Telephone Book Graffiti Lamp

telephone book graffiti lamp

I’ve been wanting to make this graffiti lamp for a while using telephone book pages. I don’t know about you, but I always get these books laying on my doorstep and honestly, I never use phonebooks anymore. I really don’t think a lot of people do!

I created a new lampshade for my studio in this very easy DIY lamp project. It’s really easy and took me a couple hours to complete (I heart crafts you can do in an evening!!!)

And look, I’m somehow on trend. Have you see Lady Gaga’s Telephone video?? She’s so inventive and bizarre!!!

Anyway, here are the instructions for the lamp!

Telephone Book Graffiti Lamp

Tulip® Fabric Spray Paint in orange and black
Tulip® Fashion Graffiti™ paint taggers
Aleene’s Tacky Glue
– yellow acrylic paint
– lampshade
– phonebook
– ruler
– X-acto knife
– cutting mat
– foam brushes
– stencils/stickers (I used Tim Holtz masks and large and small vinyl stickers)
– paper towels
– acrylic spray sealer


1. Rip out phone book pages. I didn’t want my pages to align perfectly, so I cut them at a diagonal using X-acto and ruler on mat. I did this so that I could create a straight edge to align with the top of my lampshade border.
cut white pages

2. Rip apart page as desired.
rip white pages apart

3. Slightly water down acrylic paint so that it is slightly transparent.
paint with acrylic paint

4. Spray with fabric spray for a cool spattered effect. Set aside and let dry.
spray with fashion spray

5. Once phone book pages are dry, water down (slightly) the Tacky glue and spread all over back of each piece covering entire back. Place on lamp, aligning, and then collaging in all the rest of the areas until totally covered. Spread evenly and smooth as you apply to prevent air bubbles.
glue on lamp

6. Spritz entire lamp share with black fabric spray. I liked doing small squirts so that it would create a dripped effect.
spray with black spray

7. Lay down stickers/stencils and cover over top with various paints and sprays. I actually just used my finger to spread the paints around. I just played different colors/textures until I was happy with the end result.
go over letters with taggers

8.Clean up any messy areas or edges with paper towels. Let dry.

8. Seal with an acrylic sealer.

Here’s a detail with it illuminated…

detail light on

And here’s a detail of it with the light off…

And here it is on my new desk.

lamp on desk

Hope you enjoy this little project!!!

Until next time Swellions!



  1. says

    Thanks for another inspiring post. I just wrote a blog entry about that Lady Gaga video. It’s just too much fun to ignore.

    BTW- I use my phone book as a pad to glue things on or paint things on. I always have hundreds of pages that have no meaning to me and I can let the glue go over the edge or the paint splatter. In fact, some of the paint splattered phone book pages have made it into collages.

  2. says

    That is fantastic! I can’t stand those phone books just hanging around. Even more a cool lamp shade is always appreciated. I know just the shade to use. Can’t wait. Congrats on finishing your photo commitment. I think I lasted 4 days when I tried to get the girls to agree to a project.

  3. says

    Thanks Mel! It was fun to make.

    Thank you Mim – that’s a great tip!

    Rollerwriter – Yeah, it’s a touch commitment, but I’m glad I did it!

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