One part minimalist, one part industrial, and one part modern, this simple DIY wall light will bring a unique organic touch to any room for about $25!
I searched high, low and far across the vast internet for just the right set of wall-mounted lights to go in our guest room. I knew I wanted them to be simple in design with a mix of wood and a warm gold-toned metal. Lastly, I wanted them to be inexpensive and unique.
When I say “inexpensive”, what I’m really trying to say is “cheap”. You see, the penny-pincher in me couldn’t grasp spending more than $25 per light.
And when I say I want a “unique” light, what I really mean is there would be a 99% chance that nobody else would have a set of wall sconces like ours.
Well, that’s until I show everyone how easy the lights I created for our guest room are to make.
*Some of the supplies can be found at the home improvement store but I’ve included affiliate links to help you find the all the parts you’ll need.
What you’ll need to make one light:
- A piece of wood that’s 1-1/2 ” x 1-1/2″ x 13″ long. I used cedar that we had left over from another project we made for our guest room. *I strongly recommend that you use a denser wood than cedar (such as oak) for this project. Although denser woods are more challenging to drill, it will be easier to hold the bolt droppers I linked to in the supply list below. To compare the densities of wood species, you can look at this chart.
- Twisted Cloth Wire – I chose black and white but they have many colors available. This is long enough to make 2 lamps depending on how far away your electrical socket is. You’ll need about 2-1/2 feet extra to loop around the wood and for the wire that hangs down.
- Mid-century style plug -Or you can go with a standard plug at a hardware store.
- Antique-style gold lamp socket with a switch. Note: The lamp socket I purchased wasn’t in stock when I just checked. But this one is very similar but I’m not sure if it comes with a cord strain relief.
- 1/4″-20 T-nuts aka Bolt Droppers. Home improvement stores have these in packs of 2.
- Gorilla Glue is optional but recommended for soft wood like cedar.
- 1/4″ x 2″ hanger bolts. These are double-ended screws that are coarse thread on one end and machine bolt threaded on the other end made for mounting to a stud.
Note: If you aren’t mounting in a stud, you’ll buy a 1/4″-20 threaded rod. Then, you’ll secure them into the drywall with 1/4″ toggle bolts.
Before we get started, I need y’all to promise me something. This is just the mom in me. If you attempt anything from this blog post, please use caution and common sense when working with power tools and electricity. We got that? Ok. Let’s go.
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Set the miter saw to 31.62 degrees and cut one end of the wood. The wood bracket will end up being about 12″ long.
Then, clamp the bracket to the work table. I used a block a wood between the clamp since cedar is a soft wood. Since the width of the t-nut is 3/4″ wide, use a slightly larger 7/8″ wide Forstner bit to make a place to countersink the t-nut. This will allow the bracket to sit flush against the wall.
Next, using a 5/16″ drill bit, make a hole to insert the t-nut. The depth should be around 1″ deep for the hanger bolt. Add a few drops of Gorilla Glue inside the hole and underneath the t-nut. Then, tap it in with a hammer.
After that, you’ll add the holes to feed the twisted wire using a 3/8″ bit. Drill at an angle at least an inch back so you leave clearance for the hanger bolt. On the other end, you drill straight down about 1-1/2″ from the end.
Now’s a good time to sand and seal the wood. I chose to leave mine raw but Danish oil would be my choice if I decided to protect the cedar.
Now it’s time to wire our light fixture! I know not everybody likes being hands-on with electrical work. When I made my first light fixture, I was nervous, but oh how the years have changed me. There’s something very enjoyable about making something yourself.
I won’t go into details on how to wire a lamp, but you can use this tutorial for reference. Tip: When using cloth wire, use a lighter to burn the frayed fibers where the wire was cut.
This is how it’s all put together before reconnecting the lamp socket. Don’t wire the plug until after the next step.
The next step is to insert the hanger bolt in the wall and then twist the bracket to the wall. After that, thread the wire starting from underneath the front part of the bracket.
Adjust the height of the light fixture to your liking. I have mine hanging about 9″ down. Then loop the wires around and feed it down the back hole from the top. After that, all that’s left to do is wiring the plug and then you have yourself a beautiful handmade wall light!
So maybe you thought making your own DIY wall light would be a difficult task? I promise, once you get past the first one, you’ll be ready to make another. If you like the idea of making your very own custom lights then I bet you’d love one of these other light projects:
Linking this project to some of my favorite blogs such as: