Edison Lamp Made With Wood and Faux Copper Pipe




Introduction: Edison Lamp Made With Wood and Faux Copper Pipe

About: My Name is Kat, and I am an avid Diy"er. I enjoy creating with my hands, and I love when an idea becomes a finished work of art. Over the years, I have taken the time to make the perfect gifts I give to...

This is a quick and simple project that anyone can do with few tools. I have been seeing these lamps all over the place as of late, and I simply love them, so I decided to make one for myself. I decided to use PVC in this project because I have so much on hand, but this could be made from a variety of different pipe material.

Here is what you will need.


1. 1/2 " PVC (A total less than 2 feet was used in this project)

2. Four 1/2" PVC elbows

3. One 3/4" to 1/2" PVC Adapter

4. One Light socket

5. One Light Bulb ( Used an Edison bulb from Lowes)

6. One piece of wood for the base (My piece of wood measures 9 1/4" L x 5 1/4" W)

7. One Metal Floor Flange

8. Can of Rust-oleum Cooper Spray (This can be any brand)

9. One 1/2" PVC adapter with the threaded insert.

10. Four wood screws

11. Cork to cover the bottom of the light base (This is totally optional and other materials can be used like felt.)

12. Wood Finish. (Whatever wood finish you prefer - I used Johnson Paste wax)

Tools Used:

1. Circular Saw

2. Screw Driver

3. Craftsman rotary tool with a straight bit (Dremel or other brand)

4. PVC Pipe Cutters

5. Measuring Tape

6. Sander

7. Drill bits, and a 1/2" spade bit

8. Hot Glue gun (or any other glue you prefer)

Step 1: Gather Your Materials, Plan Your Design, Then Paint

I grabbed some wood cut offs, and old shop light, PVC pipe and fittings, and I started by playing around with several different designs. (The first two photos of this Instructable shows the two designs I came up with.)

I decided to make random cuts of the PVC and piece them together until I has happy with the result. If you only have limited amount of PVC to work with, then you may want to carefully plan out your design. Because I have so much of this stuff just laying around my shop, I decided to just play around with it and see where the inspiration takes me.

Because the PVC will hold together tightly without gluing, it is quite easy to switch pieces about until you come upon a design you are happy with.

Once you are set on your design, take your PVC outside or in a well ventilated area and apply the paint. I painted everything including the metal base and 4 screws that would secure the lamp to the wooden base. I used Rust-oleum Copper paint and primer in one. It dries to the touch in 30 minutes, but will be fully cured in 24 hours.

Step 2: Preparing the Base Then Stain

For the base I used a scrap piece of 1 x 6 pine that was a cut off from another project that measured approximately 9 1/4"L x 6"W. I left the length the same, but shortened the width to 5 1/4" using a tape square and my Dewalt cordless circular saw. I then gave the wood a good sanding with 220 grit sand paper being sure to only slightly round over the edges.

I placed the Metal floor flange center rear on the wood and marked the holes for drilling. After drilling the holes on the top, I turned the wood over and drilled a slightly bigger hole on the bottom with a 1/2" spade bit. (This hole is where the wire for the lamp will exit the wood, and I want to tie a knot in the wire to keep the cord taught.)

So that the cord would lay flat on the bottom, I needed to route a grove for the cord to lay in. Using my Cratsman rotary tool with a 1/4" straight bit installed, I routed a channel from the hole to the end of the board. I went only deep enough for the cord to lay flat.


I used Rust-Oleum Dark Walnut Stain (Easy to use - wipe it on, let stand for 2 to 3 minutes then wipe it off. Dries in 1 hour) After the stain dried, I went over it with paste wax to give it a smooth satiny feel.

Step 3: Preparing the Light

Take the lamp and disassemble it. In order to get the cord through the pipes, you will need to cut the wire in two. (The cord socket will not go through the 1/2" pipe so this step is a must) If you are not familiar with wiring, to make it easier on yourself, clip one wire shorter than the other, that way you will know which wire belongs where when you go to assemble the light after threading it through the pipes. (Tip: Thread the wire through each pipe individually, then secure them together, as you will never get the wire to bend around, up and down through the pipe fully assembled.)

After the wires have been fished through the pipes, you can attach the two clipped ends back together making sure they are tightly secure and no copper wire is exposed, and attach all the PVC pieces that make up the lamp together. The PVC will hold securely with out gluing.

Where the wire exists the bottom, I guided the wire through the channel, then placed a touch of hot glue on it to secure it in place. I then used some adhesive backed cork I had left from another project, and covered the bottom of the wood. Your lamp is now finished.

Install your light bulb and turn it on and watch it light up!

Step 4: Finished Project

Here is the final design. The first image was the first design I came up with, the other images are of the final design I decided to stick with.

