Start by grabbing a PVC pipe and cutting it to size with either a hacksaw or your cut-off saw. Your final size will depend on what size your pattern is, plus an additional 3" extra in length to allow for the light kit to fit into the bottom of the pipe. I like to use the thinner walled sewer drain pipe in 4" for all my pipes. This is a good sturdy size plus the thin walled PVC makes it easy to drill through.
DIY Lamps From a PVC Pipe!
These lamps are one of my new favorite DIY craft projects! They are a great craft to make and gift or sell since they are so unique and can be personalized to anyone.
And PVC is such a fun item to repurpose. You can make so many different things with a PVC pipe, including these awesome yard birds.
To make these lamps you will need:
4" pvc pipe (I use schedule 35 - the thinner walled non-perforated sewer drain pipe)
a pattern and some tape
rotary tool with attachments
1" thick wood
chop saw or a hacksaw for cutting your pipe down to size
acetone or sander to remove the manufacturers ink
1 1/4" hole saw
4 1/4" hole saw
snap-in socket light kit
* Your cost for making this project will vary greatly depending upon what tools you already have. I basically only had to buy a 4" pipe and a light socket kit.
I start by cleaning off the manufacturers ink marks with either acetone or by using my sanding to remove it. Then I like to do all my "power tool" stuff.
First, take your jigsaw and make a small cut out in the back and bottom of your pipe. This is where your cord will go through so that your lamp will sit flat on the table. The cut out area only needs to be a bit wider and higher than the dimension of your cord.
Then I like to cut out my lamp support base. I used a 1" thick piece of wood for this part. You can measure the inside of your pipe, trace a template and cut it out with your jigsaw or you can use a hole saw and your drill.
IF YOU USE A HOLE SAW: make sure your find the dimension of the INSIDE of the hole saw, not the outside. You need to make sure the circle that is cut out will fit inside your pipe. I bought a 4 1/2" hole saw and it fit perfectly.
You also need to put about a 1" hole in the inside of your wood cut out.
*Depending on the tools you use to cut out your wood, you may want to cut out the smaller hole first. It can be hard to hold down the circle while trying to drill out the inside hole.
Prepare your pattern. I created 10 different patterns (which you can find here) for my lamps so all I needed to do was print it off and I was ready to go. Depending on the pattern, I usually print them in a 5X7 or 8X10 size. For this pattern, I printed it at a smaller size since I wanted to be able to see all of the words when looking at it straight on. But my dolphin pattern I always print in an 8X10 to give it more excitement and lights.
Tape your pattern into place on your pipe. Make sure to leave about 3" free on the bottom of your pipe to allow for your light kit. If your lamp doesn't look proportioned you can always trim off more on the top of your pipe when you're all done.
Then it's time to drill through the holes with your rotary tool. I usually start with my skinniest bit and go from there. This pattern happens to have all the dots the same size, so I could use the same bit the entire time.
What bit you use will also depend on the size of your pattern, the size of the dots that are printed, etc.
When you have all your holes drilled you can remove the pattern from the pipe. You will notice that plastic is stuck to the outer edges of your holes you just drilled. Take your putty knife and scrap them off into the trash, they should come off quite easily.
After I have the outside cleaned up I like to take my drill bit and go back through each hole again just to make sure the holes were all drilled evenly.
Now it's time to put the lamp base together. Take your wood that you have already prepared and fit it into the bottom of your lamp. If it doesn't fit tight, use some caulk to hold it in place. Make sure that you push the wood in just high enough to allow that hole you made for the cord to show. If you need to caulk, let the lamp sit for about 24 hours for the caulk to cure completely.
Then all you need to do is put in your snap in light socket kit. The prongs for the lamp kit should sit nicely against your piece of wood.
Then it is ready to light up your life!
I absolutely LOVE how it turned out and so did a lot of friends and family. I had 8 requests as soon as it was finished. They definitely sell themselves ;)
If you would like to get all 10 of my patterns that I created, head on over here to CrazyDiyMom to get them and see more photos for inspiration!
Like working with PVC? Don't forget to check out my PVC animals to start making your own PVC art!
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!Go