write "to be a hoarder." I'm not really that bad. But this year I did make the decision to store more used packaging rather than recycle it. Because I want to take a picture of the growing pile. To make a point. And then I want to figure out what I can use it for. Meanwhile, this thing happened. What you need:

1. A salvaged cord from an old holiday-scene someone leaves on a dumpster (I know, that's not very helpful).
2. The great box from the shampoo gift set you got three birthday's ago!
3. Loo rolls. Or paper-towel rolls ... or whatever you call them.



All I had to do to insert the light bulb was make a hole in the box and push it through. It's a low watt bulb so I'm assuming it's safe inside a cardboard structure.


I started making cutting lines before I thought about creating space behind the circles (duh!). So I changed tactics... see below


This little circle was my template. It fit between the light bulb and the edge of the box.


I wanted the circles to be different sizes so I split a few of the rolls and made circles if different sizes with tape.


I can't show you the juggling act that resulted from trying to squish them all in there. They ultimately support themselves by putting pressure on each other. But as I put the whole thing together, a few sprung out. Several times. It was a silly exercise but it worked in the end.


And there it is! I considered painting it but, for now, I like how simple it is. And when it's lit, the glow is really warm. 


Tada!