How to make a Pac-Man ghost lamp

In this post, I will show you how to make a Pac-Man ghost lamp. You can also find it on Instructables.

To be precise, we will create small ghost lamp shades to turn a boring spotlight system into a great looking Pac-Man themed lamp.

You will need:

  • plastic bottles with the right shape
  • a lamp, preferably a halogen spotlight system
  • some white and black plastic
  • spray paint in red, pink, cyan and orange

Once you found the right bottles and a nice lamp, this project will take about 2 x 2 hours.

Finding the right bottle

At first, you have to find a plastic bottle with the right shape. Unless your supermarket has a section for ghost shaped bottles, this will be a bit of a treasure hunt.

You are looking for a bottle that has a cylindrical shape with a round top. If you happen to be in Germany, you can look for the brand “Kneipp”.

Buy one bottle for each ghost you plan to make, plus one or two spares, just in case.

The right bottle for the job

Find the right lamp

The second part of the treasure hunt is the search for the right lamp. I went for a MAGNESIUM spotlight system from IKEA.

As the plastic bottles will act as lamp shades, the light bulb should not dissipate to much heat and the shades should not touch the light bulbs directly. You could also use bare halogen sockets if you make some kind of spacer. Or you could use LEDs to avoid the whole heat issue.

Cut the bottles

After you have emptied your water bottles, it’s time to cut them.

To get an even shape, it’s advisable to create a template on paper and use it to mark lines for cutting on the bottles.

Template for cutting Template for cutting Bottle marked for cutting

Make the cut on the bottom first. You can use a sharp pair of scissors or a cutter knife.

Bottom cut

The top of the bottle is the strongest part of the bottle and gives it its stability. You can use a cutter knife for the top too, but a rotary tool aka. Dremel is probably better suited for the job.

The body of a Ghost

Paint the ghosts

Now it’s time to paint the ghosts.

You can use a primer, but I got a good result without it. Cover both the inside and the outside of the shades with at least two layers of paint.

Make sure that your paint shop is really opaque, otherwise you will see every minor imperfection shine through.

Painted ghosts without eyes

Add the eyes

The only thing that is missing to complete your ghosts are the eyes.

You need a piece of white and black plastic. I recycled some yogurt cups and a black file cover.

In the game, the eyeballs are oval and the pupils are round, but I went for an oval shape for both. Don’t put the pupil centrally on the eyeball, but on the side.


Put on the shades

Once you are happy with the looks of your ghost, you just have to put them on the lamp.

How this will work depends on the lamp you chose.

In my case, I mounted the Magnesium system a bit different than intended. Normally, the lamps are held by a little arm, but I let them hang on the cable instead.

Attaching the ghosts to the lamp

The finished Pac-Man lamp

Mount the lamp in its designated place and let it shine!

The finished Pac Man ghost lamp

Update: add Pac-Man

As Rachel points out in her post on Craft:, the only thing missing is Pac-Man himself!

The easiest way to add him to the gang is to cut a cover from yellow cardboard and put it on the transformer. In my case, the transformer is hidden behind books, so I did not put much effort into it. If you can put it in one row with the ghosts, I would suggest painting the case of the transformer to match the color of the wall to give your lamp the final touch.

If you create a Pac-Man lamp yourself, post some pictures and leave a comment here, I would love to see them!

7 thoughts on “How to make a Pac-Man ghost lamp

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