Monthly DIY: Vintage Slide Lamp

monthly diy slide lamp

This month’s DIY project is a slide lamp made by replacing a regular lamp shade with vintage slides. I found out about slide lamps this year while I was searching for other projects to do with slides because I purchased a whole bunch to make slide curtains (future DIY project).  When I was looking I found all these Etsy stores that sold various versions of this idea and had to make my own (especially considering I would never pay that much for a lamp).  I thought I’d show you how I made it because the project is really easy and once you have the materials it’s not expensive to make more. There is also so much room for creativity when it comes to this project because there are many types of lamp shades and you can choose slides of various themes from butterflies to cityscapes depending on the room. I have been so excited to do this project and I’m in love with how mine turned out. Let me know in the comments if you have any additional questions.


Depends on the size but I made mine in roughly 2 hours.

What You’ll Need:monthly diy (2)

  • lamp with detachable lamp shade
  • slides
  • 1/8th hole punch (or a drill with 1/8th bit)
  • jump rings (10mm & 8mm)
  • 2 needle nose pliers
  • scissors or excato knife
  • ruler
  • paint and brush

Price and Material Information:

The price of this DIY really has to do with what materials you are able to start off with and what type of slides you want to use. If you don’t have slides try thrift stores, Ebay or Etsy. I bought 100 random slides for $10 on Etsy. If you want particular slides like say only sunsets most shops will sell sorted slides but at an increase of price. It can be cheaper to buy large amounts of random slides and simply sort them yourself (no guarantee you will get what you want).  As for the lamp, I actually didn’t purchase mine. From what I recall I found it on the street or someone left it in one of the apartments I moved into years ago. If you don’t have a lamp you want to destroy I highly encourage you to look at a thrift store, walk around the neighborhood on the 1st of the month, or hey Ikea has $15 lamps. You just need a lamp shade with a top wire rim, square or circular are both fine. The jump rings are available for super cheap on Ebay in a variety of colors, sizes, and quantity (like here).  For the other items you need most of them are common household things except the hole punch which can be picked up from a craft store or Staples for $6. If you don’t have two needle nose pliers but do have one and another type that should be fine. As I’m making multiple slide projects the price of this project for me is zero as I had all these materials already as leftovers but I’d say $30 is a good base price.


  1.  Calculate how many slides you need using the existing shade as a reference.
    *for mine I made 7 rows of 3 but my lamp shade is quiet small. 
  2. Detach the shade from the lamp and remove the cloth part of the shade leaving only the wire behind.
    TIP: You can spray paint the metal wire any color (I didn’t but I think I will go back and do it as the white clashes)
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  3. Taking the slides that you’ve chosen to use and create a pattern so you know what slide you will want in each row. I decided to use mostly slides of sunset and silhouettes and created an alternating patter of horizontal and vertical slides. Make sure you have more than enough slides just in case.
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  4. Taking a pen/pencil and a ruler mark a point at 4x4mm or 5x5mm on each corner of the slide. Repeat for all slides except on the bottom slides which will only need two markings at the top corners. I used a triangle ruler as it made measuring quick. You can free hand each hole with the hole punch instead as well and skip this step.
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  5. Now using the 1/8th hole punch simple punch each slide with the marking in the center of the hole punch.
    TIP: You can use a drill with a 1/8 or smaller bit instead to save time. 
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  6. This step is optional as I think the regular white side of the slides look pretty great just on their own. However the ones I am using had lots of writing on them so I painted the cleanest side of each slide with silver metallic acrylic paint (you can do both sides if you’d like). I simply did 3 layers of paint and waited for them to dry.
    TIP: If you get paint on the inside slide simply use a soft cloth to wipe clean again. (I used a camera lens / glasses cloth so as not to scratch the image)
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  7. Taking your pliers and a 10mm jump ring,  twist a jump ring open and attach the slides to each other and twist to close again.
    TIP: Since I don’t own a pair of needle nose pliers I’m using one with another type of pliers instead. Keep in mind though this takes a little longer and is tougher to do so for a larger lamp shade you will want to use two needle nose pliers instead.
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  8. I decided to punch the top holes of my slides at the end because I wasn’t sure on where I wanted the placement of the top holes. However you can simply do this in Step 4&5.
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  9. Using the pliers again, twist the 10 mm jump rings open and this time attach to the top metal ring of the shade and close.
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  10. After all the slides are attached to the top you will want to secure each row of slides together with a jump ring. For mine I used a smaller sized jump ring (8mm) and placed one hole in the middle on each slide. I’d suggest doing this once the rows are done as the slides will each hanging slightly differently and you can adjust the placement at this point so both slides beside each other are even. This gives the slides a more finished shape but you can skip this step.
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  11. Attach the lamp shade back onto the light and you are done!

Finished Vintage Slide Lamp:

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a little video of me twirling it around because it’s really fun:


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