Small Living Room Lighting Ideas: How to Make a Wall Lamp/sconce

2 Materials
1 Day

I have a very small living room which means I don't have any room for end tables, so no room for table lamps and no room for floor lamps. So to add more lighting, I came up with this design for wall sconces that incorporates a shelf that can double as small end tables. I made them using standard materials from the hardware store and only a few hand tools like a drill and a hand saw!

The design come together after a lot of tinkering and experimenting!

I made each component for the lamp separately, starting with the lamp base. I made it with embroidery hoops, square wood dowels and foam board, which I covered with 3/4" iron-on wood edging.

I made the lamp base so that I can have the lamp shade facing up or down, which is a nice option.

I made the lamp shades using flexible chopping mats and 4" embroidery hoops.

I experimented with a couple different options to finish the shades, wallpaper and mica flakes. For the mica flakes, I used Mod Podge to glue them onto the shade - very easy! Because of the narrow shade, I recommend only using LED light bulbs.

This is completely optional but I decided to incorporate a small shelf in my design to act as end tables in my living room. I made it the same way I made the lamp base with foam board, but using 1"x2" furring strip instead of square dowels. I covered one side with wood edging and for the top, I used mica flakes but this time putting on a thicker coat which I covered with a high gloss resin.

To connect the lamp base and the shelf together, I used 1/2" x 6" pine boards and molding.

I used a white semi-transparent stain on the wood and voila, these wall lamps/sconces are the perfect lighting solution for my tiny living room!

This was a really fun project and if you want to see in more detail how I made the lamps, there are videos and a detailed project guide with templates on my website

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  • Debbie Debbie on Aug 20, 2020

    Wow I’m impressed too!

  • Hlpinghand Hlpinghand on Aug 20, 2020

    How did you join the edges of the chopping mat to keep them from springing open? Even if you rest the bottom of the mat inside the embroidery hoops, it seems that they would still open in the center (between the top and bottom of the "tube")? Thank you so much for such a clever idea!

  • Cj57 Cj57 on Aug 21, 2021

    quick question, did u use independent switches or the universal circuit (wall switch that controls certain wall outlets) that will turn on the lights?


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