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How to Make a Lamp You Love

How to Make a Lamp Using Anything as a Base

If you’ve never made your own lamp before, it might seem like a daunting prospect. This is completely understandable. There are sockets and wires and electricity, so being a little nervous is totally normal. But let me assure you that making your own lamp from scratch is actually a simple and safe project - as long as you do it correctly.

 

What are the benefits of making your own lamp?

Beautiful designer lamps can cost hundreds of dollars. With a DIY kit, you'll be able to make a beautiful, quality lamp for a fraction of the cost. You'll also be able to perfectly match your lamp to your own style and decor needs. We all have different taste - don't settle for a generic lamp. Make a lamp you love!

Follow along in the videos below as I go through the the individual components that make up a lamp and how to wire a lamp from scratch. Or keep scrolling down for step-by-step instructions on how to make a table or floor lamp, using pretty much anything as a base. And when you’re done, you’ll never think of wiring a lamp as a scary project ever again!

 

The Anatomy of a Lamp

 

How to Wire a Socket

 

Ready to make a lamp you love?

Our DIY Electrical Lamp Kits contain high quality UL-listed electrical components and detailed instructions to walk you through each step of the process.  

Customize your new lamp with the right hardware finish and cord color to suit your project's needs.

We carry the following combinations:

  • Nickel plated finish with a translucent silver-toned cord
  • Nickel plated finish with an opaque black cord
  • Polished brass plated finish with a translucent gold-toned cord
  • Polished brass plated finish with an opaque brown cord
  • Antique brass plated finish with an opaque brown cord

 

How Do You Make a Lamp Using Anything as a Base?

 

MATERIALS NEEDED:

  • An item to use as your lamp base, ie: wood, old books, a globe - your own imagination is the limit here.

  • Screwdriver

  • Drill and a ⅜ inch drill bit (depending on our lamp base, you may not need to drill a hole)
  • An I Like That Lamp DIY Lamp Making Kit

 

Step One: Determine where and how the nipple will be installed on your lamp base. If you’re drilling your own hole, create one that has a ⅜ inch outside diameter. Next, insert the nipple.

 

Step Two: Thread the knurl washer onto the nipple and tighten it until ¼ inch of the nipple extends beyond the top of the lamp base.

Note: If you’re using a glass or ceramic base, use the rubber washer under the nut to prevent it from damaging the base.

 

Step Three:  Loosen the set screw on the socket base. Thread the socket base on the nipple until it’s secure. Then tighten the nut on the other end.

Note: If you’ll be using a lamp harp to attach your lampshade afterwards, insert the saddle piece of the harp prior to the socket. Lamp Harps are available in our store.

 

Step Four: Determine where the cord will exit the lamp base. You may have to drill a new hole. Then thread the lamp cord into the exit hole, through the nipple and socket base.

Note: To prevent the cord from fraying, install the black bushing in the cord exit hole.

 

Step Five: Pull the two wires until they’re 5 inches apart. Tie an underwriter’s knot, as in the diagram to the left.

 

Step Six: Loosen the terminal screws in the socket terminal. Identify the neutral wire by looking for the ridge or ribbing on the insulation. Connect this to the silver screw by positioning the copper wires under the head of the terminal screw in a clockwise direction. Then connect the other wire (the one that has a smooth coating on the insulation) to the brass screw).

 

 

Step Seven: Tighten the terminal screws, ensuring that all wires are under the screw head so that the wire holds firmly in place.

 

 

Step Eight: Gently pull the cord back into the lamp so the underwriter’s knot tightens and the socket terminal sits snug inside the socket base.

 

Step Nine: Place the socket shell with its cardboard liner over the socket base. Snap the exterior shell onto the base by gently rocking it back and forth. A click or two will signal that the shell is locked in place.


Step Ten: Plug in your working lamp, and enjoy!

 

Now that you have a working lamp, why not spice it up a bit?!

Make your own custom lampshade, add a colored cord, or top it off with a paintable wooden finial. Visit our store to find additional items to upgrade your lamp with!

 


How to Make a Concrete Lamp


Lighting is the best element for pulling a space together and giving a room a bit more dimension and personality. A concrete base lamp is the perfect accent piece for achieving a modern chic or industrial vibe, and making one is a simple enough DIY project that even a novice maker can tackle with ease. Keep reading to find out exactly how to make a beautiful DIY concrete table lamp for your home in just a few easy steps.





  Estimated Project Time  

45 minutes to make the lamp + 1 day of drying time




Here's What You'll Need

What You'll Need:

  • Lamp Making Kit
  • Empty + Clean Milk Carton
  • 1/2 a Bag of Concrete or Mortar Mix
  • Mixing Bowl + Spoon
  • Utility Knife
  • Painter's or Electrical Tape
  • Plastic Plumbing Piping
  • A Marker



Step-by-Step Instructions

  STEP ONE  

Assemble your plastic pipes into an "L" shape. This will allow the lamp cord to run through your concrete base.


  STEP TWO  

Determine where you're going to position your plastic pipe in your milk carton.


  STEP THREE  

Draw a circle around the tip of your plastic pipe at the exit point.


  STEP FOUR  

Using a utility knife, cut out the circle you just drew, as well as the top half of the milk carton.


  STEP FIVE  

Position your plastic pipe inside of your milk carton.


  STEP SIX  

Using painter's tape, tape around the plastic pipe so that your concrete or mortar mix doesn't seep through the edges.


  STEP SEVEN  

Following the instructions on your concrete or mortar mix package, add the recommended amount of water to your powder and mix it together.


  STEP EIGHT  

Add your mixed concrete to your milk carton, leaving a 1/4" of space above the plastic pipe.


  STEP NINE  

Tape your milk carton so that the sides are flush straight to one another, then using your spoon, smooth off the top of your concrete. Allow your concrete lamp base to dry. This can take up to 24 hours depending on the type of mix you used.


  STEP TEN  

Remove your milk carton and tape, then push the ends of your lamp cord through the bottom of the base and up through the top of the plastic pipe.


  STEP ELEVEN  

Add the bottom of your lamp wiring kit's socket base through the cord and wire your lamp socket. We have a great tutorial on how to safely wire a lamp socket.

 

Add your light bulb, plug in your lamp + enjoy!

 

Are you ready to make a unique lampshade using your fave fabric?

 

Our Beginner Friendly Lamp Making Kits include everything you need to make a brand new lamp or to repair an old and broken one, including all of the following supplies:

- 8 or 12 Foot Lamp Cord

- 4 Piece Socket Set With Standard Off/On Knob

- Rubber, Knurl and Metal Washers

- Black Bushing

- 4 x Lockwashers

- 2 x Locknuts

- 2 1/2″ Nipple

- Detailed Instructions on how to wire your lamp socket