If you saw our last post about nursery inspiration, you’ll remember the mood board I made for Baby #2’s nursery. Gracing this mood board was an exceptionally beautiful tripod lamp from Target. It was everything I wanted except for the fact that it was expensive… too expensive for our nursery budget. I mean- it was almost 2/3 the price of the double dresser we ordered! But still, I couldn’t find another lamp that I liked because my heart remained elsewhere (dramatic, I know, but let’s blame it on pregnancy brain).
So, with my limited woodworking knowledge and protractor in hand (because, you see, I couldn’t fall in love with a single leg lamp- it had to have multi-level tripod legs), I set out to build it myself! Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot of content on the internet regarding DIY floor lamps. I did find an old video from “Rachael Ray” showing how to make a lamp out of a vase, so that was all the encouragement I needed. Now that I’ve figured it out, I’m here to share my plans with you! And, as always, I’ll include a cost break down at the end (spoiler alert: we spent way less than HALF the price of the original lamp!!!).
| S U P P L I E S |
- GE 3-Way Lamp Kit
- 6 inch lamp nipples
- 3- 2×2 pine boards @ 8′
- 17 in. white fabric shade
- Measuring tape
- Miter saw
- Kreg jig
- 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws
- Wood glue
I started with this GE lamp kit from Home Depot (shown above). There are all kinds of different lamp kits, but I liked the brass finish of this one and I think having a 3-way lamp is really handy for nursery lighting. This kit is designed for repairing an existing lamp, so I had to figure how to to apply it to my design along the way.
We also picked up three 2 inch x 2 inch, 8 foot long pine boards from Home Depot. I decided to go with a more expensive board because of its sharp, square edges and smooth finish- so important to achieving the same feel as the original lamp.
Speaking of the original, it has three L-shaped legs that meet in the middle in a stack. So I took some measurements of the tripod lamp we have in C’s bedroom to get a good idea of what the longest leg length would be but that still didn’t account for the height difference that would come with the other two legs. Long story (and I mean looong, super math-y story) short, I came up with these pretty precise angles and lengths!
Once we had all of the cuts, we stacked the three short pieces and drilled a hole down through the 90° ends of the short pieces with a 13/32″ bit to make a hole just large enough to fit the 1/8 IP lamp nipple (this is a standard measurement for lamp hardware) through the center.
Tyler helped me hold up the pieces to make sure they all lined up correctly before we fastened them together. The angles can be a bit confusing, but the 8° mitered ends meet together to at the corner of the “L” to make a smooth edge. (See the diagram above again if you’re like “What the heck are you talking about??”
The first step in fastening was drilling a few 1 1/2″ pocket holes with our Kreg jig.
Then I applied some wood glue between the pieces, clamped, and used 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws to fasten them together!
Finally, we stacked the three legs and threaded the 6″ lamp nipple up through the holes on the short piece!
I used the lock nut from the lamp kit to secure the bottom of the nipple and the decorative neck to secure the top. See the fancy diagram below… My nerdiness is showing…
Once the tripod legs were all set up, we were able follow the rest of the instructions on the lamp kit to set up the socket! (Make sure the cord is unplugged and follow every step to set up the wiring. Tyler has some background in electrical engineering, so we were pretty confident about this step! It’s not hard but it is important to do it correctly for safety reasons!)
Throw in an LED bulb and an extra large 17 inch lamp shade from Allen + Roth and a floor lamp is born!!! *tears of joy*
Here she is all set up in her temporary corner while we finish painting the nursery!
Depending on where the lamp sits in the nursery, we may have to lengthen the 8 foot cord a bit. I would also like to mention that you could add some wood plugs to the pocket holes for a more finished look, but we haven’t bothered to do that yet. I’m just in awe of her glory and really happy with the way it turned out! Here’s an awkward picture of me trying to figure out how to pose with a lamp. If it’s too painful to look at just keep scrolling lol.
Apparently posing with lamps is just not in our family genes. This is why we’ll never be Instagram models.
**UPDATE JULY 2020**
Tripod lamp is now living in the nursery and brings such a fun element to the room that no average floor lamp could bring!
Just to jog your memory, here is the original lamp compared to our DIY version.
As promised, here is the cost breakdown of our DIY floor lamp!
|GE 3-Way Lamp Kit
|6 inch Lamp Nipples (2 pk)
|3- 2 in. x 2 in. x 8 ft. Pine Boards ($10.47/ea)
|17 in. White Fabric Shade
Compared to the original price tag of $189.99, I would say this was a win for our budget! As I mentioned, Tyler’s working on the second coat of paint in the nursery right now while I put together some other DIY decor pieces! The basement patio door is still on the agenda… We like to stay busy around here! Thanks for stopping by!