Antique Style Custom Lamp




Introduction: Antique Style Custom Lamp

This is a custom made lamp based off of tim-1138's instructable found here. I first made one with three bulbs as a gift, and decided once I found the box this one is using, to make another, and document it.

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Step 1: Supplies

Here is the list of supplies:

Vintage Lightbulb
Extension Cord
Lamp Socket
Dimmer Switch (Cut the green ground wire from the dimmer, it is not needed)
Box (I used a cigar box)
Wire Nutes (The ones I used came with the dimmer)

Wire Nuts
Circular Drill Bits
Various Drill Bits
Glue (May not need it)

Step 2: Find the Right Circular Drill Bit

I have a set of circular drill bits of various sizes. I drilled into some plywood to find the right size.

Step 3: Measure, Drill, Sand

Find where you want to drill into the top of the box for your socket. I wanted mine centered towards the top. I used a square to find the center and a pencil to mark a template. Then you just drill, and there you go, you have your hole for the socket. Now, once I had my hole drilled, I had to use some sandpaper to open up the hole a little bit for the socket. The plus side to that,is that I got it to fit snug, and ended up not needing glue, which I had to use on the FIRST lamp I made.

Make note of where the dimmer will be in relation to how far the socket goes into the box. I ALMOST had to move my dimmer down, because the socket went down right onto it, but it went down far enough.

Step 4: Mark Spot for Dimmer

Now you need to decide where you want the dimmer switch to be. For this one, I put mine in the back. I found the center and marked where to drill. I ended up starting with a 1/4" bit, and had to go a size up from that later to get a little more room. Once you have the center hole drilled, then put in the dimmer switch, on the outside, and use a pencil to mark the holes for the screws. Drill these out, put the dimmer on the inside, and put the screws in.

Be careful when marking a template on the outside for the screws. Mine was off, and I ended up having to drill into the metal of the dimmer plate to get the screw to go in. I then had to use a large drill bit on the center hole to make sure I could use the dimmer switch.

Step 5: Put in the Power Cord

Snip off the off the female end of the extension cord. Then split the two wires a bit, and use a wire stripper to strip off about 1" of the cord. Now you need to pick where you want the cord to go into the lamp, I did mine in the bottom right corner. Just drill in, insert the cord, and pull it in enough so that you can reach the other wires.

Step 6: Wire It All Up

I am not an electrician. Wire and use the lamp at your own risk. Make sure the lamp is NOT PLUGGED IN when you are wiring it up.

Take the white wire from the socket, and using a wire nut, connect it to one of the wires from the power cord.
Take the black wire from the socket, and using a wire nut, connect it to one of the black wires from the dimmer.
Take the other black wire from the dimmer, and using a wire nut, connect it to the other wire from the power cord.

If you are using more than one bulb, just connect the sockets white wires together, with the last one connecting to the power cord. The same goes for the black wires from the socket, just chain them together, and follow the above steps.

Step 7: Plug in and Enjoy!

That is it, you are all done. A few final touches if you want to. If your socket is loose, use a little glue on the overlapping edge so it is secure to the top of the box. You can use something like Sugru to secure the power cord in its hole in the box.

Plug in, turn on, and enjoy.

My first one had three bulbs and a clock in the front. I started with a plain pine box and stained it.

This is my second one now, and I enjoy making them. If you want me to make you one, email me at and lets talk! Maybe you have a cool box laying around that you want to turn into a lamp?

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    4 Discussions


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! I really like it too. I just happened to drop by a shop when I was finishing my Christmas shopping and the sold a lot of different cigar soon as I saw this one, I knew I had to buy it.