Introduction: Lamp From Lake Brick

I've always liked the look of river stone being balanced. I live close to Lake Erie and walk on a beach that has bricks that have washed up on shore. Some of them remind me of river stone. I also acquired an old lamp and a pedestal bar stool on trash day and thought these would make a nice project. And when I saw the Instructables "Trash to Treasure" contest I was inspired to create this lamp.


  • A donor lamp for parts
  • Base from the bar stool pedestal
  • The bricks from Lake Erie
  • Black spray paint
  • My trash can
  • Edison light bulb


  • 19mm Diamond hole saw
  • Cordless Drill
  • Corded Drill
  • Awl
  • Hammer

Step 1: Acquiring the Bricks

I grabbed a 5 gallon bucket and headed to the lake to pick out about 30 different bricks of different sizes and shades.

Step 2: Donor Lamp and Bar Stool Pedestal

Disassembling of the lamp was just a matter of unscrewing the nut on the bottom of the pipe and unscrewing the socket from the top. I was able to salvage the pipe, the electric cord, the harp and the parts of the socket.

The pedestal had only one bolt on the bottom and one on the top to unscrew and the base could then be removed.

Step 3: Cleaning and Painting the Base

The wire brush on the drill made short work of the surface rust on the base, neither side had any paint. It appears to have never been painted.

Two coats of the black Rust-Oleum paint and primer were applied to the top and the bottom of the base.

Step 4: The Shade

The donor lamp didn't have a shade so I thought using the small trash can by my desk would be perfect for the "Trash" part of the contest. I decided to paint the bottom of the can, but what is now the top of the shade black to match the base.

But first I would need to drill a hole for the harp bolt to come through. I printed out a circle diagram from Blocklayer

which made finding the center of the circle just a matter of inputting your measurements and preferences in.

A site well worth checking out.

After drilling the hole and painting it I realized I hadn't taken the before picture so it's recreated with the painted shade.

Step 5: Paint

After scuffing up the top with a sandpaper block the can was masked off and two coats of the black paint were applied.

Step 6: Drilling the Holes in the Brick

Drilling a starter hole was done by using a board with a slightly larger diameter hole then the 19 mm

diamond hole saw as a guide. Starting hole

After that I finished the hole under water to keep the bit cool. Another block of wood was placed under the brick to protect the pan. And the guide block was used on top. The video was shortened. it took about 60 seconds of drilling for the thinner pieces. Drilling the hole

A total of 9 bricks were used to make the lamp. I started with 15 with a hole drilled in them. And kept trying them for the best look and the right sizes for the pipe length.

Step 7: Applying Polycrylic

3 coats of the Polycrylic was applied to the bricks

Step 8: Assembly

Assembly was accomplished by using the pipe to connect the base to the socket and harp with bricks between the two with nuts and washers on each end. Once that was finished the lamp cord was inserted through the pipe to be wired to the socket. I didn't take any pictures of the wiring process. There are a lot of Instructables on that subject. But I did tie a UL knot and made sure the cords hot and neutral wires were connected correctly.

Step 9: Conclusion

Thank you looking at the lamp project. Here are a few additional pictures to view.

Trash to Treasure Contest

Participated in the
Trash to Treasure Contest