How to Build a Lamp From Scratch – DIY

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How to build a lamp from scratch


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Our house needs more light and I like to read at night, so I needed a good light for my bedside. My bedside table is quite small and I couldn't find a lamp I both liked and that fit on it. So I decided to make my own!! It had to be quite small to fit the space available, but it also needed to have some weight, so I wouldn't be knocking it off the table all the time. Also, I was looking for something blue.

How to make a lamp from scratch - materials

The good news is I found just what I needed for the body of my lamp. It's really a glass lamp shade, but it is so beautiful I used it for the lamp itself. The photo above includes everything I used, save for two items. The first item is I switched out the small silver threaded pipe you see in the photo above for a longer brass colored one. I just found that I wanted a longer threaded pipe when I got right down to it. The second thing was I added a pad to attach to the bottom of the lamp to keep it from scratching my table. You can see both in the photos below.


Ok, so it's pretty straightforward. The main thing is to make sure your cord gets attached to the light socket properly and that everything you need the cord to pass through, before you tighten it all up, has passed through.

The cord that comes with the socket set at Lowe's has a nice feature (see first item in materials list above). If you look closely, it's made up of two insulated wires. One side of the cord has ridges on the insulation and the other is smooth. When you attach your wires to the socket, the ridged wire will attach to the neutral silver set screw side of the socket, and the smooth wire will attach to the common gold set screw side of the socket.

First make sure you have all the hardware you need so that your socket assembly will attach securely to the body of your lamp. For my lamp, this worked out well with a ring adapter that came with the blue base along with the socket set mentioned above, plus a long brass threaded pipe (see first line of materials list).

How to build a lamp from scratch stepsI started by separating the two wires a bit at the end opposite the plug, so that each wire could reach the set screw it needed to (1). Next, I carefully stripped back the insulation on each wire about 1/2 inch from the end to allow for easy wrapping of the wire end around the set screws (2). Then, I separated the socket assembly by removing the bottom cap and pushing out the socket-switch assembly to reveal the neutral and common set screws (3).

Here's where you need to make sure you pass your cord through all the parts necessary before attaching the wires to the socket. In the photos (4) & (5) above, I show both the top-outside and the bottom-inside views of the hardware. The top-outside view shows the bottom cap of the socket assembly standing ready for the rest of the socket. Just pass your bare wire ends of the cord up through the threaded pipe (5) and out the socket's bottom cap (6).

Next, remembering to look for which wire end has the ridges and which is smooth, wrap the ridged wire around the neutral, silver screw and the smooth wire around the common, gold screw. Remember to wrap the wire feeding from the left side, so when you tighten the screw to the right, it continues to wrap the wire in the same direction (7).

Once you've secured the wires to the set screws, push the wired socket back into the brass socket assembly and push the socket assembly securely into bottom cap that's already attached to your lamp body (4).

Lastly, after checking to make sure your light works, attach felt pad to the bottom of your lamp to protect your furniture and place your lampshade on top!



How to build a table lamp from scratch

Feeling like adding a little lighting inspiration to your life? Why not register for the Lowe’s Creative Ideas magazine? It’s free, is published every three months, comes directly to your home, and is full of creative ideas to inspire you. The Ideas Creativas Facebook page has lots of interesting projects, all in Spanish, too!

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Want even more great lighting ideas? Check out Lowe’s on PinterestLowe’s on Instagram, the Lowe’s Creative Ideas website or the Lowes Creative Ideas app for iOS, they are all loaded with bright ideas to inspire you.


Silvia Martinez
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