How to make a lamp

This is a sponsored post; MD Building Products provided the metal sheeting used for this project.

Yup – I actually learned how to make a lamp this past weekend and it is SO SIMPLE!

You could make a lamp out of just about anything, all you need is this little lamp kit.

I had a vision in mind though; we have a huge sofa, and behind it we have a huge, but not-quite-as-tall sofa table, so I wanted something with some size to fill the space, bring in some light for the dark and dreary winter months ahead and be decorative.

Easy enough right?

Now try to accomplish all that on a budget.

Not so easy anymore.

I am fortunate to have worked with MD Building Products in the past for this and this decorative tray I made, so I approached them again to see if they would be interested in partnering on my gorgeous new table lamps.

Look what they sent me!

MD Building Products, metal sheets, decorative metal sheets, sheet metal

 

Easy to cut, form and fabricate. Aluminum material will not rust or corrode. Perforated, decorative design is great for door and window security, plumbing, heating and ventilation projects, radiator heater enclosures, craft and hobby projects, room dividers, cabinet ventilation and more. Recommended for indoor or outdoor uses.

MD Building Products, metal sheets, decorative metal sheets, sheet metal

Gorgeous!

The sheet metal comes in dozens of styles and several different finishes including copper and gold – but I wanted to go with the pewter to match the rest of my family room decor.

How to make a lamp:

  1.  Decide on the diameter of the lamp you wand and cut circles from scrap wood.  For my purposes, I wanted large lamps, so I cut 8 ¼” circles from ¾” MDF for the base and ½” plywood for the top.  You can trace a paint can or Tupperware bowl to get your circle
  2. Cut your circles out with a jigsaw.

How to make a lamp, make your own lamp, decorative metal lamp, pewter lamps, DIY lamps, MD Building Products

3.  Drill a 5/8″ hole through the centre of the circles – this should be big enough for your lamp pipe.

4.  Prime and paint – top, bottom and edges.  MDF absorbs moisture like a sponge, so priming first is very important to get a nice finish.

How to make a lamp, make your own lamp, decorative metal lamp, pewter lamps, DIY lamps, MD Building Products

5.  Now it’s time to decide on the height of your lamp – do you want a large statement piece or a little stubby one to decorate your desk?  Once you’ve decided, the next step is to cut your sheet metal with tin snips to the height you want.  Ours measured 17 ½” tall.

How to make a lamp, make your own lamp, decorative metal lamp, pewter lamps, DIY lamps, MD Building Products

6. Loosely wrap the sheet metal around your wood base and mark a point 1″ – 2″ into the overlap.  If you are lucky, the metal pattern will line up and your overlap will be negligible.  If not, don’t worry – the overlap will be at the back of your lamp so you will be the only one that knows it’s there.  Cut away the excess metal with your tin snips.

7.  Wrap the sheet metal tightly around your base and tie the two sides together using floral wire twisted tightly in 3-4 areas.

8.  One of the (many) perks of the MD Building Products decorative sheet metal is that it is rigid enough to stand straight, but soft enough that you can tap tiny finishing nails through it.  The next step in ‘how to make a lamp’ is to attach the metal to both the wood base and top using ½” finishing nails.

How to make a lamp, make your own lamp, decorative metal lamp, pewter lamps, DIY lamps, MD Building Products

9.  You will need a threaded lamp pipe for the centre of your lamp – one that will allow the lamp cord to thread through the centre of it.  We found ours at Home Depot, but they are also available online.  Cut this post to about 3″ taller than your lamp frame.  This will allow you to screw the post into the base of the lamp and have enough extra for the knob section.  Ours measured 19″.

10.  Insert your post into your lamp frame and then thread it with the cord from the lamp kit.

11.  Attach the wiring from the cord to the knob section and tighten with a screwdriver.

How to make a lamp, make your own lamp, decorative metal lamp, pewter lamps, DIY lamps, MD Building Products

12.  Click your knob section back together and add a lightbulb.  Taaadaaaaa!

How to make a lamp, make your own lamp, decorative metal lamp, pewter lamps, DIY lamps, MD Building Products

Isn’t she purdy?

