Now that I live close to the ocean, I can't get enough of it - and of all things nautical. I designed my Twin Socket Pendant Light to resemble coral, so that I can be seaside at all times, even when I'm tucked in at home with no sand between my toes. I got all the parts at my local Home Depot and it requires no previous lamp making experience or fancy tools. Just the parts, wire cutters, and some elbow grease.
Let's get seaside!
Step 1: The Parts/Tools List
Here's what you'll need:
- (x16) keyless twin socket lamp holder adapters
- (x4) medium base socket extender
- (x1) 660 Watt Brown Weatherproof Pin-Type Lampholder
- (x1) 15-Amp 2-Pole White Flat Plug
- (x1) 3-Amp Appliance Cord Switch - White
- (x1) roll of Orange Flagging Tape
- 16 feet of 18-2 Lamp Wire
- (x1) 1/4" White All Purpose Clothesline
- (x1) 3/4" Orange Electrical Tape
- (x17) 7.5-Watt White Night Light Replacement Light Bulb
- utility scissors
- wire cutter/ stripper
- flathead screwdriver
Step 2: Part Map
Constructing the lamp body is as easy as screwing all the pieces together. I've laid the pieces out in the picture above to show you how I connected mine. But by no means do you have to do exactly what I did! Feel free to play around with them (think lego or tinker toys) until you are happy with the form.
If you do want to replicate mine exactly, follow the part map above and use the images in the next step to determine orientation.
IMPORTANT: The only thing you MUST do is make sure that the parts are screwed together tightly. If there isn't a good connection, it could cause excess heat and/or potentially be a fire hazard.
Step 3: Part Orientation Guides
To re-create my exact lamp, use these images along with the part map to determine orientation of all the parts.
Step 4: That's a Wrap!
Once you've connected the parts into your final shape, grab the flagging tape and warm up your wrists!
You'll be wrapping the entire lamp in the flagging tape. If you'd rather speed up the process, you could definitely spray paint it instead (making sure to tape up the socket ends so no paint gets in) by spraying on primer, then your chosen color. BUT the 'skin' like finish of the flagging tape looks really great and is worth the effort in my opinion.
Step 5: Begin at the Beginning
Leaving the tape connected to the roll, tie a knot around where the top socket and first 'Y' connect. This is your anchor/starting point. Be sure to leave a 3-4" tail on the end not attached to the roll. You will be using this to tie off the end once you've wrapped the entire piece.
Step 6: Around and Around
The only tricky part of the wrapping process is getting the little area in the middle of the 'Y' parts (see the little triangle of white on second image). So before getting started on wrapping the easier straight parts, do what it takes to get these tricky bits covered first (images 4-6 illustrate this well).
Tackle all the 'Y' triangles all over the piece. Try and keep all your wraps tight, but don't worry if any of the tape isn't lying flat to the piece just yet, as the finishing over-wrapping you'll do will pull it back in without being bunchy.
NOTE: Leave the top socket with the hanging wire unwrapped for now.
Once you've got the piece completely wrapped, cut and tie off the end using the tail we left at the beginning.
Cut only one of those tails. The remaining tail will be used to tie off the wrapping of the top socket when it comes time.
Step 7: Wiring the Socket
Use your wire cutters to separate one end of your lamp cord and pull it apart approx. 5-6".
NOTE: One side (or strand) of the cord is smooth and one is ribbed. The smooth is the 'Hot' wire and the ribbed is the 'Neutral'. In lamp wiring, the smooth (Hot) side will almost always correspond with brass connections, while the ribbed (Neutral) will go to the nickel connections.
Unscrew the cap of the top socket to expose the two channels with metal points.
Take the ribbed strand and place it in the channel with the nickel (silver colored) point. Press the strand down onto the point until the strand is pierced.
Repeat this for the smooth strand on the brass point after flipping the socket's metal hanger over to the other side so that once both strands are wired, it will hang in between them.
Once both strands are in place, replace the cap.
Step 8: Wrapping the Top
Cut 8-10 short pieces of flagging tape and electrical tape.
Use the tape to secure the short pieces of flagging snuggly over the socket. Keep doing this until the socket is completely covered.
Step 9: Wrapping the Top: Part 2
Start your finishing layer by wrapping the flagging around onto itself, avoiding having to tie it.
End your wrapping at the base of the socket so you can tie off using the tail we left from the first round of wrapping.
Tie a tight knot and cut the tails off as close to the knot as possible.
Step 10: Cut and Split the Cord
Measure and cut the cord, making it 15' long.
Then split the cord separating it into two separate strands.
(I did this for aesthetic purposes, so if you'd prefer not to split it, that's A-OK too.)
Step 11: Get Knotty
To enhance the nautical-ness of this project, I used clothesline rope to hang the lamp and added finishing knots on both ends of the cord for good (looking) measure.
To make the top knot, start with an 18" tail of rope.
Fold the rope back up next to itself with the fold falling right where the metal socket hook is.
Start wrapping the rope away from yourself, around itself and the lamp cord. Do this until you have 5-6 wraps.
Step 12: Get Knotty: Part 2
Take the end of the tail and start feeding it up through the wraps until it comes out the top.
Tighten up the wraps and then pull the tail tight.
Loop the bottom wrap through the metal hook and trim off the excess tail, leaving it 1 1/4" long.
Step 13: Prepping the Plug
To prep the plug for wiring, use a flathead screwdriver to carefully pry out the hard plastic core.
Step 14: Adding the Plug
Slide the white plug 'jacket' down onto the ends of the cord strands.
Use your wire stripper to remove 3/4" of white plastic cord cover off the end of each strand, without cutting any of the underlying copper wires if possible.
Splay both the wire ends and then tightly twist them.
Wrap the wire end of the smooth cord strand around the brass screw and tighten the screw down, securing the wire in place.
Repeat for the other end on the nickel screw.
Pull the plug 'jacket' up over freshly wired core until the core top is flush with the jacket top.
Step 15: Bottom Knot
Repeat the steps you did for the top knot (11 & 12), except with only 3-4 wraps instead of 5-6.
Step 16: Adding the On/Off Switch
Measure 18" up the cord from the plug. This is where you'll install the switch.
Unscrew and separate the two halves of the switch, placing the half with the 'works' next to your cords.
At the 18" mark, use wire cutters to cut the SMOOTH strand of your cord.
Strip 3/4" of plastic off each side of where you did your cut on the SMOOTH cord.
Step 17: On/Off Part 2
Splay and twist the wire ends.
Wrap the left wire end under and around the left screw, tightening the screw to secure the wire.
Repeat for the right side.
Press the ribbed cord down under the brass bits as pictured.
Make sure that both wires on both sides are sitting down in the notches provided for them.
Reconnect the two switch halves and put the screws back in.
You now have the power of ON/OFF!
Step 18: Bulb Choices
I chose to use 7.5 watt frosted nightlight bulbs because of their soft glow and low heat output. If you'd like to try different sizes/shapes, make sure to keep to low wattages.
Step 19: Down by the Sea
And ta da! You are ready to hang your awesome new light.
If you end up trying this, please post a picture in the comments section. I would love to see it!
Happy ocean living!