do it yourself modern design on a budget - eco friendly
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I needed some hanging lamps for my basement so instead of buying them, I decided to make them.  I can’t pass up an opportunity to eschew real life and hide in a craft project.


A while back I picked up a bunch of furniture feet from a thrift store that is located near some furniture manufacturers in North Carolina.  I guess they were rejects for some reason and I got them each for .50 cents.  I’ve made a few other things with them but maybe not good enough to blog about (we will see how desperate I get for new material).


Lamp Parts



  • wooden blocks or furniture feet (whatever you can get your hands on cheaply)
  • cord kit (or parts: cord, socket capable of holding either uno or spider shade, plug, switch)
  • paint
  • lamp shade (or parts to make one: fabric or paper and wire frame with uno or spider)
  • glue (titebond is a good brand)
  • screws (large-2″ and small – 1″, drywall screws are easiest to work with)
  • large cuphook and anchors if necessary
  • brass ring
  • small piece of brass sheeting


  • drill (heavy duty – not small cordless screwdriver)
  • spade bits – 3/8″ and 1 1/4″ (or whatever size fits the plug), if you are assembling cord kit just a 1/4″ and 3/8″
  • paint brush
  • chisel

How I made them:

  1. I first removed the bolts and the sliders with pliers and a little crowbar.
  2. I drilled holes big enough for the plug end of my cord kit in the feet that were being used for the top and bottom of the lamps.
  3. I made a groove for the cord in the top back of the bottom foot and the bottom back of the top foot.  (I should have done more detailed picks and will do in the future – sorry about that)
  4. I then fed the cord through the bottom foot and clamped it in my vise making sure it was level and plumb.
  5. I bent the cord into the groove on the top of the bottom foot and applied glue liberally then used a 3/8 spade bit to countersink holes to screw the second foot to the bottom foot so as to hold the cord down in the groove.
  6. I glued and stacked each foot carefully and pressed down to get good adhesion until I got to the top foot.
  7. I then fed the cord through the top foot from the bottom up and bent the cord into the groove I made earlier.  I waited to glue and screw the top foot until all the other glue had set ( a couple of hours to be on the safe side since I wasn’t clamping the parts together)
  8. Once set, I again used 3/8 spade bit to countersink screws to attach the top foot to the next one down.
  9. I pulled cord to make sure the ballast was as close to the bottom foot as it would go without being knocked crooked.
  10. I used snips to cut a strip of brass sheeting to about 3″ by 1″ and then drilled 2 holes in either end of the strip.
  11. I put the strap through a brass loop and then screwed to the top of the lamp making sure to think about the direction of the hook I would use on the ceiling to hold the lamp so that the exposed cord would end up facing the wall.
  12. I painted the lamp with a sample purchased from Lowe’s but was a color match to Benjamin Moore – Citrus Burst.
  13. I hung large cup hooks in ceiling and mounted lamp and then added my shade to the light kit that was made to hold a standard spider lamp shade (not uno) – the shades were ones I had made years ago out of linen and I had a blacksmith make the square spider but you can get about the same look by stripping a round shade and using just the top spider to hang a linen cloth shade that you sew to fit.  I will do a tutorial on the lamp shade in a later blog post.


modern diy lamp

only 2 coats of paint here (needed 4)


** If I were to do this again and not in such a hurry (tried to get it done in time for my daughter’s birthday for her room redo) I would order the lamp parts separately instead of buying already put together from Lowe’s, so that I could have easily drilled holes in each foot for the small cord using a 1/4″ bit instead of the 1 1/4″ bit needed to make room for the plug.  This way the cord would be hidden the whole way up.


They turned out to be pretty fun, an almost cartoon like version of the delicate ones I’ve seen on pinterest and etsy.  They are a bit wabi sabi which is how everything I build turns out.   I prefer things pre-defective, that way I’m not sad when they acquire new defects that are unavoidable in my house.

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