Scrap Wood Floor Lamp

I owe the creative mastermind of this project completely to Stacey’s tutorial at Not Just a Housewife.  A good friend of mine introduced me to Stacey’s blog last fall, and I became hooked.  And one of my most favorite projects of hers is this lamp.  So if you don’t already follow Not Just a Housewife, please do yourself a favor and take a look.  She is fabulous.

Evan built a bookcase for our bonus room this month (tutorial will follow shortly).  He used cull wood, which is considered damaged wood, so we had a ton of scrap lumber laying around the garage.  I had been wanting to build this lamp, so I was overjoyed, and couldn’t wait to get started!  I sorted out the scrap wood by what was still usable and what was not.  Then, I turned to my newest love, our miter saw, and started cutting the wood down to various sizes of small squares.

Math and I do not play nicely together, so it was wonderful to be able to saw away without measuring anything!  I did, however, make sure to cut one large square so it was approximately a foot in diameter, and limit the other squares to anything “smaller than that.” Yep, I’m being really precise here.

Using our cheapy Walmart floor lamp as a guide, I just kept making square after square and stacked them on top of one another until I reached the exact height I wanted.  
Once all of the wood was cut, Evan and I brought them all inside and took them upstairs to escape the cold garage.  We had a sanding party on top of plastic garbage bags while watching season two of How I Met Your Mother.  This resulted in an extremely dusty bonus room.  We definitely could’ve used our random orbital sander to sand all of the squares, but it was frigid that week and I am too much of a pansy to stand in the garage.

Let the sanding begin!

It took us several weeknights and additional episodes of Castle to finish sanding all of the pieces.  Our dogs helped by tracking sawdust everywhere.  It was a great bonding experience.

We later had an unseasonably warm weekend, so I laid out all of the squares in the garage and stained each side of them with the leftover Rustoleum’s Ultimate Wood Stain in Cabernet from our kitchen makeover.

Once all of the sides were dry, I drilled holes into the center of each one of them (again, without measuring) using a 3/8 bore bit in my power drill.
Talk about an arm workout.  I felt like Gumby afterward. 

The bottom piece of the lamp got a little different treatment.  I drilled a hole in the side of the board as far as it would go, and then drilled another hole to intersect it from the top (seen below).  Then, using a $10.00 lamp kit from Lowe’s, I strung the 12′ cord through these holes.

Here comes the most exciting part.  I busted out our new brad nailer, compressor, and some wood glue, and started stringing a random piece of wood onto the cord, gluing it down, and then shooting four or five nails into it.  I used 1 1/4″ brad nails to make sure that each square would be secure.

And then just had fun with building the lamp taller and taller, placing each piece crookedly on top of the others.  

I tried my best to use the larger pieces at the base and the smaller squares near the top.  I also tried to make the tower as straight as possible just by eyeballing it.  There are definitely a few curvy areas, but I think it adds more to its — as Evan calls it — “Seussian” characteristic.

I know you just love my sweatpants.

Once it was all constructed, we followed the pretty straightforward directions on the lamp kit to assemble the electrical part of the lamp.  I added a little painter’s caulk to the base of the finial to make sure it was sturdy.

Then we carefully carried the beast the floor lamp inside (it was heavy), added a red lampshade from Lowe’s, and gave it a new home in our living room.

I’m still uncertain on whether or not I’m completely in love with the lamp, but I can’t pass up a great opportunity to make something from scratch!  What are your thoughts?

10 thoughts on “Scrap Wood Floor Lamp”

  1. Love it, and so simple! I think I might have to make one, but I think I'll paint mine. Looks like a good excuse to use my Christmas present from “my biggest fan” last Christmas (a Laser Compound Miter Saw) Great Idea!


  2. Thank you!! I'm thinking about making a matching table lamp, as well. Yours will look FANTASTIC painted, and I love hearing about other women using power tools! A laser compound miter saw is pretty much the best invention ever. And a great stress reliever!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s