DIY Puzzle Lamp: Let’s Make a Fun IQ Lamp!

Instructions

STEP 1: GET MY FREE DIY PUZZLE LAMP FILE

First, download my free DIY Puzzle Lamp SVG/DXF/PDF — Design #304 — from my free resource library.

Note: There are two versions of the puzzle lamp pattern — an “easy” version and a hard version. The regular one is the “easy” one, so be start with that and save the ones in the folder named “hard” for when you want a challenge!

The pattern files can be cut by hand or with a cutting machine — let me show you how to cut it on a Cricut cutting machine.

First, upload the SVG cut files in the downloaded folder to Cricut Design Space. If you’re not sure how to upload an SVG cut file to Cricut Design Space, watch this helpful video training series I made. If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, here’s how to download and upload SVG files to the Cricut Design Space app.

This is what the Puzzle Lamp SVG file looks like in Cricut Design Space.

DIY Puzzle Lamp Cricut Design Space

The current size of the puzzle pieces will create a lamp that has about a 9″ diameter.

Feel free to resize your IQ lamp pieces to make any size, just make sure all 30 pieces remain exactly the same size. And that your pieces will fit on your plastic folders!

TIP: To evenly adjust the size of all the pieces for your DIY Puzzle Lamp, make sure to keep everything grouped and selected together. Then simply click, hold and drag on the bottom right of the bounding box where you see the arrows until you get your desired size.

DIY Puzzle Lamp Cricut Design Space Resize

When you are ready, click “Make It” in the upper right corner.

STEP 2: CREATE “CUSTOM MATERIAL” SETTING AND CUT YOUR DIY PUZZLE LAMP

To make an IQ lamp just like mine, you will need ten (10) folders: 3 red folders, 3 teal/green folders, 2 blue folders, and 2 yellow folders. Have fun making your lamp in any colors you’d like! Each layer will have five (5) puzzle pieces.

Tip: As a beginner, you may find it easier to assemble your DIY Puzzle Lamp with one color per row. Once you’ve mastered the assembly process, feel free to mix it up!

Before you continue in Cricut Design Space, you need to cut your folders in half with a household or craft scissors along the center fold and cut off any pocket materials on the folder.

Back in Design Space, change your material size to 8.5″ x 11″ for all colors. Make sure you select the correct size for all mat colors. Then click back on “Mat 1” so that will be the first cut and click “Continue.”

DIY Puzzle Lamp Cricut Design Space Material Size

I found that the plastic folders cut best on a “Custom Materials” setting. To set this up, click “Browse All Materials” in the upper right corner.

DIY Puzzle Lamp Cricut Design Space Browse All Materials

Scroll to the bottom of the window and click “Material Settings.”

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DIY Puzzle Lamp Cricut Design Space Material Settings

Again, scroll to the bottom and click “Add New Material.”

DIY Puzzle Lamp Cricut Design Space Add New Materials

Name your material. I chose to call mine “Plastic Folders.”

The material name will populate in your materials list. Slide the adjustment bar to 350 for maximum cut pressure. Select “3x” from the “Multi-cut” dropdown menu and click “Save.”

DIY Puzzle Lamp Cricut Design Space Custom Material Settings

Close the “Material Settings” window by scrolling down and clicking on “Done” or scrolling up and clicking on the “X”. You should be back at the main screen. Again, click “Browse All Materials.” Locate your custom material setting for the plastic folders and select it.

DIY Puzzle Lamp Cricut Design Space Material Selection

Place your plastic folder on your cutting mat, load your mat and begin your cuts.

DIY Puzzle Lamp load mat in Cricut

Tip: After about 7 cuts, my blade needed to be cleaned. I removed my Fine-Point Blade, poked it into an aluminum foil ball to remove any debris and reinserted the blade. The cuts continued perfectly. Depending on your folder type, I recommend checking your blade after every several cuts. You can read more on my tips and tricks for clean cuts here.