I snuck out to Walmart and HomeSense and picked up a couple of shades to see which I liked better.

How to make a lamp, make your own lamp, decorative metal lamp, pewter lamps, DIY lamps, MD Building Products

Which brings me to a tip; this is a DIY on how to make a lamp, so I wanted the build portion of this to be inexpensive…

however

cheap lampshades actually block light (you’ll see in the photos below).  Light is reflected out of the top of the lamp and the bottom, but very little comes through the shade itself.  Both of these shades were $25 Cdn and neither lets much light through the shade itself. (which might be a good thing to reduce reflection on a television screen?)

How to make a lamp, make your own lamp, decorative metal lamp, pewter lamps, DIY lamps, MD Building Products

If you want more light to be reflected into your room you will have to bite the bullet and pay for the “fancy” lamp shades at a lighting store – which can run you from $35 to over $120 per shade.

Alternatively – and much less expensive than either option above – would be to purchase your shades at a thrift store.

Our lamps are in our family (TV) room, so the less expensive shades were sufficient.

How to make a lamp, make your own lamp, decorative metal lamp, pewter lamps, DIY lamps, MD Building Products

How to make a lamp, make your own lamp, decorative metal lamp, pewter lamps, DIY lamps, MD Building Products

They are PERFECT!  The overall height, including the shade is 32″.

The lamp kits I purchased were three-way, so (if you buy three-way bulbs) you can brighten your room to low, medium and BRIGHT.

How to make a lamp, make your own lamp, decorative metal lamp, pewter lamps, DIY lamps, MD Building Products

How to make a lamp, make your own lamp, decorative metal lamp, pewter lamps, DIY lamps, MD Building Products

These are the perfect size to show above our sofa and make a statement.

How to make a lamp, make your own lamp, decorative metal lamp, pewter lamps, DIY lamps, MD Building Products

How to make a lamp, make your own lamp, decorative metal lamp, pewter lamps, DIY lamps, MD Building Products

How to make a lamp, make your own lamp, decorative metal lamp, pewter lamps, DIY lamps, MD Building Products

How to make a lamp costs:

  • 0.20 aluminum sheet size 2′ by 3′   $19.98
  • threaded lamp pipe  $7.27
  • lamp kit   $7.97
  • wood base  $0  (scrap wood)
  • lamp shade  $24.99
  • Total:  $60.21 per lamp

Compared to $150 AND UP for a lamp this size!

Score!

How to make a lamp, make your own lamp, decorative metal lamp, pewter lamps, DIY lamps, MD Building Products

There’s a very good chance you’ll see more lamps coming soon – I’m envisioning a solid copper base next time!
How to make a lamp, make your own lamp, decorative metal lamp, pewter lamps, DIY lamps, MD Building Products

 


Have a great one!

 

This post is sponsored by M-D Building Products. I was provided with sheet metal and tools to help spread the word about M-D Building Products’ portfolio of decorative aluminum sheets. 100Things2Do.ca only shares information I feel is relevant to my readers. All opinions expressed are sincere and my own. M-D Building Products is not responsible for the dialogue of this article.

 

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2018-06-18T13:39:00-04:00October 23rd, 2017|BUILD IT, DECOR|4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Katherine October 24, 2017 at 6:54 am - Reply

    What an awesome project! Lamps look great!

    • Shelly @ 100Things2Do.ca November 10, 2017 at 7:20 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much (buffing fingernails on shoulder) – I was pretty shocked at how easy it was (pun intended). lol

  2. Linda Crerar October 24, 2017 at 7:57 am - Reply

    Beautiful. This is going on my To Do List for sure!

    • Shelly @ 100Things2Do.ca November 10, 2017 at 7:19 pm - Reply

      M-D Building products also makes a gorgeous copper-look aluminum sheet – I may have to make a few more myself! Send me photos, I’d love to see what you come up with!

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