DIY cassette tape lamp

The guys at Transparent House have a great idea for what to do with all of those translucent old cassette tapes clacking together under the bucket seats of your Impala: glue them together and fashion them into a lamp. The color of each cassette's plastic shell and the half-rewound spooling of the magnetic tape itself will determine the kaleidoscopic pattern cast upon the walls. Transparent House isn't providing directions or even saying if they are selling these, but the idea's simple enough I imagine anyone could make this work with a little bit of elbow grease. Transparent House [Official Site via Techanbob]
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16 Responses to DIY cassette tape lamp

  1. LogrusZed says:


    I had the same problem, I couldn’t find the dimensions of a regular tape cassette. Weird that I can find nude albino midgets but not that.

    2′ to a side would be pretty freakin big, IMHO, for a regular table but you’re right about heat being a potential issue. However for a decorative lighting fixture I would figure using either a LED, CFL, or simply a low-wattage (like 15 watts) bulb which would really not produce a lot of heat.

  2. Anonymous says:

    In response to #14 – Wouldn’t purchasing a bunch of new blank tapes in bulk defeat the intention of recycling and finding a new use for the tapes?

  3. Luc says:

    *Disclaimer: pictures made with virtual photons only.

  4. hohum says:

    Okay, I just measured my cassette copy of Eurythmics’ “Be Yourself Tonight” for you guys… 4×2.5″. Hear that, internet? The dimensions of a standard audio cassette tape – 4″ x 2.5″

    Which means #8 called it.

  5. kucebeNow says:

    i made one very similar.. look here:

  6. alittlesalt says:

    @4 I wouldn’t worry about the heat on the tapes because it seems like they get pretty hot when they’re playing in my car and they seem fine.

  7. clueless in brooklyn says:

    cool lamp, uh, the website appears to be made by an over-eager student. how many pages do i have to watch to get to the image? five; four too many

  8. LogrusZed says:

    Who the fuck has a bunch of micro cassettes in the car?

    Not that this isn’t a pretty nice looking modern lamp, but those kind of cassettes are pretty expensive.

  9. Enochrewt says:

    I see no mention of micro cassettes. These are actual cassette tapes. Well, err, not actual ones since it’s a render of the cassette tapes, but yeah Walkman sized tapes, not dictation sized.

    I have a tub of old cassette tapes, but when put together they’d make a pretty snaggletoothed, dirty ass lamp. You’d almost need mint condition new tapes to pull this one off.

  10. pupdog says:

    I’d be worried about what kind of heat the lamp would put out, and how those cassette shells stand up to it.

  11. LogrusZed says:


    They look like micros to me, the proportions of the spindles relative to the overall case size, the fact that they are all clear (typical for micro cassettes), plus I think that lamp would be friggin huge if it was regular cassettes (they have to be something like 5″ x 2.5″, right?).

  12. Anonyman says:


    Aside from the obvious price issue, I think the lamp would look much better with the smaller cassettes.

  13. Nawel says:

    “Whatever, the stuff I still have on cassette is way to valuable to me to be made into a lamp. ”

    I feel exactly the same way. Plus, a lot of the tapes I have are not traslucent, or have paper stickers with my handwriting on it.

    It could be a good Idea if I ever find like, a bag of unused tapes for a dollar or something like that, in a second hand store or similar.

  14. Honad says:

    Usable offsite storage for tape backup!

  15. kas says:

    You can brand new blank tapes really cheap here –—normal-bias.html

    $22.50 for 100 of them (they’re only 10/12 minute tapes though). Also, you can get them in multiple colours – I think the ‘prison’ ones would give a nice tinted effect… The only problem is the tapes are so short in length you’d probably not get much diameter of tape on the spool.

  16. Enochrewt says:

    Weird that I can’t find the dimensions of a standard cassette tape on the interweb. If it’s just the cassette, I’d say the dimensions are closer to 4″x2 1/2″. They’d definitely be smaller than a a 3″x5″ note card when laid on top of it. Even if they were 5″ in length, the lamp would only be a little over Two feet on a side. It’d probably have to be that big to keep some distance away from the bulb, due to meltage.

    Whatever, the stuff I still have on cassette is way to valuable to me to be made into a lamp.

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