Rusty Stake to Modern Lamp

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On this Instructable, we are going to learn how to fix up some rusty metal along with an old lamp and make it into a Modern piece of art that you can add to any space in your home! This project can be done with little cost and can be 100% done in 2 hours or less! Anyone can do it, so let's get to it!

Step 1: Assembling the Materials

I recently went to an estate sale with an open mind and an open wallet to see if there was anything that was in rough condition that I could restore. I was there for about an hour and didn't find anything that I liked. However, on my way out, I found a spiral dog leash stake thing stuck in the ground and the man running the sale said I could have it for $1. I knew there was potential with it but I didn't know what yet. Little did I know that with that purchase, an Instructable was born.

What you will need:

-Spiral dog leash stake ($1) (Picture 1)

-Hacksaw (bought at the sale for $1) (Picture 1)

-Spare wood lying around (Free)

-Old ugly lamp (Free - or super cheap at a thrift store) (Picture 2)

-Optional: New lamp shade ($5 at Walmart) (Picture 3)

-Drill with a 3/8" drill bit (Free - already had it)

-Left-over black spray paint (Free)

Total Project Cost: ($2-$7) Now that is a fun-project on a budget!


Step 2: Cutting / Fixing Up the Stake

In this step we need to cut some of the components off of the stake. Also we need to fix up the rusty parts.

First I took my new metal hacksaw and started cutting away at the ring that was attached (Picture 1). Once that was removed, I decided that I was not going to need the bottom part either and just wanted the stake to come to a point on the bottom (Picture 2). After the pieces were removed it was time to fix up the stake by removing the rust. You can find some pretty weird methods online from potatoes to limes but I just went with the good old vinegar and sandpaper method. To remove the rust, you let the piece soak in vinegar for about 20 minutes and then you take a 150 grit piece of sandpaper and you scrub until the rust is removed. With most metal pieces this size, it should clear the rust right up. *Tip* try applying this method to some of your rusty tools, knives etc! I did this process halfway down the stake before I completed the rest so that you could see the before and after (Picture 3). The difference is pretty dramatic between the rust and the cleaned metal! Once you are done cleaning the stake, now its time to start destroying the old lamp. Yup you heard me DESTROY THE LAMP *at least almost all of it.*

Step 3: Take Apart the Lamp to Extract the Electric Components.

Now here is the fun part: taking apart the lamp. Grab a hammer and get ready to relieve some stress! (Be careful of course!)

The first thing that you can do is unscrew that which can be unscrewed the top, the bottom, etc. In this process you should see a couple of components including a metal shaft, a plastic shaft, a plaster-looking base piece, and a couple of small metal pieces here and there nuts, a washer etc. For the plastic shaft, I took my metal hacksaw and cut it into a couple of pieces (be careful not to cut/expose the electric wires). Then I took a hammer and carefully smashed them to pieces (Picture 1). Be sure to remove all of the plastic. Next, you will see the plaster base. Be sure to reduce that to rubble (Picture 2). All that should be left is a metal shaft with the wires running through it. Don't do anything to it because it is going to hold the wires in place and make the lamp look really cool. If you were as violent as I was removing the pieces (lots of stress ammiright?) , you may have to glue the top back on to the metal part (Picture 3). Now we are ready to make the base for the lamp.

Step 4: The Lamp Base

I didn't want the base to outshine the squiggly features of the lamp itself so I went with a very simple look - a cube (patent pending). So I took some of my spare wood that I had lying around and made 3 identical squares and glued them together with wood glue so they formed a wooden cube. Then, I drilled a hole that would fit the bottom tip of the stake snuggly into the base which happened to be a 3/8" diameter hole. (Picture 1). The cube dimensions should be around 2x2x2. I then took some black spray paint and did a quick 2 coats. Then I put the stake into the base (Picture 2). The lamp should stand upright and shouldn't wobble at all.

Step 5: Some Assembly Required!

All that there is left to do is slide the lamp shade on and put the lightbulb in and you are done! (Picture 1) The old rusty stake and the old lamp have been given a new life and a second chance thanks to you! With a little TLC, two eye-sore pieces have turned into a cool, functional modern-looking lamp! Now display it for all your friends to see! It definitely makes for a great conversation starter once they find out that it was made from a rusty old stake from someone's yard! While I did use a spiral stake to make the structure of the lamp, feel free to use anything else that you can get your hands on! It is most certainly not limited to the materials that I came across. Get creative with the materials you use and make some thing incredible! Also, have fun!

Thank you so much for checking out this Instructable! Leave a comment below and feel free to check out my other Instructables as well! See you on the next one!

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    Mastering Meattosa

    Reply 2 months ago

    It did! :) it was so easy and took no time at all! Give it a shot if you have time! Thanks for the comment!