Introduction: Converting the IKEA Stollet Hanging Lamp Into a Better Table Lamp
IKEA's Stollet lamp has a lot going for it:
+ layered acrylic "shades" on nickel-plated steel sleekness
+ 10 halogen-tipped light posts
+ quality construction.
Not bad. But it also has the problems of:
- being a hanging lamp
- emitting a fairly harsh light
- somewhat high cost
- any flaws in the acrylic catch the light and become rather noticeable
Thus, I launched myself on a mission to create a table-top version of this lamp that solved the above problems. Did it work? Let's see...
Step 1: The Parts
The parts used for this project are as follows:
+ The IKEA Stollet Pendant Lamp $5 (as-is dept.)
+ An IKEA Wooden Planter Box $4
+ A Couple Sheets of Cherry Veneer Paper $3
+ Red Spray Paint (American Tradition Ultra Enamel Gloss) $4
+ Electrical Tape
+ Wood Glue (for wood veneer)
Step 2: Disassemble IKEA Stollet Lamp
Before creation, destruction:
Carefully disassemble the IKEA Stollet lamp. The ceiling mount will not be needed & should be removed. Just remember to keep all the wiring intact. I had to use metal shears to clip through the metal discs.
Be sure to KEEP the metal plate/disc that covers the top of the lamp (top, that is, when it's used as a hanging lamp). You'll need to thread this off of the lamp's wiring for later use. Happily, this disc just unscrews from the top of the lamp; then it's just a matter of pulling all the lamp's wiring through its hole.
In photos1 & 2 below, it's the part of the lamp to which the red arrow is pointing (for clarity's sake: please note that the silver metal band you see on the outside edge of the lamp is attached to the acrylic. The piece to which I'm referring screws to the top of the lamp and is hidden from view by that metal band).
Take notice of the width of the lamp's threaded base. You'll need this width in the next step.
Step 3: Preparing the Planter Box
Using an approximately 6.25"x6.25"x5" wooden planter box from IKEA's garden accessories section, mark the bottom of the planter box (which will become the TOP of the lamp's base) in the center.
I find the center by drawing intersecting lines from the corners of the box (the center of the resulting "X" is the center of the box).
As shown in the second image, drill a hole in the center of the box that is wide enough to accommodate the lamp's threaded post. You know this width from the previous step. Make sure that post fits.
NOTE: the original plan was to use this wooden base with its grain exposed. But, upon final assembly of the lamp, I noted that the wood patterns conflicted with one-another. If you'd like to paint the base (as I did in the end), NOW is the time to do it. (a few notes about painting are in a later step)
Step 4: Assembling the Lamp & Base
Now that you've threaded that metal disc OFF of the lamp's wiring, flip it around so that it's facing in the opposite direction from its original installation on that lamp.
Don't thread the wiring back through YET.
Just for an idea of what we're doing, photo 1 below demonstrates how the two pieces would look without the wooden box in place. You'll note how they can be screwed together using their original threading, even though it's "backwards" from the original design. The space between this disc & the top of the lamp is where the wood of the box/base will be (the disc will be on the inside of the box -- as shown in image 2 below).
Now, place the lamp (with its many halogen posts) on the outside of the wooden planter box. Thread the lamp's wiring through the hole in (what is now) the "top" of the box. Once the wiring is through, slip on the metal disc (with the positioning demonstrated in photo 1 below) and thread it through until the disc meets the lamp's base through the hole in the box (as shown in photo 2 below).
At the end of this step, your lamp should look like photo 3 below.
Step 5: Wire Lamp for Corded Electricity
Since this hanging lamp was originally intended for mounting to the ceiling, it did not arrive with a plug. Thus, one must be added now.
As you'll see, I've drilled a small hole near (what will be) the bottom of the box to feed the plug's cable directly into (what will be) the lamp's wooden base.
Please use caution, experience & common sense in wiring the lamp. If you don't know how to wire a lamp, get a friend, electrician or electrician-friend to help you.
Step 6: Checking Your Work
Setting the lamp into (what is now) its upright position, you may place the 3-level acrylic "shade" onto the base of the wooden box (photo 1 below).
You may try powering the lamp to ensure that all your work is... working... as intended (photo 2 below).
However, you'll note that the acrylic has the nasty tendency to show off any of its flaws (photo 3 below) -- especially when illuminated. Worry not; there is a great fix arriving forthwith!
Step 7: Adding the Wood Veneer
The original lamp suffered from both acrylic cracks & a harsh light emitted by the many halogen bulbs.
The simple addition of a paper-thin wood veneer solved both of those problems -- hiding the acrylic flaws & creating a warm, soft glow from the lamp's light.
Hiromi Paper in Santa Monica, CA offers a line of thin wood veneers (that are even suitable for running through a laser- or inkjet-printer ... if you'd like to add a pattern/design to your lamp). Using two 8.5"x11" sheets of this veneer/paper and a little wood glue, I wrapped the 2nd acrylic tube in a sheath of cherry wood.
There is some overlap (which doesn't bother me), but you can adjust to your liking.
But, now, you'll notice that the wood of the veneer & the wood of the base contrast with one-another. One of them has to go & I know which one.
Step 8: Painting the Base
As you might have read in the "Preparing the Base" step... you should have already painted your base.
I, on the other hand, did not decide to paint until I saw the lamp assembled for the first time.
As such, I just had to unwire the lamp and remove everything from the wooden base.
Depending upon the final, desired finish, you should thoroughly sand the box (to ensure surface smoothness AND paint adhesion). I left my box a little rough (you can make out the joints of the wood beneath the paint) since I did not wish to entirely hide the fact that this lamp's base is a planter box.
Using an "ultra enamel" glossy spray paint, I slowly coated the box in several thin layers of color. They key to getting a quality coat is the "several thin layers" part. I used about 6 layers of paint. This builds up a smoother surface & adds to the durability of the color.
It's not hard to get a quality finish; just take your time.
Step 9: The Finished Lamp
Now, just plug it in & enjoy.
This lamp casts a beautiful light with the wood veneer in place & looks even better when used in conjunction with a dimmer.