You know those people that have obscene collections of lifelike dolls or stuffed animals that they cling to and hoard because they think they have personalities or something? Yeah, I am that way with cameras. I take my digital SLR pretty much everywhere and I feel completely naked without it– God forbid anything interesting should ever happen to me without a way to document it. 😉 But most people only take their cameras with them on the most special occasions– birthdays, graduations, weddings, bat mitzvahs, first bike rides, homecoming dances, adventurous vacations. Because of this, I think cameras are extremely special things. Out of all the objects we possess through our lives, our cameras are there to capture the best moments. They must pick up a thing or two about what it’s like to live, right? 😉
About two years ago my Uncle Bill gave me an INSANE collection of cameras– 35mm SLRs, a couple old Polaroids, a hand-cranked video camera, and a tiny camera from 1892. (One of the best gifts ever for a camera hoarder like me.) 🙂 I spent a significant amount of time messing around with these cameras in addition to the cameras I already owned. I realized that there is not enough time in the day for me to use my entire camera collection. So instead of keeping my cameras cooped up in the cupboard, I decided to rescue those vintage cameras, imbibed with memories, from a life of boredom in a box.
I’ve always been really inspired by some of the camera lamp upcycles I’ve seen around the web, from Anthropologie to Etsy, so I decided to take my own crack at it. And before any camera purists from Reddit get on here and chastise me for desecrating three perfectly good film SLR cameras, please save your characters. There was so much dust on the lenses and mirrors of these three cameras that they would’ve cost me more to professionally clean than to buy an identical camera off Ebay. Also, I have my parents’ old BA Pentax K1000 for my 35mm film needs. 😉
How to Make the Upcycled Camera Lamp:
- 3 Cameras
- Lamp Kit
- Lamp Pipe
- JB Industro Cold Weld
- Spray Paint for Lamp Pipe
- Duct Tape
- Clamps or something to hold the camera steady while the cold weld sets
- Something with which to spread the cold weld
The first thing you need to do is mix the cold weld. (1 part red tube, 1 part black tube. Not rocket science.) I swear, though, this stuff is incredible. When you let the JB Cold Weld dry properly, it is more secure than the security around the Popemobile. I’ve used it for many different projects and it is the best superglue/epoxy ever. If you choose to make a camera lamp with this stuff, those cameras won’t be going anywhere.
Before you let the JB cold weld dry, make sure your cameras are straight, secure, and sturdy. Duct tape really does the trick. You need to let the cold weld dry for 24 hours, but I let mine dry and set a bit longer.
To finish off the lamp, you need to spray paint the lamp pipe black so that it blends in with the cameras. To secure the lamp pipe to the back of the cameras so that the cord stays hidden, use the JB cold weld and fill two of the cameras’ viewfinders with the epoxy. Secure the lamp pipe and let the cold weld set for 24 hours. Then you just assemble the lamp. I found this tutorial to be very helpful on assembling lamp guts.
To make the color slide lamp shade:
- 10mm Jump Rings (Or bigger)
- Pliers (Needle Nose or Jewelry Pliers)
- A small hole punch
- Top of a Lamp Shade
**And P.S.– I’ve been working on this lamp since last summer, and I had a failed attempt at creating my first color slide lamp shade, but I just noticed this tutorial on Craftgawker this past weekend and I had to share. It is quite good and informative. 🙂 #crazyTiming
First you need to punch holes in the four corners of all of your slides. MAKE SURE that all of your holes are in the same places on the slides so that the slides will hang evenly. I tried to make this lamp shade over a year ago and I just poked holes in the corners of the slides willy-nilly. Do not do that. Take your hole punch and punch in the same spot over and over. 🙂 Then take your jump rings and piece all of the slides together.
And now I can sleep in peace knowing that these cameras are getting the love they deserve. 😉