How to Make (DIY) A Vintage Holga Camera Lamp


Besides the creation of f/POP this has got to be one of the coolest things I ever made. 

Old cameras are awesome. Vintage lamps are awesome. Add the two together and mind blown. 

I built this vintage camera lamp using a Holga and a cool Edison light bulb. I have some simple yet detailed instructions how I wired everything up where you can view them here (how to wire a light socket) and here (how to wire a plug). 

Did I mention I am no way qualified to be handling something electrical let alone teaching someone else how to do it?  Let's do this. 

What you'll Need

This reason why I chose a Holga camera to make this vintage camera lamp is because a) Holga's are cheap - for the most part b) they're all plastic - easy to cut, drill etc. c) there is alot of space in there to pass wires through. 

Start by removing the back of the camera. Inside there is a little square back that needs to be removed. All you do is pull it out. 

Next you want to take apart the film advance knob. Super easy. Just take some pliers and break off the back piece. 

Removing the top of the knob is just has easy. Take the little green thing in the electronics toolkit and pry from the bottom of the dial. Just pop right off. Now you have your opening for your shutter button switch. 

Step 2: Drill A Hole Through Holga Camera

You'll want to drill a 5/16'' whole through the entire length of the camera. The hole needs to be big enough for the lamp wire, tripod stand and light socket to fit through. 

Step 3: Unscrew Top Piece of Holga Camera

There are 3 tiny screws that connect the top piece to the main frame of the camera. 

Once you take off the film advance dial you'll see 2 screws. Unscrew those and also unscrew the third one on the other side of the camera. 

Don't loose those screws! 

The top may take a little pulling to get off. 

Clip the wires off on the inside just to make more room. Also, remove any of the dial that's inside. 

Step 4: Drill Hole for Shutter Button Switch

Use the 5/16'' drill bit for the button to fit through. The very top piece of the camera already has the correct size hole - no need to drill that. Score! 

Step 5: Cut away inside section for Button

These cameras are so cheaply made it's really easy to cut away sections. This totally works in our favor. 

Take your little saw and cut away a piece so that the push button has a little more room to fit in there. 

Step 6: Attach Push Button Switch

Attaching this button is pretty simple. Feed the button through hole and then take the nut and screw it together. Use your pliers to tighten down the nut. 

Step 7: Attach Tripod Mount

This is pretty simple too. The tripod is made for a lamp so it already has a whole where the cord can feed through and it has a mount for lamp. 

Undo the nut and feed button part of tripod in the bottom of the camera. (sidenote: I also use a washer on the tripod for added stabilization). 

Tighten the nut inside the camera onto the tripod. 

Step 8: Attach Outer Piece of Light Socket to Camera Top 

Don't worry just yet about wiring the light socket - that comes later! 

If you have an easier way to attach the light socket piece by all means do it. Here is how I did it. 

What you need is the light socket bottom piece and some  little lamp screw attachment things. You can buy this little packet at Ace Hardware. It basically acts like a bolt for the socket to screw on to. 

Place the empty bottom piece of the light socket on top of the very top part of  the Holga camera. 

Feed the nipple through the bottom and attach it but using the nut. 

Lamp Nipple...

Nipples and Nuts are what you need. Get these at Ace Hardware. 

Step 9: Attach Top Piece to Camera

Remember those 3 little screws I told you not to lose? You lost them didn't you? 

Use those screws to attach back on the top piece of the camera. 

Take the screwdriver from your electronic kit and use it to tighten down screws. 

Step 10: Feed Lamp Cord Through Light Socket, Camera and Tripod

By now your camera light should be taking shape. 

Next you'll want to take your vintage camera cord and feed it through the camera. 

Step 11: Wire the Light Socket (Please Review How to Wire Light Socket)

This is the hard part. Sort of. 

Here is a detailed post on how to wire a light socket. It's actually not as hard as you would think. 

Follow these steps and then come back to this post. Bye for now. Don't get shocked. See you in a flash.

Step 12: Wire Push Button Switch

The push button has two wires but you only attach to the HOT wire of the lamp cord (Please review HOT and NEUTRAL wires in this post).

With the lamp cord inside the camera. Cut the HOT wire.  Using your wire stripper tool

Attach the one end of the hot lamp cord wire to one end of the wire switch. Use wire butt to attach both wire together - using wire stripper tool. 

Do the same with the other end of the lamp hot wire to the other wire on the push button switch. 

Step 13: Wire the Plug  (Please review how to wire a plug)

More wiring - this is getting hard. 

You're almost ready to enjoy your lamp! Just a few more steps. 

If you wired your socket then wiring your plug will be a breeze. Just follow these steps

Step 14: Attach back of Holga, Add Bulb and Plug it in. 

Safety tip: Plug it in outside first just incase the whole thing explodes. I'd hate for glass to get in your cat's eye. 

Congrats! Now, crack open a beer with your f/POP and marvel at your lamp.