Have you ever visited Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground and
admired those wonderful lamp posts with the Mickey Mouse ears? Me too!
Many of the campers at Fort Wilderness proudly display them at their
When I fist saw one I was so taken with it that I asked the camper, “Where
do you buy them?” I was disappointed when he replied, “You can’t buy them;
you have to make them.”
But my wife Carol was determined to have one so she did a bit of online
exploring and soon found some rudimentary instructions. I assembled the
parts and started to build one. I was surprised at how easy it was!
It turned out quite well, so well in fact that several friends wanted me to
make them one too. I have now made a few dozen lamps and in the process I
have refined my technique. Here are some instructions which you can use to
make your own.
no true Disney fan should be without one!
All of your friends and neighbors already think that you’re a crazy Disney
nut . . . why not prove it to them by building one of these beauties!
All the parts you need are
available at Home Depot. If your local store doesn’t carry all the parts
you can easily order them online.
The parts to build a complete lamp (including the base
and smaller lights to illuminate the ears) will cost you about $150.00
Keep in mind I am not a certified or trained electrician and I am simply
offering the "how to" that worked for me. Your mileage may vary; use
caution, always, when building electrical lamps. Seek professional advice as
All those comments above, about the parts to build your lamp, are meant for
American residents. If you are Canadian, like me, you will probably
not find the acrylic globes you need, or the globe fitters in your Canadian
Home Depot store. I don't know why, but most stores in Canada do not
carry them. Fortunately I live close to the border and I can pick up
the parts I need at the closest Home Depot store in the USA.
All pricing is in US Dollars.
key parts are:
Westinghouse 12” White Acrylic Globe (NO neck flange)
Westinghouse 6” Opal Globe
(WITH neck flange)
Newport Coastal White Post Top Globe Fitter
online prices as of April 3, 2016
1: Build Mickey’s head
To do this you simply drill two 3 ¼ inch holes in the 12
inch globe and glue the 6 inch globes into these holes. Begin with the 12
inch globe. Apply masking tape across the top of the globe along the center
line in order to mark the centers for the holes needed to mount the smaller
globes. Draw a line at the “top dead center” of the lamp and then measure
down 4 inches on each side and make another mark. This will mark the
centers for each ear hole; the centers should be 8 inches apart.
Drill a small lead
hole for each ear and then use your electric drill and a 3 ¼ inch hole saw
to cut the ear holes. (If you don’t have a 3 ¼” hole saw you can buy one [$15.97 at Home Depot]
and the mandrel needed to attach it to your electric drill. Any employee at
Home Depot can find these tools for you.)
When you use the hole saw, keep it flat to the surface of the globe and keep
it moving at all times. If you stop the saw in the middle of the cut it may
jam and crack the globe.
Use light pressure, don't
press too hard.
I have found that the hole
saw melts it's way through as much as it cuts it's way through.
Just rub around the edges
with a file or sandpaper to remove any beads of melted acrylic and you're
ready to glue!
tape and glue the smaller globes into these holes, clamp until the glue is
LePage’s Flexible Plastic adhesive which is sold in Home Depot in Canada.
In the USA look for Loctite, it’s the same product.
Fitter attaches to the bottom of the 12” globe and holds the light bulb. It
is designed to clamp onto a standard 3 inch metal lamp post also sold at
Step 2: Illuminate the Ears
my last few lamps I have added smaller bulbs to illuminate the ears as well
as the larger globe.
with a piece of metal strapping, about 4 inches long.Bend about ¼ inch on each end so that the ends will create a
“friction grip” on the flange of the 6” globe which is now visible
inside the 12” globe.
2 of these pieces, one for each of Mickey’s ears.
a length of outdoor Christmas lights so that you have 2 socket and enough
cord on one end to attach a plug.Use
pop-rivets to attach each socket to one of the metal straps you just made.Attach a plug which will plug into the new white socket (pictured at
right) inside the globe.
assembly should look like this.
Here is a detailed look at the light socket riveted to
the strap. Note the 90 degree
bends in the ends of the strap which provide a “friction grip” on the
flanges of Mickey’s ears, inside the larger globe.Bend them to provide a snug fit and just press them on.
