DIY Standing Lamp W/ Shelves





Introduction: DIY Standing Lamp W/ Shelves

About: Hi I'm Linn and on my Youtube Channel I have lots of great videos about building, construction and fun projects. You can also check out my site @

If you want to try you hand at making a lamp this is a really great and simple project that combines a lamp with a piece of furniture. Storage shelves are always in demand and pairing that with a lamp makes a lot of sense. This written tutorial is a companion to the video to make the whole process easier. Please read through instructions fully before cutting any pieces.

Step 1: Materials


  • Plywood
  • Glue
  • 1 ¼” Drywall Screws
  • Drill with counter-sink bit
  • Lamp Kit or Old Lamp Parts
  • LED Bulb (40-60 watt)
  • Fabric
  • Staples
  • Velcro or Epoxy
  • Magnets to secure fabric frame top

Cut List

Main Shelf


4 pieces – 60 x 1 x 1 inches

4 pieces – 60 x 1 x 1½ inches Shelves

4 pieces – 12 x 12 inches square

Top Shelf Frame (for fabric frames to attach to)

4 pieces 1" x ½" x 11"

4 pieces 1" x ½”x 11 ¾”

Fabric Frame Top of Frame

2 pieces – ½” x ¾” x 11 ½”

2 pieces – ½”x ¾” x 13”Frame Sides

8 pieces ½” x ¾” x 13 ½”4 pieces ½” x ¾” x 9 ½”

4 pieces ½” x ¾” x 8 ¾”

Method Base Shelf

To make the legs glue and screw the 1 inch piece to the 1 ½ inch piece to make evenly sized legs. Counter-sink the screws but remember to pre-drill for all the holes with an 1/8” bit. Once you have your 4 legs finished, measure 6 inches off each leg to make a place for the first shelf with a pencil. Place the first shelf on the mark and secure with glue and screws. Repeat with the other shelves by marking off whatever distance you like, I make each shelf 13 inches apart.

Finishing I used white paint but whatever you use finish it before you add the lamp parts.

Fabric Top & Lamp

Drill a hole in the top shelf to accommodate the lamp wire and secure your lamp to the top shelf. I used a cut-off 2x4 block to secure the lamp post into but each lamp may be different. Either way it should not be too much trouble to secure the lamp parts.

Top Shelf Frame

Once the top lamp shelf was in place, I added four strips at the top of the lamp, and four strips at the bottom of the top shelf to create a frame. I measured what size my corner posts was and cut out these 8 strips to fit inside of it, to create a frame that the panels could rest on. (see video for clearer view)

Fabric Panels

For the fabric panels, I used linen but any fabric will work safely provided you use a low-power LED bulb. These do not make much heat so the fabric will work well. For the frames of the fabric panels I turned up the ½” x ¾” x 8 ¾” pieces on their side to make the frame narrower. Before making these frames do a little test to make sure the pieces are not too tight in the shelf frame and to make sure everything fits properly. Secure the fabric to the frames by using 5/16” staples. I added some magnets to the top to make sure the top frame did not fall off too easily but you could always use a small amount of velcro to do the same thing. See the video if you are having any trouble.

Step 2: See Video...

This is a really cool project that you can really modify to suit your needs.



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    16 Discussions

    You've got mad skillz!

    I love your video. Will use stained glass instead of fabric. One thing that is confusing is your using 1/2 inch thick plywood but the legs are 60x1x1 and 60x1x1/2. Are you using different wood for the legs?

    This is a great idea. Integrating lighting with furniture. We need more of this in the commercial end. I am thinking of converting shelf units into lamps.

    Grandparents had a single lamp with one shelf. This though is even better. I wonder though if the floor for the lamp was opaque as well if it would provide more light if you're sitting right below it. Either way its an interesting cool project

    1 reply

    I love this and as soon as it is warm enough to get back in my shop I am building one.The only thing I would do different is to hang the lamp from the top board instead of the bottom and leave the bottom open to get more light. At my age I need a little more than ambient light. LOL! Also that way you could run the cord out of sight. Love Love Love this idea! Thank You so much!

    Nicely done. When permanently joining wire use a Western union splice, a bit of solder to ensure the connection, then tape and possibly heat shrink tubing. Nice, neat and secure.

    Suggestions for shades, parchment or paper work well, possibly some cut work patterns. Pierce work copper foil could look nice or louvers. You could also add a clock with a translucent face so the light shines through.

    VERY NICE!!!! I made something similar using angle iron and welding it all together. The nice touch of wood tends to soften up this piece vs the steel one I built. Nice shop you have there young lady.

    May I offer a suggestion. Wire nuts are very cheap and MUCH SAFER when connectiong wires that COULD cause a short and perhaps even burn down your project and your house with it.

    Great 'ible! A very attractive piece and much room for adaptation and expansion!

    I would suggest using (at the very least) wire nuts when attaching the two cords, if not solder and shrink tubing. Alas, it doesn't matter all that much, as it's an indoor application that will not see much abuse. Feel free to ignore me, ha!

    Nice build. There are so many possibilities for the panels. You could have changeable fabrics, stained glass, colored acrylic. It would become an art piece.

    Great project. One of the best I have seen for beginners to build something really useful and enjoyable. Can't wait to build it.

    Thanks for sharing!


    3 years ago

    very nice idea and build, the only thing i would do is use the router on one of the legs and make a path for the cable to hide it.

    1 reply

    You read my mind, that was the first thing I thought when I saw to cord wrapped around the leg. Damn good looking lamp otherwise!!

    I built something similar a couple of years back, because everything similar in a store was overpriced and shoddily built. Good instructable. For the fabric, I used 2 sheets of interfacing alternating the grain direction for opaqueness.

    This is an excellent design and beautifully executed. I'm loving it!!

    Nice furniture piece! You mentioned a couple times that "polarity doesn't matter." True, for the light bulb, but it's safer if one uses a polarized plug, with one wider prong. The narrow prong is "hot," and the wider is the neutral. If the hot side is wired to the deep center contact, with the neutral to the threaded outer portion of the socket, it's that much safer in case someone winds up messing with the socket and for some reason has forgotten the basic rule of unplugging the lamp first.

    1 reply

    Thanks for your comment! Yes, you are correct about the plug situation, which is why everyone should always be careful with wiring and consult someone who can answer any of your questions.