How to Build a Wooden Desk Lamp




Introduction: How to Build a Wooden Desk Lamp

About: Hi! My name is Marija and this is the Creativity Hero channel! I make a variety of videos like DIY projects, crafts and lifehacks that anyone can complete with just a little time and creativity. My mission…

For this instructable I am going to show you how to make this wonderful wooden desk lamp using simple hand tools.

Here are the materials I used:

Types of tools I used:

Step 1: Marking and Cutting the Board Using a Handsaw.

First, I marked all the dimensions needed for the lamp base.

Then, I cut the board using a handsaw.

Step 2: Sanding the Edges and Gluing All the Pieces Together.

Next, I’m sanding the edges of the pieces that I’ve cut to make them even, so it would be easier to work with the glue.

To get the desired shape I glued all the pieces of wood together using a wood glue, a square ruler and some clamps.

You need a lot of patience because you can’t glue all at once, but it’s definitely worth the time.

Step 3: Drilling a Hole for the Cord.

Before gluing the last piece of wood I marked the center point of the lampshade and drilled a hole for the cord 4,5 cm deep using 6 mm bit.

I extended the hole from the back side of the same piece of wood at a 45 degree angle so it would be much easier for the cord to pass through.

Then I glued up this last piece of the lamp base.

Step 4: Marking and Cutting the Second Board.

Now, let’s move on to the lampshade frame.

I marked the dimensions of the second board. I made a cuboid frame, 20 cm high and 15 cm wide, so I cut 4 pieces 20 cm long and 8 pieces 13 cm long.

The last and most important piece of wood is the frame support with size 5 x 13 cm. I used a 30 millimeter bit to countersink a hole 1 centimeter deep.

Then I used 6 millimeter bit to drill a hole all the way through so that it perfectly matched the center of the base.

Step 5: Building the Lampshade Frame.

The next step is building the cuboid frame.

I glued all the pieces together and used square ruler along with the clamps to make a perfect right angle.

Step 6: Sanding All the Pieces.

To make everything nice and level I am going to hit with a 120 grit sand paper which should make a quick work of all the unevenness.

Step 7: Spray Painting the Base and the Frame.

Then, I finished it off with a spray paint.

I painted both the base and the frame with a chocolate brown spray paint because I wanted to create more contrast between them and the lampshade.

I applied 2 coats of spray paint and left it to dry out.

Step 8: Making the Lampshade.

After that, I moved on to making the lampshade.

I used a paper roll and cut 62 by 21 cm of it. I also cut the linen fabric 63 x 23 cm so that I could easily glue it to the paper and fold the edges to get nice and smooth look.

It took me some time until I finished gluing the fabric to the paper, because I wanted to make sure everything was lined up.

I decided to use a wood glue and it actually turned out quite well. The glue wasn’t drying too fast, so I had some time to adjust the fabric to the paper with a ruler.

Step 9: Gluing the Lampshade to the Frame.

I glued up the lampshade to the frame. It is very important to do this carefully, one side at a time, because you need to align the edges of the frame with the edges of the shade.

I folded the fabric on the top of the frame to get the desired look, but you can skip this step simply by cutting the paper 20 cm wide at the beginning.

Step 10: Putting All the Pieces Together.

Now I can finally put all the pieces together.

I’m mixing up some 5 minute epoxy to stick the socket.

I made sure everything was lined up and then used wood glue to stick the lampshade to the base. I held it with finger pressure for only a few minutes until the glue started to harden.

I suggest using LED light bulb because it produces a very small insignificant amount of heat.

Step 11: Final Result - Watch the Video

To see the final result and to find out more details about the process of building the lamp, make sure to watch the video!

If you like this project give me a thumbs up and subscribe to my YouTube channel.






Lights Contest 2017

Runner Up in the
Lights Contest 2017

2 People Made This Project!


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    Lamps Challenge
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    CNC and 3D Printing Contest
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5 years ago

Made a pair of these for my sister on her (belated!) birthday!


5 years ago

That was a quick, enlightening, and fun how-to-video. the final product is both functional AND beautiful.

Thus looks like a very affordable project for those of us who do not have a lot of the fancy woodworking tools necessary in a lot of these kinds of projects.

It's very normal, where I grew up and even where I live now, to have most of those items lying around or in our small toolbox - my wife had some of them and never worked with wood! Here, its common, when you leave home and family to go to school or start your adult life, to have a small tool box with a drill of some kind (bits are cheap and a few standard sizes often come with indoor band drills these days).

Limiting to a drill, wood glue, back saw, and clamps was genius! I want to make this and I had everything but the wood and lamp socket/cord available 10+ years ago.

Use of woodglue instead of nails and hammer or staples and staplegun was a great decision - doesn't require steady hands or finesse and is great for cheaper wood (no splintering). My hands are not what they once were and shake and cannot hold things very steadily or firm and I'm not alone. I like that you made this a project that almost anybody can do - if I'd known it were this easy and that it could turn out so beautifully 10 years ago, I'd have a really nice desk lamp to go with my speaker stands at my desk where I spend so much time. The light, softened by the fabric, is easy on your eyes and reduces eye strain (and doesn't hurt my head during migraines).

I am voting for this because of the low overhead, a project that doesn't require weeks of planning or building thanks to your instructions, quick and easy video, suggestions provided for lighting, low bar set for starting, tools limited to either typical tools or things that are cheap and can be used for future projects or even around the house, and finally for a beautiful template that allows room for personal replacements (different colored paint or wood with stains, and fabric with paper is easy to substitute with any other fabric of choice to match color preferences or existing room design).

Creativity Hero
Creativity Hero

Reply 5 years ago

Thank you very much for your insightful comment. It means lot to me. I'm really glad you like it! I'm new on Instructables and YouTube and your positive feedback encouraged me to continue making more interesting projects :)


5 years ago


Surajit Majumdar
Surajit Majumdar

5 years ago

it looks so beautiful. thanks for sharing it. voted for u :)

Creativity Hero
Creativity Hero

Reply 5 years ago

Thanks, I really appreciate it! :)


5 years ago

That's a gorgeous frame, I like it! :)