Thursday, September 6, 2012

DIY Tripod Floor Lamp

So, admittedly, I've been lacking on the posts lately. But some really great things have been occupying my time (like jumping head first into the banking world and actually having a life with my other half post Bar exam) so I've got some excuses, okay? Also, I've been working on a few of DIYs that I'm really excited to share with you, but most of them are still mid-project. HOWEVER!! I finally have one completed! So without further adeau, my DIY tripod floor lamp:

Awesome, right? (And that is a sheepskin rug under there, by the way...starting to collect for the room revamp.) Now, first I must tell you that the only overhead lights in our house are in the basement - a floor we never use - and that before moving to Colorado, we sold all of our lamps. Turns out...that was a bad idea. We were in desperate need of a floor lamp (or 3). But have you seen the price of those things?? Unless it's from Wal-Mart or Target (and we already discussed the Ikea issue), be prepared to shell out a hund-o, at the very least! So. I decided to make my own.

My inspiration came from a few places. First, I saw this lamp on Room and Board and instantly fell in love with the design. However, the $400 price tag? Not so much.

Then I saw this lamp from West Elm:

Still simple and beautiful...and $300.

And then I remembered reading about this DIY coat rack and seeing lamp kits at Home Depot while working on this DIY (almost finished - super excited to share!):

And I thought, why pay hundreds of dollars for a tripod lamp when it looks like it would be so easy to make your own? And guess what...IT WAS! My total cost for this project? Thirty-Five Big Ones. That's right. $35. And it was so simple! So simple, in fact, that I think you should make one too.

Here's what you'll need:

3-4 heavy duty tapered wood handles ($5 each at Home Depot)
1 lamp kit ($10 at the HD)
Zip tie
String or twine
Lamp shade
Staple gun

Step 1:
Stand up your handles in the desired formation (I wanted the tripod effect, but you can also use 4 or 5 handles if you want). Measure the distance between the handles to make sure they are equal for a stable base.

Step 2:
Tighten a zip-tie around the bundle so it stands on its own.

Step 3:
Take your wire and wrap it around the handles making sure to weave in and out of each handle. Twist the ends of the wire to secure. It will look pretty ugly, but don't worry, that's why you've got the string.

Step 4:
Assemble your lamp kit. (Note: If you find that the shade sits too high once you are finished, you can always use a shorter harp from an existing lamp, which is what I did, or find one at a thrift store.)

Step 5:
Place your assembled lamp fixture in the opening of your handles. It should fit snugly on its own. Make sure you arrange it so that the knob to turn the lamp on is easily accessible.

Step 6:
Weave your wire around the harp and each handle to secure it. Again, it will not look pretty, but the shade will cover it.

Step 7:
Wrap your string or twine around the bottom wire so it is completely covered.

Step 8:
Add the shade and set up the lamp in your space. Using a staple gun, staple the cord to the back of the post facing your wall. Have someone hold the post steady while you staple so you don't injure yourself or the lamp.

Step 8:
Sit back and enjoy your new creation knowing those less crafty than you have done the same for 10 times the price!

So...what do you think? Will you be adding this baby to your living room any time soon?


  1. Very, very cool~~Loved it! We will soon be moving into our Amish Cabin and I will be using this Idea!!!!Thanks, Elise!!!

  2. Yay! Awesome post! I was actually going to buy that exact West Elm lamp, but then I decided I wanted to make it myself. This tutorial is perfect. Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. thanks i made one today!!!

  4. That is awesome! Glad you tried it :-)

  5. Going to try this tomorrow! Thanks! Lindsay: )

  6. Came across this on Pinterest. We're an expat couple trying to live frugally, and this lamp is just AWESOME! Gonna try making it soon :) Thanks for the detailed tutorial.

  7. Hi Elise,
    Very cool! Could you share the dimensions of your lamp shade? It looks perfect!
    Thanks so much,

  8. Hi Elise, This is such a cook idea. I am lusting after the tripod lamp as well! Is the lamp pretty stable at the base?

  9. Great idea!! I love it!! Thanks for sharing...

  10. I tried this but since the lamp kit was not secured very well, and all the weight of the lamp shade was on it, it kept toppling over. Any advice?

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  12. @Nicole: easy and clean way to tight the handles together.

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  16. Hi Elise, I love your idea and I'm going to do it next week. What are the dimensions of that lampshade ? And were they 60inches handles ? Thanks !