Introduction: How to Make a Wall Lamp (sconce)

I wanted to design and make wall lamps (sconces) that could work in my rental apartment and that were easy to customize to fit any look I wanted. The result are these inexpensive wall lamps made in 2 parts, the base and the shade. I love the fact that you can make a custom lamp shade to work with any decor and that you can easily change it if your tastes change over time. I've designed a lamp shade you can make with poster board and cover with fabric, wallpaper or panel material and I've also designed one made with wood edging. Regardless of the shade, I recommend only using LED light bulbs with these lamps.

Because the wall sconces are made with a plug-in light kit with a switch, you can install them on a wall or on a wall panel without having to deal with electrical wiring – perfect for renters! 

Here are the materials you'll need and I've attached pics of the tools and supplies needed to build the lamps:

Base (for 1 wall sconce)
12” x 12” aluminum sheet  $7.50
Candelabra light kit (clip-on socket & switch)  $6.00
Panel lamp shade
8” wood embroidery hoop  $1.50
Poster board & ribbon  $2.00
Panel material (IKEA ANNO SANELA)  N/A
Long prong silver brads (1 bag = 30 brads)  $2.00
Plastic corner guard (2 ft)  $1.00
Wood lamp shade
8” wood embroidery hoop  $1.50
Iron-on pre-glued birch wood edging (3/4”)  $6.50
Long prong brads (1 bag = 30 brads)  $2.00
Plastic corner guard (2 ft)  $1.00

















Step 1: Making the Base: Step 1

Draw the template for the base on a piece of paper or poster board.

Step 2: Making the Base: Step 2

Temporarily stick the template to the 12" x 12" aluminum sheet and using straight pattern metal snips, cut the aluminum sheet according to the template (wear gloves): cut along the solid lines, remove the small rectangle in the middle of the square, and bend the middle square 90 degrees. 

Step 3: Making the Base: Step 3

To cut the orange lines on the template, use a cold chisel and a hammer - you need to make a slot wide enough to accommodate the legs of the candelabra light kit.

Step 4: Making the Base: Step 4

Remove the small rectangle on the middle of the square by bending it repeatedly. Bend the middle square 90 degrees, remove the template and insert the light kit.

Here's a link to a video of this entire process for making the base: http://youtu.be/PLZB8IgSBUw

Step 5: How to Make the Panel Lamp Shade

The steps on how to make the panel lamp shade that works with the base, and how to put the wall lamp together, are best explained in video format. This is a link to the video: http://youtu.be/PLZB8IgSBUw?t=3m37s

These wall sconces are very light and you can install them directly on a wall using 3M command strips or you can install them on a wall panel to hide the cord and the switch (with this option, you can use a wireless wall mounted switch and plug-In receiver.

Step 6: How to Make the Wood Shade

The steps on how to make the wood lamp shade that works with the base, and how to put the wall lamp together, are best explained in video format. This is a link to the video: http://youtu.be/PLZB8IgSBUw?t=7m35s

These wall sconces are very light and you can install them directly on a wall using 3M command strips or you can install them on a wall panel to hide the cord and the switch (with this option, you can use a wireless wall mounted switch and plug-In receiver). 

Comments

author
GracielleA made it! (author)2016-01-31

hi i've watched all of you video yesterday and i love all of those, i just wanna ask if i can use illustration board instead of alluminum sheet? thank you.. :)

author
EYSpace made it! (author)EYSpace2016-02-04

Thanks GracielleA! I used the metal sheet because it can be bent at a 90 degree angle and hold it so it's perfect to hold the light kit and the metal also reflects the light nicely.

author
satoko68 made it! (author)2015-03-03

I'm envisioning this idea put to work with some kind of double-sided room dividers made from beautiful handmade paper with a glowing light inside. Thanks for the inspiration!

author
EYSpace made it! (author)EYSpace2015-03-03

You're welcome, glad to hear it sparked another idea!

author
TCL27 made it! (author)2013-07-30

What a neat project! I plan to pin it to our Lighting & Fans pinboard. Check it out at pinterest.com/homedepot

- Chante

author
EYSpace made it! (author)EYSpace2013-08-07

So glad you like it Chante, and thanks for sharing my project on your Pinterest board !

Isabelle

author
Tarun Upadhyaya made it! (author)2013-04-04

This is very cool :) Thank you so much for sharing.

author
EYSpace made it! (author)EYSpace2013-04-04

Thanks and you're welcome!

author
audreyobscura made it! (author)2013-04-01

These came out really beautifully, thank you so much for the share and clear instructions. <3

author
EYSpace made it! (author)EYSpace2013-04-01

You're welcome and thank you so much for your kind words!

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Bio: Part MacGyver, part Martha, creator, host and producer of Engineer Your Space, an award winning DIY home design show dedicated to clever, affordable and stylish ... More »
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