Linked slides create a colorful, indoor escape

ReadyMade's Slide Lamp

From ReadyMade

by Steven James
Now that a digital camera has become nearly as essential to going abroad as a passport, slide shows are a thing of the past-much to everyone’s relief. Still, it’s hard to resist the appeal of those palm-sized transparencies. Here’s a way to put vacation photos on display without holding friends captive. Link a group of slides taken at some far-flung locale together to create a lampshade that offers a colorful, indoor escape-from bad lamp design, if nothing else. On your next excursion, bring along a few rolls of slide film (bonus: it’s less expensive than the print variety) and try taking thematic shots of bad motels, perhaps, or exotic plant life. Sure, you’ll have to go to the photo lab to get them developed, but it’s worth the trip. I mean look at this thing!

How to make the slide lamp:

  1. Once you’ve decided on the length of your shade, you can determine the number of mounts you’ll need for the project. (I used 48 slides in circles of 12.)
  2. Measure and cut the same number of lumen paper squares-one per mount. (The project can be completed without the lumen paper, but it helps diffuse the light and show off your images, so go the extra mile.)
  3. Use a paper template (Fig. 1) to drill six holes in the first slide mount, then use this first mount as your template to drill the remainder of the slides.
  4. All holes should be at least 1/8" away from the edge of the mount. Don’t drill the center bottom hole in the last row of slide mounts.
  5. Use the glue stick to attach one paper square to the back of each mount. The paper should just cover the inside edge, but not touch the film or cover the perimeter holes. Place the paper-backed mounts under heavy books and allow them to dry overnight.
  6. With the shade frame attached to the lamp base, use the open jump rings to connect the slides to one another. Create rows of six, to be mounted horizontally.
  7. Close the rings.
  8. Attach the first row of six to the frame, then, on the other side, attach a second row to the first row at both ends, completing the circle of 12 slides. Continue to add rows until you’ve completed the shade.
  9. Add a light bulb and escape all over again


  • Standard type A lampshade frame, at least 8.5" diameter
  • 48-60 mounted slides
  • 48-60 1.5" x 1.5" squares of heavy parchment white lumen paper
  • 150-175 10mm 16-gauge silver-tone jump rings
  • Table lamp with standard type A base


  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors or paper cutter
  • Drill template
  • Electric drill
  • 1/16" drill bit
  • Two pairs needle-nose pliers
  • Acid-free glue stick
  • heavy books for pressing

3 thoughts on “Linked slides create a colorful, indoor escape”

  1. Where can I find a Standard type A lampshade frame, at least 8.5″ diameter? I’ve looked online and I’m unable to find such a frame. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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