Wall Lamp

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Project by Rick posted 08-01-2012 02:10 PM 2335 views 41 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve made some bedside wall lamps in my further attempts to update the bedroom at the request of my wife.
More photos here:

(WOOD) – I used poplar, only because I had an 8 foot board of it sitting in my garage for over a year.

(STAIN) – Poplar seems to look pretty nice with some mahogany oil stain and mohogany gel stain to darken it up even more. Gel stain is always a bit of a pain for me though I keep using it on woods that don’t look naturally beautiful with danish oil.

(ELECTRICAL) – I used a “twin cluster socket” which houses the light bulbs which I bought at the local bigbox store along with the chord. The chord didn’t have an inline switch so I installed a “Leviton Feed-through Cord Switch” which I purchased from amazon. I also use a “3-level touch pad dimmer” for each which I have found at all bigbox stores. Used 75 watt regular bulbs as the “dimmable” CFL’s I purchased flickered when dimmed.

(SHADE) – I used “styrene” with one adhesive side. Styrene is a thin translucent plastic that provides form to your fabric or paper. I purchased this from a local lamp store but you can get it at For the material, I used linen which I purchased from a local fabric store. The linen MADE these lamps look amazing with its texture that Really shows when the light is on. Kind of hard to see in that first pic but in person these look so much better. I cut the styrene to shape and did a test fit for each lamp. I bent the styrene prior to applying the linen by clamping a board on each side and then bending the styrene. Then I removed the adhesive backing and carefully layed it out on the linen and trimmed the excess linen off.

(FABRICATION) – The main frame is glue and lap joints. The upper and lower shade frames are mitre and glue. The grooves for the shade are 1/8” wide and 3/16” deep. For the center wood piece which houses the light fixure I attached with 2 Kreg pocket hole screws. I routed a groove in the back of the frame for the chord to follow along. I also carefully hammered staples into the back of one slat to keep the chord from showing there as well.

(ASSEMBLY) – I screwed in the top and bottom frame which house the shade. This helps with installation of the shade and so it can be removed in the future if we need to replace the shade. I also screwed in the lower vertical slats so that they could be easily repaired or replaced if one of them broke or warped.

19 comments so far

View SPalm's profile


5185 posts in 2968 days

#1 posted 08-01-2012 02:14 PM

I like them. Good trick with the linen over styrene.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View tool_junkie's profile


256 posts in 1615 days

#2 posted 08-01-2012 02:41 PM

Those lamps look really cool!

Where did you get styrene from? Is it available at the big box stores?

View JamesN's profile


26 posts in 1256 days

#3 posted 08-01-2012 02:45 PM

Absolutely beautiful Rick. Have you looked into the LED light bulbs? They are pretty expensive to purchase but you can get 75 watts of luminosity for less than 2.00 a year in electricity. And they claim to last 23-28 years depending on the brand.

View Rick's profile


358 posts in 2296 days

#4 posted 08-01-2012 02:46 PM

Tool_Junkie – I purchased it at a local lamp store but I also found it here:

View ChrisK's profile


1415 posts in 2167 days

#5 posted 08-01-2012 03:39 PM

I really like the look. great job!

-- Chris K

View Rick's profile


358 posts in 2296 days

#6 posted 08-01-2012 05:53 PM

JamesN – I did not look into LED bulbs. Can you dim them without any special power supply? I’ve looked into LED tape lighting and I think I needed a special power supply. I took my “dimmable” CFL’s back and looked at higher end ones that were $30/bulb. So I bought a 4-pack of regular GE bulbs for $2. That’s pretty cheap.

View jack1's profile


2015 posts in 3113 days

#7 posted 08-01-2012 06:18 PM

Nice looking lamp. Excellent work.

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View whit's profile


246 posts in 3063 days

#8 posted 08-01-2012 07:23 PM

Nice job, Rick. I’ve been looking into dimmable LEDs, too, and have found like you did – the dimmables require a DC power supply and a controller. But . . . they sure do make for some nice light.


-- Even if to be nothing more than a bad example, everything serves a purpose. cippotus

View BenI's profile


331 posts in 1264 days

#9 posted 08-01-2012 09:54 PM

Beautiful looking lamps you got there. Very nice addition to any room. Great job

-- Ben from IL

View BenI's profile


331 posts in 1264 days

#10 posted 08-01-2012 09:54 PM

Beautiful looking lamps you got there. Very nice addition to any room. Great job

-- Ben from IL

View B0b's profile


95 posts in 1776 days

#11 posted 08-01-2012 11:24 PM

The Philips dimmable LED bulbs dim perfectly, but they stay white at low levels unlike the amber glow of incandescent. I got a 60 watt comparable bulb at HD for under $15.

I really like this lamp, I had a similar idea, and it is great to see you execute it so well before I begin, thanks.

-- Time to get started

View Roger's profile


17850 posts in 1890 days

#12 posted 08-01-2012 11:27 PM

I like em. Looks like they shed nice lighting on the bedside tables.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View SuburbanDon's profile


487 posts in 2080 days

#13 posted 08-02-2012 12:18 AM

I like it.

-- --- Measure twice, mis-cut, start over, repeat ---

View Bagtown's profile


1737 posts in 2816 days

#14 posted 08-02-2012 01:10 AM

very nice.

-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta

View Ken90712's profile (online now)


16030 posts in 2274 days

#15 posted 08-02-2012 09:30 AM

Beautiful lamps you made!!! A really nice addition to your bedoom. Great job might have to give this a try thx for the info.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

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