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Help on making a puffer fish lamp needed

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Anyone know how to make these? I'd like to make a simple one that hangs from the ceiling. Mahalo for the help.

[ Edited by: TikiStitch on 2003-02-12 00:14 ]


I bought a large one at Oceanic Arts, but they're really not hard to make.

First, get a big pufferfish, say at least a diameter of 12". Buy a swag lamp kit. Cut a section out of the top of the deceased puffer fish, mount the lamp in the fish using the hardware in the kit.

You may have to rig it a bit, but it's not too difficult.

I found a night light-sized socket and plug at the the dollar store for (you'll have to guess how much money). I clipped some of the spines off the top of the fish using wire cutters, then drilled a 1.5 inch diameter hole in the top using a key hole bit. It took about an hour to pull all of the stuffing out of the inside (important to remove so it doesn't catch on fire). The night light had clips on it, so I just inserted those into the hole I had cut and that was it. The skin of the fish is surprisingly hard, so I didn't need a trim ring. It's a fairly easy process, but watch out for those spines.


Most important is a low watt bulb. 7.5 watts tops. You don't want much heat.

Depending on what you want to go through, you might head down to your friendly Radio Shack store and ask their help. Or maybe even a hobby shop that specializes in miniature train sets. Either should be able to steer you to a very small LED and wiring set up that will give you a much smaller wire needed, and a tiny, cool bulb. This helps when you want to hide your wire better, and should mean a tiny hole required, and perhaps a dimmer will be easy add, plus, whatever power source you use will drive several of these things to go to your floats and other interesting places. I'd say you can even get some colors too.

I have not wired mine, but this is my plan when I do.

Yeah, 7.5 watts like Swanky says. That's the wattage of a night light bulb and they come in different colors.

Hey, thanks for the help guys. Hopefully I can pull this off. I'll be sure to post pics when i'm done. Mahalo tiki friends.

P.S I'm going to buy the puffer fish from Bosko, is this the best place to buy?

[ Edited by: TikiStitch on 2003-02-12 21:57 ]

I wish I could remember the website, but do some searches and you could find the deal I found from a Filipino website...I got a two foot puffer for $25...Good luck.

Come on Chef, where did you get your puffer?
Think, think, think,
Anybody and everybody where is the best place to buy a puffer?
And thank you in advance.
No puffer jokes (BONG)


Try the Shell Man:


I think they may have a $50 online minimum, but it still may prove cheaper than other sources. Why not buy 2 or 3 puffers!?

If you ever get to the Keys, or better yet, Key West, puffers are all over the place (dead ones that is).


There's a seller on eBay named "[email protected]" who makes and sells beautiful pufferfish and parrotfish lamps. I've bought quite a few and I know other TC'ers have as well, and we can all vouch for the quality of his stuff. He ships out of Thailand, so they can take a while to get here, but at under $50 bucks for 3 pre-made different colored puffers, it's worth the wait! Unfortunately, it doesn't look like he has any up for sale right now, but you may want to check back every so often...

Just sent an email to supalerk...hopefully he has some more left, they look beautiful. Crossing fingers. Thanks for the info.


[ Edited by: TikiStitch on 2003-02-14 00:12 ]

Actually, Kentiki told me how to make my lamp. Thanks Ken.


Hey Geoff! No problem bradda. They're easy to do, just gotta watch out for the spines gettin into your fingers. Those little puffers are tough!

Happy Valentine's day to you and your Wahine Marian, and happy Mystery Drink bowl to ya ; )

Noooooo, I want to live! EEEeeeeeeeeeh!


Here's the thing to do. Go to Lowes and find where they keep the lamp parts, sockets, harps, etc., and look for this:

Out of the package it looks like this:

You carefully cut a 1 inch hole in the puffer, and add a small Xmas light/night light bulb to your fixture. You squeaze the tangs and put the socket partially in the fish, so the fish hide is in the groove, as in this picture with cardboard:

And from the inside, you won't have the hot bulb near anything. Very easy.

Then figure out how to hang the thing, which you already should have accounted for.

The Swank Pad Broadcast - If it's Swank...

[ Edited by: Swanky on 2003-02-19 16:13 ]

And make sure you lay your project out on George Cate's "Polynesian Percussion", right? :)

Cool beans! Thanks for the pics Swank!

[ Edited by: TikiStitch on 2003-02-19 21:12 ]


And here is the big mutha I am about to convert to lamp status! I had to show him off. Trader Vic's paddle swizzle show for size.

He's about 30 years old I am told. Can't wait!

I gotta fish too, maybe I should look into this...

Swanky posted on Sat, Mar 1, 2003 9:47 PM

Finished him tonight.

Swank, you're a tiki rockstar. =)

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