This is an entry in the Living With Lindsay Five Dollar Challenge! The challenge was to make a home decor item for $5 or less. My project is inspired by Lasse Klein’s conceptual Alien Abduction Lamp. The lamps are still being developed and are not available for sale yet.* (update 2010: oh yes, the lamp is now available). I thought it would be fun to make one for my own personal use out of materials I found at the dollar store.

When I was shopping for materials, I couldn’t find any toy cowshere are some cows for you (a cow has to be the one being messed with by the aliens, right?), so I bought a plastic “Noah’s Ark” set that contained a pig (although there were only one of each animal in the set, so I hardly see how that qualifies as a Noah’s Ark set!) After everything was done, I found a farm seta set something like this that had a cow in it at Target’s dollar spot, so I had to get it to make the lamp perfect!

Project Materials:

  • Large-lipped bowl, $1
  • Smaller bowl, $.25 (mine was marked down)
  • Acrylic drinking glass, $1
  • Touch light, $1
  • Package of farm animals, $1
  • 3 Aliens I happened to find in the coin-op machines on the way out, $.75

Total cost: $5

You will also need, from on hand:

  • Glue (E6000 recommended, but hot glue will probably work)
  • Cutting implements to cut hole in one bowl and the top of the glass, such as a Dremel, drill, or tin snips (we used the latter two–a pain)
  • Batteries to operate the light
  • Paint (we used black spray paint and silver craft acrylic, if you don’t have them, cost less than $3 for both)

To make:

1. Dismantle touch light so it will fit inside larger bowl, facing down. You will either discard all the white parts, or you might need to trim the plastic rim down so the smaller bowl will fit snugly on top of everything.

2. Cut a hole in the larger bowl about the size of the bottom of the acrylic glass. We used a drill and tin snips because we don’t have a Dremel, and it was kind of a mess. Hopefully you have better tools!

3. Cut a hole in the bottom of the acrylic glass.

4. Put the acrylic glass upside down on the table, put the large bowl right side up on top of the glass to test for fit. You won’t want to glue them together now because when it’s all set up nicely, you’ll paint the bowls flying saucer color.

5. Put the touch light face down into the larger bowl.

6. Place smaller bowl on top of everything, face down.

7. How does it look? If good, then paint the bowls black and/or silver.

8. When everything’s painted, glue the appropriate parts together. Leave the top bowl unglued so you can turn the lamp on and off, and change batteries when needed.

9. Set it up and enjoy!

Here’s the lamp in the daytime.

*It goes without saying that I made this for personal use and am giving instructions on how I made mine only for your personal use. Please don’t make copies to sell–that’s bad! It’s unethical to rip off independent designers, and it’s not great to rip off mass-market designers for selling purposes, either! Be original in your Etsy shop!