Simple Pendant Lamp




Introduction: Simple Pendant Lamp

A pendant lamp is a great way to add some accent lighting to a room. This lamp is simple to make and uses parts that are easy to find. You can find all the materials you need at Home Depot with the exception of the lamp parts which you can find at Ikea or online.

There are also a few different ways you can make this lamp. The pictures will show how to do so using a table saw, miter saw, and various hand tools. I'll make note of alternative tools and methods at the relevant steps.


  • Lamp body material:
    • Option 1: 3/8" x 14" x 14" piece of plywood
    • Option 2: 4/4" x 5" x 60" piece of your choice of lumber
  • Metal Rod: 12" long x 1/8" diameter
  • Lens: 3/16" x 5" x 5" plexiglass
  • Socket holder: 1/8" x 5" x 5" plywood
  • 1 pendant lamp socket (I used this one from IKEA, I also love the options at
  • Hanging hardware:
    • 1 sheetrock anchor
    • 1 Screw hook

Note: These dimensions work for the size of lamp I made. If you want to adjust the size of your lamp, make sure to adjust the material dimensions making sure to give yourself some extra material to be safe.

Step 1: The Lamp Body

Cut to width and length

If you're using plywood like I did do the following:

  1. Cut four pieces to your desired width. Mine are 3 3/4" wide.
  2. Cut the four pieces to your desired length. Mine are 10" long.

Tool note: I used a table saw and miter saw. You could also use a circular saw but you'll need to make sure your cuts are very straight and square as perfectly square boards are crucial to successfully assembling the lamp.

Cut your joinery

The joinery at the four corners provides you with some flexibility. I used mitered corners cut on a table saw. A few other options could try include:

  • Mitered corners cut with a 45° router bit
  • Rabbets cut on the table saw or with a router bit
  • Butt joints (not recommended)

Cut the dado for the lens

I inset the lens .5" from the bottom edge of the lamp. I then cut a dado on the inside of each lamp body side. This will create a slot around the inside that will hold the lens.

Drill the holes for the socket holder rods

  1. Layout where to drill the holes for the rods ensuring that they are far enough apart for the socket to fit between the two rods.
  2. Use a drill press or handheld drill to drill holes in two sides of the lamp body.

Step 2: The Lens and Socket Holder

The lens

  1. Measure the length of the dado at the bottom of the dado.
  2. Minus about 1/8" to allow for a little wiggle room.
  3. Cut plexiglass to make a square lens.
  4. Optional: Sand one side of the lens with an orbital sander. This will diffuse the light making for a soft glow.

The socket holder

You can wait to do this once the lamp body is assembled but you can also do it now.

  1. Measure across the width of the inside face of the lamp body. Minus about 1/8". Cut the 3/16" plywood to square using the measurement you took.
  2. Find the center of the square by drawing a line diagonally from corner to corner.
  3. Measure the diameter of the lamp socket.
  4. To cut the hole for the socket you can
    1. Use a hole saw in a drill press or electric drill
    2. Use a scroll saw
    3. Go way over the top and use a CNC (this is what I did because it didn't want to go buy a hole saw).

Step 3: Prepare for Finish and Paint the Inside Surfaces

Now seem may too early to prep for finish but you want to sand the inside and paint some of the inside before you assemble.

  1. Sand the lamp body, both sides.
  2. Tape the mitered edges to prevent them from being painted.
  3. Paint the inside faces of the lamp body. You really only need to paint the bottom portion that will show beneath the lens but I painted the sides completely.

Step 4: Assemble and Paint the Outside

Once the inside surfaces are dry, you're ready to assemble the lamp body and paint the outside surfaces.


  1. Place the lamp body sides inside face down and line up the four pieces side by side.
  2. Carefully lay down a strip of tape along the joint where to sides meet.
  3. Flip the now joined four sides over to expose the inside faces with the miters.
  4. Apply glue to the miters and then close the lamp body up and glue the last corner together.


  1. Once the glue has dried remove the tape from the corners.
  2. Cover the lens with tape to prevent it from being painted.
  3. Apply paint to the sides.

Step 5: Final Assembly and Hanging

Once the paint is dry you're ready to put the lamp all together and hang it.

Metal rods

Two metal rods are used to hold the lamp socket in place.

  1. Measure the outside width of the lamp body and add 3/4".
  2. Use a hack saw to cut to metal rods to the length + 3/4".
  3. Use some sand paper to smooth out any burrs and to clean up the surface of the rods.


  1. Attach the socket to the socket holder.
  2. Screw in the bulb.
  3. Place the bulb and socket assembly into the lamp body.
  4. Insert the metal rods

Hang and enjoy!

If you bought a lamp kit from Ikea it came with hardware for hanging. If you bought a lamp socket from somewhere else it may or may not have hanging hardware. If you need hardware you can find sheetrock anchors and a screw hook at your local hardware store. Hang your new lamp and enjoy!

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    Tip 9 days ago

    When creating projects that include light fixtures, on needs to provide for ventilation as the filaments in incandescent lamps and the electronics in LED and Fluorescent lamps all generate heat. Which, in a tightly enclosed structure such as this, can destroy the components over time and have the potential to cause a fire.

    Infrared spectrum heat waves are reflected by the plastic lens and the wooden material of the lamp and will rise to effectively re-heat the electrical (and other - plastic) components in that LED lamp, the holder and the wires.

    Allowing for air flow from around the lens and exits at the lamp holder board would be advisable.