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How to Build a Tripod Lamp from a Music Stand

03 May 2011

How to Build a Tripod Lamp from a Music Stand

Prepare to be amazed!!! Kristine sent this in to feature it, TOTALLY AMAZING recycled project!  Don't you agree?  Check out the transformation below! -

Don't get me wrong, I l-u-r-v-e living in Australia though a word of warning to anyone thinking of moving here (particularly if you're from the USA). Sure, we might have lovely weather (most of the time), beautiful beaches and kangaroos frolicking about though, you can pretty much kiss good-bye to easily obtainable chalkboard spray paint, tinted wax sealers and Hershey's Bars (whatever they are) amongst many other wonderful things :-(

So why the rant? Well, I've seen  a tonne of really affordable DIY lamp kits readily available from a heap of international sources though do you think I could find any here in Oz?
Course not, though never fear, there's always a longer, frustrating, more expensive way around these things :-)

Anyways, enough venting and on with the actual project.

There are many different ways you can create your own custom lamp so for the purposes of this tutorial I'll focus on how I did it.
Of course, depending on which country you're in electrical components may vary and I do gotta say that technically any wiring should be undertaken by a qualified electrician - technically :-)

So, you will need....

Something to form your lamp base:

Lamps (2)

On a recent thrifting adventure I found this really cool old music stand for just $6 and knew straight away I wanted to try a lamp conversion. It has a wonderfully grungy patina with crud and rust in all the right places:

Lamps (3)

And the following items (all available from pretty much any hardware store)…

A lamp switch:

Lamps (4)

A power outlet head:

Lamps (5)

A length of power cable:

Lamps (6)

The steps….

1. I removed the sheet music holder from the top of the tripod which left a nice hollow shaft perfect for housing the power cable.

2. To securely attach the lamp switch to the tripod, I first inserted the plastic thread (which comes with the lamp switch as shown above) into the top of the shaft and glued it firmly in place (you can see what I mean by this in one of the following pics).
If your lamp base won't easily accommodate the plastic thread then put your thinking cap on for a way to make it work.
When faced with a conundrum like this, I usually just browse the hardware store isles til I find something I can adapt.

3. Once the glue dried, I inserted the power cable into the hollow shaft so it protruded from both ends.

4. I wired and attached the power outlet head to the rear end of the cable as per the packet instructions.

Lamps (7)

If you're lucky enough to have a lamp kit this step is already done for you.

5. I wired and attached the lamp switch to the top end of the cable as per the packet instructions and screwed it onto the glued-in thread.

Lamps 1 (8)

Because the thread would only fit into the fat section at the top of the shaft, half of it was still visible once the head was attached (as can be seen above). I could have cut it down though instead decided to keep the extra length for greater stability and simply wrapped it in some twine as a camouflage.

Lamps (9)

6. I inserted a globe, turned the power on and crossed my fingers...it worked! I was momentarily blinded by light - mental note, do not stare at bulb in anticipation during testing!

7. To finish I simply added a budget K-mart linen shade.

Course, if you are lucky enough to have a DIY lamp kit then this project gets a whole lot easier.

Sooo, from this:

Lamps (2)

To this:

Tripod Lamp

I love this lamp...even though I don't really have anywhere to put it at the moment :-(
I especially like that the upper shaft and tripod base are both adjustable so the height and splay can be easily altered to best suit its chosen location. I've rarely seen industrial style tripod lamps like this selling for under $150 so for around $30 I'm pretty chuffed with my little re-invention – if I do say so myself :-)

Oh, and I’m also loving my new green enamel alarm clock I picked up on the same thrifting adventure for just $5.

Alarm Clock

Even if it doesn’t work!


Jacqueline May 3, 2011 at 7:10 AM  

What a very creative idea.....I always liked the lamps made out of camera tripods but this looks better!

Junk-it Junction... May 3, 2011 at 7:32 AM  

I too have been on a lamp making frenzy, and for the life of me, I dont know why we cant obtain a lamp making kit anywhere here in down under....but now I feel I am somewhat of an expert, and do my own! Of course, it is much more expensive than buying a kit, but we dont really have a choice...
I absolutely love your lamp, and just happen to have a black music stand, and will be definitely having a go at making a lamp with it.I also have a projector table, and an antique wooden camera tripod, all intended as lamp stands eventually! Thankyou for sharing!

Theresa May 3, 2011 at 8:01 AM  

I think I have an old music stand in the barn... I will be looking for that today! Thank you for the great tutorial! oxoxo

Lilliedale May 3, 2011 at 9:00 AM  

Well I just have to say that I love that lamp. What a great idea to use a music stand. Love it!

MariaS May 3, 2011 at 9:47 AM  

What a fabulous tutorial! Bookmarking this! There WILL be a tripod lamp in my future!
Thank you for sharing!

Margaret May 3, 2011 at 10:09 AM  

What a great idea!

We shared your link on the Etsy Fort Worth Facebook page!

Anita May 3, 2011 at 10:15 AM  

Love this idea! You have inspired me to RUN back to a warehouse where I saw some cast music stands and see about some lamp bases.....

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards May 3, 2011 at 2:09 PM  

Oh my gosh! I've seen lamp tutorials, but this may be my favorite. Thanks for sharing!

Brian + Cheryl B. May 4, 2011 at 5:40 PM  

Hi Kristine :-)
I was just looking through different postings of yours and found this one. Wonderful creative idea!! In-fact, I liked it so much, and I know a whole bunch of people whom would probably enjoy it too, so I emailed the link to this posting to them ;-p

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