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All you need to know about building a Death Star lamp

Converting an IKEA PS 2014 lamp to resemble the iconic Star Wars’ Death Star is hands down one of the most popular hacks on IKEAhackers.

Star Wars fans can’t resist exploding the Death Star in their own living room.

Many have attempted it with slightly different approaches. Find one that suits your DIY level and own the Death Star.

The first thing you’ll need is of course, an IKEA PS 2014 lamp. I would recommend the larger 20″ lamp for scale and copper insides for sheer explosive effect.

IKEA PS 2014 lamp, white-copper

Buy IKEA PS 2014 lamp, white-copper | IKEA.com

Other materials you may need, depending on the style of lamp you pick:

A Rugged Star

Naja’s version gives the Death Star a rough, rugged look. It’s also one of the easiest tutorial. First, she masked the parts of the lamp she wanted to keep white with sticky tape. This part is most time consuming.

IKEA PS 2014 Death Star lamp

The laser part was tricky, so she drew the pattern on a big piece of tape and cut it out using a scalpel, then applied it carefully to the lamp. Then, she paint the exposed parts with plastic paint, twice over, to get a good cover. Read more.

A speckled star
IKEA PS 2014 Death Star lamp

Simon spray painted the tiles grey before assembling them. After they were dry, he assembled the lamp and began masking the lines.

Next thing was to use a compass to draw a series of circles to create the laser weapon of the Death Star. After which he began painting the laser rings.

Lastly, using a toothbrush dipped in black paint, he gave the grey areas a speckled look. See full tutorial.

Maria’s Intricate Star

Maria used a can of light grey spray paint from the hardware store to spray the tiles.

If you want to have it perfect — cover the copper insides BEFORE you spray paint the outsides, as the mist of the spray will dull the sheen.

You’ll end up with an light grey ball after assembling it like the instruction tells you.

Then, use masking tape to cover the areas that should stay lighter. Use an X-acto knife and a cutting mat with a ruler to make variations in the strips. Cut some wide, some small, some long, some short. Alternate to create the pattern, the Death Star wasn’t all the same, neither should be yours.

IKEA PS 2014 Death Star lamp
The laser weapon template

Maria then created a stencil of the round laser weapon on a piece of paper. And traced that onto the Lamp with a pencil.

Death Star laser weapon template

She’s provided a scanned template of the laser in 3 versions. The template was drawn by hand so it was hard to get a clear scan. But you may still be able to use it as a starting point for a template. It fits on a sheet of A4 paper and is meant for the 52 cm diameter version — for the smaller ones you’ll need to size it down.

This step took a good bit of patience but it’s worth to take your time and go wild on details.

IKEA PS 2014 Death Star lamp
IKEA PS 2014 Death Star lamp

Once you’re satisfied with the look of your pattern, you can paint a darker shade of paint over the whole ball.

Maria felt that black was too dark and sharp a contrast, so she mixed a darker grey colour from acrylic paint and a chalk paint. This gives it a not so glossy finish.

Paint the ball completely or work in segments — it all depends on your taste. Lastly, they peeled the masking tape not long after painting.

Make sure to press the tape down well before painting to avoid leaks and blotches. But even if you have some slight uneven lines — the end result will be great. The Death Star has so many little bits and dots, it will look like you wanted it this way 😉

The round weapon was painted by hand with a fine brush.

Hang it on your ceiling as instructed. You will need a hook for that. And enjoy your Death Star lamp. It’s awesome!

IKEA PS 2014 Death Star lamp
IKEA PS 2014 Death Star lamp

You can find the full tutorial on Instructables and more on my blog in German.

~ by Maria

#4 Want a Star?

I’ve converted an IKEA PS 2014 (35cm) lamp into a Death Star (Star Wars movie series), using acrylic colors, masking tape, and airbrush.

IKEA PS 2014 lamp hack
IKEA PS 2014 lamp hack

It took me approximately 20 hours to build, and it is my second build, as somebody has recently purchased my first one. I’ll be more than happy to build more lamps in the future for other people.

Updated: Sept 8, 2020

I took my IKEA PS 2014 Death Star Lamp builds to the next level. Now all the lamps are more detailed, shaded, and one step closer to look like a Death Star.

My latest build was a large 52cm version. It was fully custom-painted with a professional Harder & Steenbeck airbrush using different shading techniques to ensure the highest build quality and attention to detail. 

I’ve painted more than 15 lamps this year and I’ve had the privilege of selling them worldwide with a 100% customer satisfaction. If you would like to have one, feel free to contact me on [email protected]

Additional enhancements to your Death Star lamp

#1 Automate the opening and closing

Forget the pull-strings. Automate the opening and closing of the lamp via an infra-red remote control for the ultimate Death Star explosion. See how it’s done.

#2 Motion sensor lamp

Explode the lamp with a wave of your hand? No problem. Chase’s version of the PS 2014 lamp is activated by motion. View the tutorial.

Originally posted on April 27, 2020. Updated with new information.