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Exclusive: You Can Make These Gourd Hanging LampsContinue to 2 of 11 below.
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What You Need to Know About Art Plaster
Here's what you need to know about Art Plaster:
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- It produces a smooth non-chalky casting that's denser than plaster of Paris.
- It's nontoxic.
- It usually takes 30 minutes to set, but for this project it will take 24 hours.
- It should be painted. Doing so will boost your new lamp's durability.
- It's nonflammable.
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Supplies and Tools
Here's what you need to DIY:
Plastic bottles: The POM bottle creates the lamp's shape and the Smart Water bottle creates space for the electrical stuff:
- One 48-ounce POM Wonderful bottle
- One 50.7-ounce Smart Water bottle
Lamp hardware as shown in the lower right-hand image.
- 1/8-IP x 3-inch threaded lamp pipe
- 1/8-IP nuts to secure lamp pipe into place
- Washers or decorative hardware like a check ring round edge
Electrical supplies (shown lower left)
- Light socket, lamp cord, and plug. I used a 12-foot candelabra cord set that worked with E12 bulbs.
- Light bulbs
- Goo Gone
- Casting release spray or Vaseline.
- Work gloves
- Large, heavy duty Ziplock bag
- DIY funnel
- Craft paint
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- Power drill
- Drill bits
- Coffee can
- Kitchen shears or utility knife
- Fixed jab saw, or small hand saw.
Sandpaper: medium, fine and ultra fine grits
Hammer or rubber mallet
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Step 1: Prepping the Bottles
Here's what you need to do:
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- Cut off the bottom of the POM bottle. Refer to the image in the upper right corner. You can use a utility knife or a sharp pair of kitchen shears.
- Wash and dry the inside of the POM bottle.
- Remove the label from the Smart Water bottle using Goo Gone.
- Wash and dry the outside of the Smart Water bottle.
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Step 2: Attaching the Lamp Pipe
Here's what you need to do:
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- Drill a hole in the center of each bottle cap for the lamp pipe.
- Next, put the lamp pipe through the Smart Water bottle cap and lock it in place using plumbers tape, a nut and pliers as shown. Afterward, use glue to seal the area between the drill hole and pipe on top of the bottle cap. Both of these steps creates a watertight seal that prevents the Art Plaster from leaking during the casting process.
- Repeat step 2 using POM bottle cap.
- While the glue on the caps is drying, apply either mold release spray or a thin coat of Vaseline on the inside of the POM bottle.
- Now twist the Smart Water bottle onto its cap. Next, tape a portion of the label you removed earlier around the cap and neck as shown in the lower right image. It makes removing the bottle after casting easier.
- Afterward, coat the outside of the Smart Water bottle with either mold release spray or a thin coat of Vaseline.
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Step 3: Assembling the Bottles
Next, twist the POM bottle onto its cap and secure with nuts, plumbers tape, and glue as you did with the Smart Water bottle. Before moving to the next step, make sure the Smart Water bottle is perfectly centered as shown here.
NOTE: Two of the images are missing the taped label described in Step 2, line 5.Continue to 7 of 11 below.
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Step 4: Creating the Lamp Base
Here's how to cast your lamp base:
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- Place the assembled bottles, POM cap first into a coffee can as shown in the upper middle image. Snip a small "v" on the POM bottle's rim for your funnel. Afterward, level the bottles and secure with tape.
- Next, mix the Art Plaster in a large Ziplock bag. You want to create a very dense casting so the model won't break when removing the mold. Here's how:
- Scoop four heaping cups of Art Plaster into the Ziplock bag. Note, it takes roughly 8 cups of Art Plaster to make one lamp. It's much easier and neater to mix and pour a half batch at a time.
- Add one cup of water to the Ziplock bag and start kneading the mixture.
- Keep adding water and mixing until the Art Plaster takes on a thick slow pouring pancake batter like consistency. Make sure the mixture doesn't have any lumps.
- Time to pour. Create a funnel out of the Smart Water label you removed earlier and place in the "v" shaped opening.
- Now snip off a small bottom corner of the ZipLock bag and squeeze the mixture into the funnel.
- Make sure the Art Plaster is distributing evenly. Tap the coffee can on the surface you're working on at least three times throughout the pouring process.
- When you are done pouring, tap the coffee a few times again, and let the Art Plaster set for 24 hours.
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Step 5: Removing the Plastic Bottles
Here's how to remove the plastic bottles from your new lamp base:
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- Twist the cap off the POM bottle and remove. Afterward, twist a nut on the lamp pipe.
- Using the side of a hammer or a rubber mallet, gently tap the nut to release the Smart Water bottle.
- If the lamp pipe gets stuck in your casting, use the end of a pen to push it out.
- Now saw off the neck of the POM bottle as shown in the lower right image.
- Next carefully peel off the POM bottle using pliers.
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Step 6: Sanding and Painting Your Art Plaster Lamp
My lamp bases had a few pockmarks so I did a textured paint job to hide them.
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- I gently sanded the surface with an ultra fine 3M sanding sponge.
- I created a textured painted surface using Martha Stewart Crafts Multi-Surface Acrylic Craft Paint.
- I sealed the lamps using American DuraClear Water-Based Varnish.
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Step 7: Adding the Hardware
Here's how to add the hardware:
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- Insert the lamp pipe and secure inside the lamp with a nut.
- Cover the opening on top of the lamp with a washer or check ring round edge (see inset image) and secure with a nut.
- Next, see the instructions shown here for inserting lamp wire. NOTE: I used a candelabra cord set and E12 LED bulbs for this project.
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Congrats, You Have a New Lamp
Have you checked out the other two lamp projects in this three-part series? If not, here they are: