Kids Can Build: DIY Modern Floor Lamp

Build this super-simple floor lamp then make it bold by customizing the lampshade.

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Photo by: DAN WHITEHEAD

DAN WHITEHEAD

This project is perfect for the beginner woodworker. It uses just one size of lumber and employes simple cuts and joinery. We did not paint or stain our lamp, but you can take yours to the next level by painting it a bold color.

Watch how it's done. 06:19

Add light to any kids' space with this fun and personalized DIY floor lamp.

Photo by: DAN WHITEHEAD

DAN WHITEHEAD

Tools and Materials

  • (3) 1x2 x8’
  • wood glue
  • miter saw
  • drill
  • 1/16” drill bit
  • Robertson drill bit
  • 2” wood screws
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • wood filler
  • putty knife
  • 3 small trigger clamps
  • measuring tape
  • safety glasses
  • brad nailer with 1-½” nails
  • decoupage medium
  • large pendant drum shade
  • sponge or cloth
  • 1 to 1-½ yards cotton fabric
  • scissors
  • (1) 1-½” brass plated cup hook
  • plug-in pendant light with LED bulb

Cut List:

  • (2) 1x2 @ 62” (PIECE A and B)
  • (4) 1x2 @ 18” (PIECE C, D, E, and F)
  • (2) 1x2 @ 24” (PIECE G and H)
  • (1) 1x2 @ 22-1/2 (PIECE I)
  • (1) 1x2 @ 25” (PIECE J)

Step 1: Cut Support Arm

Cut both ends of the 25” 1x2 [Piece J] at 45 degrees using a miter saw. Safety first, don’t forget to wear safety glasses before you begin.

Step 2: Assemble Post

Apply wood glue along the flat side of Piece A and marry it to Piece B. Use three small trigger clamps to hold the two pieces together. If any wood glue pushes out from the seams, simply wipe it off with a wet cloth. Set aside and let dry.

Step 3: Build Base

Lay the four 18” pieces [C,D,E,F] vertically beside each other. Lay the two 24” pieces [G,H] on each side (top and bottom) of the vertical pieces. Space out the 18” pieces evenly across the two 24” pieces, you should have six inches of space between each. Secure all the pieces together using wood glue and 2” wood screws.

NOTE: We used self-tapping screws. If you plan to use regular wood screws, make sure to pre-drill the holes to avoid splitting the wood; use a drill bit slightly smaller than your screw.

Step 4: Wood Filler

Hide the screw holes and imperfections by applying wood filler. This will help make your piece feel uniform and polished. Let the wood filler dry.

Step 5: Sanding

Photo by: DAN WHITEHEAD

DAN WHITEHEAD

When the wood filler is dry, sand the wood using 220-grit sandpaper to remove any rough edges and excess wood filler.

Step 6: Attach Post to Base

Line up the lamp post to the middle of the base and secure them together from the bottom using wood glue and two 2” wood screws.

Step 7: Attach Support Brace

Place Piece J at an angle so that it connects the post to the front of the base. The two mitered ends should allow the piece to lay flush with the boards. Secure the support brace using a brad nailer and 1-1/2” brad nails. If you don’t own a brad nailer, use a hammer and nails.

Step 8: Add Hook to Hanging Arm

On the 22-1/2” board [Piece I], pre-drill a small hole about two inches from one end using a 1/16” bit. You don't need to drill all the way through, just enough to provide the brass cup hook a starter hole. Make sure you leave about two inches of space from end of the board to the hook.

Step 9: Attach Arm

Photo by: DAN WHITEHEAD

DAN WHITEHEAD

Attach the hanging arm to the top of your lamp post using two 2” wood screws. Leave a three-inch overage off the back to provide for proper weight distribution for the light fixture.

Step 10: Cut Shade Fabric

Wrap your cotton fabric around the diameter of the drum shade. Determine the amount you will need to cover the entire drum and use scissors to remove the excess. Be sure to leave about one inch of extra fabric to help cover the seam.

Step 11: Attach Fabric

Use a foam paintbrush or cloth to apply decoupage medium directly onto the drum shade in small increments of three inches at a time. Working in small sections will help keep the project from getting too messy and prevent creases in the fabric. Lay the fabric on the shade smoothing it out as you go. Continue to work all the way around the drum shade until both ends meet. To create a neat seam where the two ends meet, fold the loose end seam under and apply decoupage over top to help secure it flat.

Step 12: Cut Loose Ends

Photo by: DAN WHITEHEAD

DAN WHITEHEAD

Cut off any loose fabric on the top and bottom of the shade leaving about one inch of excess.

Step 13: Tuck It In and Seal It

Apply decoupage medium on the inside seams of your drum shade and fold over the one-inch of excess fabric. Apply a thick layer of decoupage medium glue on top of the entire drum shade, making sure to cover any exposed fabric. Set aside and let it completely dry.

Step 14: Light It Up!

Attach your cord kit and light bulb to the inside of the drum shade and hang your light kit cord off the hook. Wrap the cord around the arm and down the lamp post. Plug it in and enjoy!

NOTE: For safety, we recommend the use of an LED bulb.

Photo by: DAN WHITEHEAD

DAN WHITEHEAD

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