Thank you for taking the time for looking at my tutorial. Any questions just ask!

2 People Made This Project!


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17 Discussions

This project is awesome,

How did you attach your light socket to the PVC?


1 reply

Thanks! I used hot glue but super glue, or any other glue should work just fine.

All that work, why not use copper pipe so that it will be an heirloom people will keep after you are long gone?

1 reply

It definitetly wasn't a lot of work, the longest part of this build was waiting for the cooper paint to dry. I stated in the tutorial that I used PVC because that is what I had on hand. I also stated in the very first paragraph that this can be made from a variety of different pipe materials. The idea behind the build was to show others how to make it, and then let the readers inspiration/creativity take over for when they make their very own.

If you have been to the Orange and Blue box stores lately you would know that Copper and Metal pipe is not cheap, and the PVC used made this build super quick because there is not a need to solder the parts together as you would with Copper. So when you make yours, feel free to use cooper, or any other pipe for that matter, and be sure to post here for all to see.

Wow this is cool. I just used some clip lights to redesign a floor light to use as a grow light. I wanted to use the reflector as well as the base, They had the push-in connectors for the wires so I did not have to do any splicing. came out great! this gives me another idea, pvc is so easy to work with. If you put a string inside the pipe as you put it together you could make in any shape or size and after the paint dries use the string to put the lamp cord through with out the trouble of trying not to get paint on the lamp cord.

home depot is selling a new LED light that looks like an old edison lamp it is a very warm color also and might be dimable

uncle frogy


Love it!

How did you reconnect the wires (I'm electrically inclined, but others might not be)?

To avoid having to cut and splice: Many of those light socket assemblies can be unscrewed and that exposes two screws that hold the wires. One screw will be silver, the other "brass". Label the wires. Unscrew the wires, feed them through and reattach.

One other thing I think you did, but wasn't clear (at least to me). You need to thread the wire through all the pieces after you paint them, but before you assemble them! There is NO WAY you'll be able to thread the cord through the maze once you assemble your masterpiece. This is important to remember as, since you painted to pipe, once you insert it in the elbows, it may be very difficult to remove once you realize you should have done the wiring one step beforehand.

1 reply

Hi Rick,

Thank you for that info on the light switch, and that is how I would have normally done it, but on the particular light I used, the wires were soldered to the post so just unscrewing them to release the wire was not an option. So I spliced them, and to keep from having to tape or mark which wire goes where, just cut one shorter than the other and it's easy to tell.

Also in Step 3, I did state to run the wire through the PVC before putting the lamp together, (Tip: Thread the wire through each pipe individually, then secure them together, as you will never get the wire to bend around, up and down through the pipe fully assembled.) and the step before that I said to paint it, so I just assumed that if someone made this they would know that, but in the future I will be sure to be more clearer. I really wish Instructables allowed us to place pics in the body of the instructable, instead of all the pics of each step being bunched up at the top, this way I could be even more detailed and it will make the flow of the project much easier to understand.

I got my Edison Bulb at Home Depot

This is bloody GENIUS!!!! Thank you for posting this---!!!! No solder! No mess! No stinky glue unless ya wanna! Opens up whole new worlds!

PS the Oiled Hammered Bronze is also an amazing finish----wonder how it would do on something like this as an ageing method or just as the finish? Hmmmm----

1 reply

Hmmmm, that is something to think about. I may just have to try that out on something to see.

I like it!

This is a fantastic way to get the copper pipe look without fussing with actual copper pipe, which is pretty darn pricey. Nicely done! :)

3 replies

Thanks Seamster! I had the same thoughts when I was in the hardware store. I went in to look at the metal pipe that you see these made of all over Etsy. I quickly moved away from them and over to the copper pipe, and the prices were just as high. That's when I remembered that I have a ton of PVC laying around and a can of spray paint would give me the look I was after. And by using PVC, I didn't have to fool with soldering joints.

Hi taricp35 ,

Firstly, congratulations for the excellent idea.

Im from Portugal and i will try, but i dont understand the wood part, can u explain better?

Once again congratulations on the good work!

The wood base: simply drill a hole all the way through. Then make a channel from the hole you drilled, to the end of the board, so that when you run the lamp cord through the wood base, the cord will lay flat.

I hope that explained the process a tad more clearly.

Very cool! A simple design with a cool look.

1 reply

Nice work. I have been seeing a lot of interest in Edison bulbs and lamps recently. I needed to replace a bulb in a small lamp that I use for reading, but I wanted some low wattage output. I came across a large, clear glass bulb that was lower wattage and it worked perfectly. Then I started to think about incorporating a dimmer circuit so I could go from the
low 25 watt output to the nice golden glow of the elements and appreciate the bulb and how Edison must have felt when his first experiments with light and electricity final worked.