STEP 3: ASSEMBLE YOUR DIY PUZZLE LAMP

IMPORTANT: I highly recommend you follow my puzzle lamp assembly video instead of the photos. Our team members found it much easier to assemble by following along with the video.

FIRST ROW

I am using five red puzzle lamp pieces. Lay them out in a row with the top and bottom pieces at an upward slant.

The direction of your pieces is very important for the proper assembly of your lamp. The starting position for each piece will be a vertical position with the top and bottom at an upward slant.

DIY Puzzle Lamp five pieces laid out with upward slant

Take your first piece and hold it vertically in your left hand. Pick up your second piece and hold it identical to your first piece to confirm matching upward angles. Rotate your second piece counter-clockwise UP to a horizontal position and interlock the left two corners into the right side of your first piece.

Connecting the first two pieces of the DIY puzzle lamp together by interlocking the corners

Note: You must rotate the piece UP (counter clockwise).

Connecting the first two pieces of the DIY puzzle lamp together by interlocking the corners

Adjust your DIY Puzzle Lamp so that the second piece is now in your left hand at a vertical angle. Take your third piece, confirm your upward slant at the bottom, and turn it horizontally in a counter-clockwise position. Interlock the third piece into the right side of the second piece.

Again adjust your puzzle lamp so that your third piece is now in your left hand at a vertical angle. Take your fourth piece, confirm the upward slant at the bottom, and turn it horizontally in a counter-clockwise position. Interlock the fourth piece into the right side of the third piece.

To complete your first layer, repeat the step to insert your fifth piece. Once you interlock it into the right side of the fourth piece, you will also connect the bottom right corner of the fifth piece into the top left corner of the first piece.

DIY Puzzle Lamp attach first and fifth piece together

The first layer of your DIY Puzzle Lamp is now complete! You should notice a spiral in the center where all five pieces connect. Each piece will also have an unconnected corner and the shape will look like a 5-point star.

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DIY Puzzle Lamp complete first layer

SECOND ROW

Set out your next five pieces with the top and bottom at an upward angle. For this layer, I chose a teal/green color. The color may look like a light blue on your screen, but it really was teal/green!

DIY Puzzle Lamp lay out second row

Before picking up your pieces, look at your first layer and identify an L-shaped area between your pieces. These areas are where the pieces for the second layer of the puzzle lamp will be attached.

DIY Puzzle Lamp point to connection area for second row

Hold the first layer in your left hand. In your right hand, confirm your first puzzle piece is slanted upward. Interlock the top left corner into the joint where two red pieces are connected in your first layer. The bottom left corner will interlock into a joint where a red piece is not connected in the first layer.

DIY Puzzle Lamp second row first piece left side connected

Your teal/green piece will position behind a red piece. Connect the top right to the first layer.

DIY Puzzle Lamp second row first piece fully connected

With the open part of your DIY Puzzle Lamp facing down, rotate it to work on the section to the right of your first piece. Pick up your second piece and confirm the upward slant. Like the first piece, interlock the top left corner into the joint where two red pieces are connected in your first layer. The bottom left corner will interlock into the joint where your red and teal/green just connected. Lastly, connect the top right corner into the open red corner.

DIY Puzzle Lamp second row second piece connected

Continue the same process for the next three teal/green pieces. The lower right corner should be the only open/disconnected corner for all teal/green pieces. Your completed second layer of the DIY Puzzle Lamp should now look like a bowl!

DIY Puzzle Lamp second row complete

THIRD ROW – PART 1

Set out your next pieces. For this layer, you will use two colors but you are going to work with one color at a time. First, I chose five blue pieces. Lay them out and confirm they slant upwards.

DIY Puzzle Lamp third row laid out upward slant

Once again, hold your puzzle lamp in your left hand, at a vertical angle, with the outer (red) part facing to the left. Take your first blue piece and connect the left corners along the horizontal side of a second layer (teal/green) piece.

