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How to Build a Lamp

by Jan Mh on February 19, 2015

How to Build a Lamp

Three Parts:PreparationSetupFinalization

Got an odd piece that you want to display, but aren't sure what to do with it? How about making a lamp? You can make lamps out of almost anything, and they provide decor and ambience, in addition to making great conversation pieces. If your craftsy side is feeling neglected and you want to spark it back into action, here's a perfect project for you.

Part 1 of 3: Preparation

  1. Build a Lamp Step 1 Version 3.jpg
    Find a base. The base for your lamp should be sturdy enough to stand on its own, even after you add lamp apparatus and a shade on top. If you have a hollow base that you need to stabilize, consider partially filling it with something like marbles or sand. Some ideas for lamp bases that you could use:
    • Wine bottles
    • Log or timber
    • Wooden pails or buckets
    • Toys or figurines
    • Hollowed-out books
  2. Build a Lamp Step 2 Version 3.jpg
    Buy a lamp kit. These can be found at most hardware stores. Note that it's possible to purchase the pieces separately, but buying them together will ensure a better fit. If you do buy the cord separately, choose a #18 size cord.
    • If you don't want to buy a lamp kit, and instead want to purchase the items separately, you'll need:
    • Detachable harp
    • Cord set
    • Push-through socket and socket shell
    • Finial
    • Assorted hardware, like nuts, bolts and washers
  3. Build a Lamp Step 3 Version 3.jpg
    Prepare the base for the rod. The rod is a hollow tube that will run the cord up through the bottom of your base to the lightbulb at the top. Depending on your base, you may have to drill or cut holes wide enough for the rod at the top and bottom of the lamp.
    • If necessary, you can trim the rod with a hacksaw or pipe cutters, but it's best (and easier) to choose a base that's fitted to your rod. Sawing your rod down to size is not ideal.
  4. Build a Lamp Step 4 Version 3.jpg
    Stabilize the bottom of the base. Your lamp kit might come with a piece meant to stabilize the bottom of your base. If it doesn't, simply purchase rubber stoppers. Affix these at intervals around the base to prevent sliding and lift the base slightly off the table, allowing room for the cord.

Part 2 of 3: Setup