Ariana’s Projects: How to make a creature lamp

Six years ago when I had just had Kit (our middle son), I wanted something creative to do during his naps as I wasn’t working. I’m always happiest when I have a creative project of sorts on the go and I randomly had the idea one night for a life-size flamingo floor lamp and began, while I was up late feeding, to work out how I would do it and what I would need to make it. The next day I went onto good old Amazon and found the following cheap bits:

  1. malleable fine chicken wire,
  2. white tissue paper
  3. a huge bag of mixable concrete
  4. a plastic tub to mix it in cutting pliers
  5. gloves
  6. acrylic paints
  7. decoraters varnish
  8. one long garden cane for the legs ( hacksaw into two!)

I also purchased a light fixture bulbs and an inner lamp structure and finally I found some genuine flamingo feathers from Etsy (easily the most expensive part of the project) and got to work.

Flamingo Lamp Instructions

I printed out pictures of wild flamingos from different angles and began to model the chicken wire into the shape of the body, the long neck and the beak and then connected the plastic covered metal garden canes for the legs alongside the inner lamp structure, feeding the cable through the cane leg for the plug. I used artist mouldable putty for the Knobbly knees and then paper mache’d with two layers of white tissue paper hand ripped into roughly 10cm squares/strips, the whole structure.

I painted it all with acrylics and when that was done I set the legs into a circular base of concrete which I later painted a watery blue and added FIMO modelled feet.  Finally, I applied two coats of varnish over the whole thing. The hardest part was fitting the light inside and I had to create a little hatch door in the flamingos body to change the bulb with the lead plugging directly into the wall. The final touch was covering the entire body with the beautiful pink, peach and dipped part red flamingo feathers I’d bought .

My kids were delighted with the finished lamp and fought over who got to keep it in their bedroom, so I promised I’d make another creature….

Polar Bear Lamp Instructions

A year or so later I made Kit a polar bear head wall lamp using the same techniques of chicken wire but with a tapestry wheel as a framework to hang against the wall.  I realised that the cable for the flamingo was a bit white and ugly so this time, I spent a bit more on a vintage industrial fabric covered cable with midway switch.

Leopard Floor Lamp

Fast forward a few more years and the idea to make a life-sized leopard floor lamp struck me and this time I have videoed the entire process which available to view on our new  youtube channel.

I used LED fairy lights inside this time with a USB charging port which I feel works much better as it spreads the light out across the whole sculpture so much more. It also means the boys can leave it on all night safely as a night light!  Weirdly, it matches their various geometric cat head wallpaper incredibly well so I’ve handed it over to them in the hope that they don’t trash it and its still standing along with the flamingo and bear for many years to come!

I definitely have more creature lamps in me despite Greg commenting our house now resembles Blackpool illuminations meets the zoo 😬  .

Watch this space for my next project, or try making one yourself!

Ariana x


Welcome! Thanks for stopping by. Entertainment is what you can expect to find in our new home here at The Finnegan Five. It’s great to have you on board ❤️ ........ Ariana, Greg and the Boys.