Inside the 12" globe - the strap
just slides onto the flange of the 6" globe.
Plug the smaller
lights into the globe fitter.
Attach Mickey’s head to a lamp post
order a 3 inch lamp post online from Home Depot (search #501817) for $58.90
but your local store probably carries them, along with the mounting bracket
(search #502211) for $14.36.
If you are going to permanently mount your
lamp on a patio or deck, these items are what you need. Just wire it up,
install it on your patio or deck and you are all done!
you have just built a Mickey Lamp – don’t you feel proud?
Need a portable lamp?
If you are
like me, and prefer to have your lamp more portable, the rest of these
instructions are for you!
I need to have one that comes
apart easily to store in the hatches under our RV. I use standard 2 inch
ABS pipe for the post but PVC pipe is very similar and works well too.
ABS or PVC is the pipe used by plumbers for household
drains and it’s available in any building products store. It’s light, easy
to work with and it doesn’t rattle in the RV. You need one piece of 2” ABS
or PVC pipe about 5 feet long and one coupler (that is the piece plumbers us to
glue two pieces of ABS or PVC pipe together). NOTE: You do not need
by getting the globe fitter ready to attach to the ABS pipe. First step:
Attach a standard plug to the globe fitter.
Now you need
to attach the ABS coupler to the globe fitter. Remove the three clamp
screws from the fitter:
ABS coupler in the hole on the bottom of the globe fitter (it’s a very
loose fit) and drill small lead holes through the holes where you removed
the clamp screws.
Use 1 inch screws to attach the coupler to the globe
fitter. You have simply swapped the small retaining screws for 1 inch
screws which hold the ABS coupler tightly in place.
This piece will now slide on
and off the ABS drain pipe which will be your post. This makes it easy to
take the lamp apart and move it. Do not use glue!
Now drill a ½ inch hole about a
foot from the bottom of the ABS pipe and feed a length of power cord up
through the pole. Add a female receptacle to the top end of the cord and a
male plug to the bottom.
Plug the fitter into the female
receptacle you just added to the top; slide the globe fitter onto your post
and install a 25 watt frosted light bulb. Place the globe on the fitter and
enjoy your lamp.
You will need to devise a base
for the lamp. I used a cast metal base for a patio umbrella (WalMart –
about $20.00). You simply use a chisel or hacksaw to knock off the nut
which holds the retaining bolt and the ABS post slides over the post on the
umbrella base. I paint it black to match the post and secure it with two
long bolts and wing nuts. Be sure that your base is heavy enough to prevent
your lamp from blowing over. The umbrella base has worked very well for me.
Christmas tree bases are not very reliable.
Would you like to
add a cross-bar to the post? A place to hand a flag, pennant or sign?
That's very easy to do . . . just cut a length of dowel (or a replacement
broom handle) to the length you want and drill an appropriately sized hole
through the ABS post. I use 3/4" dowel. Be very careful to keep the holes exactly even
so that your cross-bar will be level. Use a drill press if you can, or
measure very carefully!
Slide the dowel
through the two holes and add some decorative end caps. I use wooden
drawer pulls from Home Depot, the kind you find on the drawers in your
kitchen cupboards. Just screw one on each end of the dowel to add the
finishing touch to your cross-bar.
Some ingenious folks have used unique things to make a heavy base for their
lamp. My favorite so far is an old farmer’s milk can painted in
Mickey’s colors, red, black and yellow. It looks great!
If you are ordering online from Home Depot, here are some numbers and
descriptions which will help you locate what you need:
Online order –
Westinghouse 12” White Acrylic Globe $31.29
Online order –
Westinghouse 6 in. Handblown Opal Globe with neck $9.59
Online order –
Coastal White Post Top Globe Fitter $10.67
3” Steel Lamp
Online order – Item #202636904
Design House Black Lamp Post with Cross Arm $58.90
Online order – Item #
Design House Black Outdoor Lantern Pier Base $14.36
Shipping is usually
free if your order exceeds $45.00
ENJOY MAKING YOURS!
Above is a picture of my completed lamp.
Here's a YouTube video
our friends Cheryl and Katie produced for their vlog site after they watched me make a
I hope their video will help you put your Mickey lamp together!