DIY Puzzle Lamp third row first connected piece

Repeat this step for the remaining four pieces. Only the left side of your blue piece will be connected for this step. The blue pieces will appear to stick up vertically when this layer is complete.

DIY Puzzle Lamp third row connected

THIRD ROW – PART 2

Set out your next five pieces with an upward slant. I chose yellow. This layer of your DIY Puzzle Lamp will include the puzzle piece with the cutout for the light cord! When your lamp is held upright, these pieces are going to fit horizontally between the blue pieces that you just attached.

DIY Puzzle Lamp third row second set first piece

Hold your lamp with the red layer on the left and take your first yellow piece in a vertical position. Attach the piece to all four blue corners.

DIY Puzzle Lamp third row second set first piece fully connected to first set

Rotate your lamp and repeat these steps for all of your yellow pieces. All four corners of each yellow piece will connect to four blue corners. It does not matter where the yellow piece with the circular cutout is placed in this layer.

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DIY Puzzle Lamp third row pointing to lamp cord cutout

Before moving on in the assembly, you need to insert your hanging lantern cord and light bulb through your yellow cutout. Take the wall plug end of the cord, feed it through the cutout from the inside and gently pull it through the cutout.

DIY Puzzle Lamp third row inserting lantern cord through cutout

Once your cord is pulled all the way through, attach your light bulb. Gently place the bulb inside the lamp.

DIY Puzzle Lamp lantern and light bulb inserted

FOURTH ROW

Set out your next five pieces. For this layer, I chose to use teal/green again. These pieces will connect horizontally behind each blue edge from the third layer.

With your DIY Puzzle lamp sitting upright in front of you, take your first piece and confirm your upward slant. Turn the piece counter-clockwise to the left and connect the bottom two corners to the corners of a blue piece. Connect the upper left corner of the teal/green piece to the blue/yellow joint from the piece to the left.

DIY Puzzle Lamp fourth row first piece connected

For the next three pieces, turn your lamp, rotate your assembly piece counter-clockwise to a horizontal position, and repeat the connection.

DIY Puzzle Lamp fourth row second piece connected

DIY Puzzle lamp fourth row four pieces connected

Your fifth piece will connect the row together. Insert your piece the same way. The upper right corner of each teal/green piece should be an unconnected corner.

DIY Puzzle Lamp fourth row connected

FIFTH ROW

You’ve reached the final row to complete your puzzle lamp! Now is the time to make sure your lantern cord and light bulb are properly inserted because you are about to close your lamp.

Set out your last five pieces. For this layer, I chose to use red again. These pieces will connect horizontally behind each teal/green edge from the fourth layer.

DIY Puzzle Lamp fifth row first piece

Holding your first piece vertically with an upward slant, connect the lower-left corner to a teal/green/blue/yellow joint. The upper left corner will connect to an open teal corner. The lower right corner will connect to the teal piece to the right.

DIY Puzzle Lamp fifth row attaching first piece

Rotate your DIY Puzzle Lamp to insert your second piece. Again, connect the lower-left corner to a teal/blue/yellow joint. Connect your upper left corner to the blue/teal/green joint. Connect your lower right corner to the open blue piece to the right. This time, your upper right corner will connect to the open red corner of your first piece.

DIY Puzzle Lamp fifth row second piece connected pointing to center connection

Repeat the steps for your third and fourth pieces. When they’re in place, your puzzle lamp should look like this.

DIY Puzzle Lamp fifth row fourth piece attached

Your final piece of the IQ lamp is a little tricky. You need to tuck your fifth piece underneath your first piece and connect the lower right corner.

DIY Puzzle Lamp fifth row fifth piece attached and closed

Once secure, attach your upper right side. Finally, attach your lower and upper left joints. The puzzle lamp center will look like a pretty swirl. You did it!

DIY Puzzle Lamp completed

STEP 4: SHOW IT OFF

This is what my assembled DIY Puzzle Lamp looks like! Isn’t the design so fascinating? I can’t wait to see what you create!

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