Introduction: Concrete Desk Lamp

Every few years I try to make my father a unique and nicer gift than the typical hunting/fishing/camping gadget, movie, and/or candy, etc. for His Birthday and Father's Day. This is because my dad is impossible to shop for he does not want anything and if he thinks of something he wants he gets it. So I have made a few things over the years that are useful and creative a few years back I made him an upright plan holder for the side of his desk he is a Concrete Contractor so he has a lot of plans of current projects around. This year I decided to make him something to help see his plans better a Desk Lamp but not just any lamp but one crafted out of the material he works with all day. Growing up and working for him we constantly were told how wonderful and versatile concrete was. I love working with it and thought that this might be a good gift for "the man who has everything". Enough with my story here is the project:

Building Materials:

Concrete Mix

2 plastic bottles one needs to fit inside the other. ( I used a 2-litter bottle and a Smart Water Bottle)

1 Lamp Kit or Pendant Light Kit

Electrical Plug and Switch

Threaded Light Nipple and Nuts and Washers


#4 (1/2") Rebar 24" long 2 pieces

2 Pipe clamps

Rubber Stopper

Container or Form for base

Step 1: The Shade...

I can not take full credit for the shade my original idea for this was to use different materials for a form but I found a great instructable from homemademodern. He even has a video that really does a great job explaining it. the one thing I would add is to use a vibrating sander to vibrate the concrete and get out the air bubbles. It will also help create a very smooth finish on the sides. Remember to use very smooth unbent bottles because concrete takes the finish of the surface it is poured against.

Once theconcrete has cured remove the plastic by cutting and peeling it off. Tip: To remove the inside bottle i used my Dremel to cut the plastic at the neck of the bottle and up the side then peeled it out with needle-nose pliers. I then sanded the edges smooth.

The Westinghouse Mini Light Pendant Kit I used came with a great Oil Rubbed Bronze Finished End Cap that I used and a light bracket that I put on to attach the rebar to. I just bent it in to a "U" shape and slid it over the threaded tube and attached the washer and nuts.

Step 2: The Base

For the base I used a Country Crock container. I cut our the bottom and taped the lid closed. I bent twin "L"s in the Rebar to sit in the base and twin "J"s in the top to attach the light. I used a large bench vice and bent them at the same time to keep the same angle.

Then I made a jig by drilling two holes in a piece of scrap to hold the bar in position. I filled the form with concrete and inserted the rebar after the concrete was firm enough to hold them in place, taking care to keep the bar away from the edges. I then used my vibrating sander to vibrate the concrete and finished the top.

Once the concrete was set up i removed the form and sanded the rough edges, top and base.

Step 3: Assembly

To bring everything together I used pipe clamps to go around the rebar and attach everything together. I drilled a hole in a rubber stopper and threaded the cord though the shade and then the stopper so that the cord would not be damaged by tightening the clamps down. After making sure I did not have to take it apart I attached the plug to the wires.

Once everything was nice and tight I bent a small "S" curve in the rebar for looks and adjusted the angle of the light.

I then drilled a hole in the base and epoxied in some all-thread to attach a wood base to give the project a finished look.

Step 4: Plug It In.

Last but not least I put in a bulb and plugged in the lamp. Works great ( I want one now...) and I am really looking forward to giving it to my Dad.

Concrete & Casting Contest

Participated in the
Concrete & Casting Contest