Bedside Hanging Lamps With Corbels

10 Materials
2 Hours
In the past several months I've seen this project in different variations and have been too intimidated to try to create my own, but I am SO happy I finally did! Thankfully, my sweet husband helped me because I'd be lost as a goose in the woods had I not had him to lend a hand--and his brain--to figure out these handcrafted corbels and reclaimed candle holders!

-6” mahogany decking (you'll need 48” overall which will allow an extra 12” of waste)

-2 geometric candle holders (I found 2 at Marshall's for $12.99 each.)

-2 vintage-style pendant light cords

-2 light bulbs

-counter sink (bottom left photo)

-screw driver head (green attachment--bottom middle photo)

-2" screws

Not pictured:

-keyhole hardware (They come with two in a pack at Home Depot. *See Step 4)

-1/2" forester bit

-18 gauge wire
Before I explain my steps, I just wanted to share this little sketch that Rob had drawn up for me to go by for creating the corbels.
STEP 1: Cut wood

First, Rob used a table saw to cut the mahogany the widths that we needed--I don't like the table saw so I always ask him to do that part when a project involves using a table saw. Once Rob cut the widths, I used a chop saw to create the lengths.

You will need the following cuts in order to create two corbels for your bedside hanging lamps:



(2)-12"x1.5" (these will have 45° angles on either end)

When the corbels are assembled, you will have a 2" space from the very top of the longest piece of wood (14"x2" piece which will be the backside that will be against the wall) and where the 10"x2" piece that comes out from the wall meet. (See Rob's sketch above.)
STEP 2: Sand

After Rob and I cut all of our wood, I used a piece of sandpaper to sand down any frayed edges. The mahogany is a pretty smooth species of wood so I didn't go crazy with sanding--just simply knocking down any rough edges.
STEP 3: Measure for holes and assemble corbels

Next, I measured for where I was going to connect my 10"x2" piece of wood (the part of the corbel that stick straight out) to my 14"x2" piece of wood (the part of the corbel that sits flush against the wall). I marked my 14"x2" piece at 2" on the edge and then at 2.5" and made a mark in the center of the piece.
Once I made my mark, I clamped my 14"x2" and 10"x2" pieces to a flat, even piece of wood that was sitting on my work table. This kept everything in place while I drilled/screwed the pieces together. Using a counter sink attachment for my drill, I made a starter hole where I made my mark on the 14"x2" piece of wood at the beginning of this step.

Then, I used a screw driver head attachment to drive in a 2" screw. Once the screw was in, Rob used a quick square (Photo 5) and held the two assembled wood pieces flush with it while I clamped the wood again to the wood table in order to ensure the center/final piece of wood would be screwed in correctly/squarely.

Next, I took two small pieces (about 1/4") of scrap wood and laid them down against the assembled pieces of my corbel, then I laid my 12"x1.5" angled piece on top on the scrap pieces--the little pieces of scrap wood just give the 12"x1.5" piece of wood some height so that it is centered on the assembled pieces of the corbel). I didn't measure the marks to attach this last piece of the corbel--I simply eyeballed the center of the wood and drove my screws towards the "meaty" part of each end of the 12"x1.5" piece. If you drive it in towards the edge, the screw will blow through the other side.
STEP 4: Attach keyhole hardware

For this step, I eyeballed roughly where I wanted my keyhole hardware to be installed--I decided to install it above the screw that held the top of my corbel together. I then took a pencil to mark where the screws would go to install the keyhole itself and also the one that would be used to mount the corbel to the wall.

Next, I drilled a starter hole for the screws that would install the keyhole (Photo 4) and then, using a 1/2" forester bit, I created a divot that would be deep enough so that the screw that would be used to mount the corbel on the wall would have room to rest in the keyhole.

Once all of the holes were drilled, I attached the keyhole to the back of the corbel.
STEP 5: Assemble pendant light cord and candle holder/cage

Once my two corbels were assembled, Rob took the pendant light cords and unscrewed the neck of the socket just enough to wrap a piece of wire around it, then he screwed the cap back on. This wire will allow you to have your pendant light cord hang from the inside of your candle holder/cage.
Once Rob finished wrapping the neck of the socket, I held the candle holder/cage while he fed the cord through. Then, he laced the wire through the screw holes on the candle holder/cage (Note: there was originally a battery-powered candle that was screwed to the bottom of the candle holder/cage when I purchased it) and twisted it using a set of plier until he reached the end, then clipped the wire.
STEP 6: Mount corbels

Finally it was time to mount the corbels! I figured where I wanted my hanging lamps to be and marked the top, then, using anchors and screws, I mounted the first corbel. After my first corbel was mounted, I measured how far the top of the corbel was from the ceiling and from the corner of the wall; using those measurements, I marked and mounted my second corbel.

After I mounted both corbels, I simply wrapped the pendant cord around them.
I rearranged our bed back to where it used to be--we have a little alcove in our very small room--and these beside hanging lamps just make our room look so comfy and complete now!
I. AM. IN. LOVE!!!! I just sold my side lamps a month or so ago that were in our room which I had had for about 6-7 years, so we needed lamps desperately and I am so so so happy with hows these came out!
Suggested materials:
  • 6” mahogany decking   (on hand)
  • 2 geometric candle holders   (Marshall's)
  • 2 vintage-style pendant light cords   (Amazon)
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3 of 44 comments
  • Virginia Virginia on Feb 05, 2017
    Yhese are great. But I'm collector of odd pieces of wood trim . And this inspired me to figure out a way to use the corbels rescued from a house in Richmond a few years ago . Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Peggy Sweeney Peggy Sweeney on Aug 08, 2020

    Love this idea. I am having two hanging stained glass lights rewired. They are very heavy and your idea may be the perfect solution for hanging them.

    Thank you for sharing your idea.