How to make a wall lamp

Decor, DIY, Lighting

Lighting is a very important element in setting the right mood in any home yet it’s often challenging to design lighting on a budget, especially in rental apartments where you often have limited options.  In this episode, I show you how to make beautiful wall lamps that you can customize with different DIY lamp shades to complement your décor. Because the wall sconces are made with a plug-in light kit with a switch, you can install them on a wall without having to deal with electrical wiring – perfect for renters!

Want to make this lamp? Download this free template to get you started: http://bit.ly/1PLuX1u

Here are quick links to some of materials for the project in this video:

Iron on edging (birch) 

Clip-on candelabra light kit

Wall mounted switch and plug-in receiver

Corner guards

Aluminum sheet

Metal snips

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77 Comments

  1. i really liked your videos very much i just love them n i am going to try in my home aswell but i would love if you can guide me n instruct me.
    we have small one room kitchen house n we have to decorate it so plz guide me.

    • Thank you so much for watching my videos! I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have about my projects – it’s easier for me to help if you have specific questions.

  2. Dear Isabele,,Its really good knowledge for me and for my business,,i am developing a classic furniture manufacture as indoor furniture which i already have an outdoor furniture manufacture (see my web),and i want this kind of lamp become one of my product that i am going to produce.I have many design for stand made from mahogany wood.Visiting your web just opened my eye how to make the the lamp shade..You just gave me some basic fantastic idea how to make it and i will develop it with my own design..Thanks so much

    Brilliant and wish God always bless you..

    • You’re welcome! It’s wonderful to hear that my wall sconce project was helpful!

  3. Very good idea. Question… I need extra light in the kitchen are the led lights bright enough??

  4. Isabelle, you inspire confidence! Working on the wall lamps, but can’t figure out the remote receivers. Where are your lamps plugged in?

    • Glad to be of inspiration! The wall lamp plugs into the receiver, which is plugged into an electrical outlet. If you have 2 lamps like I do, you plug the lamps in the adapter first, and then plug the adapter in the receiver, and the receiver in the outlet (see attached picture). The on/off switch works from anywhere in the room. I installed the lamps on a panel where I drilled a hole so the cord can run behind it and be partially or fully hidden – I show this in the previous episode: http://www.engineeryourspace.com/how-to-decorate-a-small-apartment/. Hope this helps!

  5. I’m glad to have come across your website and the practical DIY tips you present.

    You’re videos and the work you are doing inspires me to be more creative in doing things for myself.
    I really like the wall sconce with birch wood edging. I enjoy how the light is interspersed on the wall. Isabelle, I want to make one but not sure where to buy some items:
    * The birch wood edging
    * the embroidery hoop
    * the plastic corner guard

    Can you let me know where to get them? I live in Toronto.
    * the long stem brads, i think you said online. But if you have tips for where to get them that would be great.

    If I could make a suggestion for your consideration, you might want to list where to find each item, which will make it even easier for the viewers to go out and do the project.

    Thanks for your inspiring videos and keep up the good work!
    Jason

    • Hi Jason,

      It’s great to hear you’re inspired to be more creative! You can get the birch wood edging and the corner guards at Home Depot or any hardware store. For the embroidery hoops, I find fabric stores to be a good source, or craft stores (though they tend to be more expensive there). The website I use for brads is http://www.eyeletoutlet.com – they have a very nice variety of colors.

      I’ve also added an amazon store below the resource guide that has some of the items to make it easier to find the materials (it’s hard to find a source that’s accessible to everyone).

      Hope this helps and I would love to see pics of your lamps when they’re done!

      Isabelle

  6. Also, Isabelle if I want to make 2 lamps, I think you mentioned to use the whole embroidery hoop and just cut it at the end.

    Was a little concerned that it might be difficult to cut it strait like that?
    Any ideas, on how you’d do this?

    • Hi Jason,

      If you’re speaking of the fabric covered sconces, I would suggest using poster board with a grid embedded in it and marking the line at the halfway point where you will need to cut before gluing the poster board to the embroidery hoops – having the lines pre-drawn will make it easier to cut the shade in half with straight edges. I also find that the straight metal snips work well for cutting the wood embroidery hoops but heavy duty scissors can work too. Hope this makes sense!

      Isabelle

  7. Your a genius!! All I can say is more!!! Love it

    • Great to hear you like it! Thanks 🙂

  8. Why don’t you have a TV show….your videos are better than most of the shows on the air now….

    • I like the way you think 🙂 Would love to have a TV show in my future!

  9. Hi Isabelle,
    I want to first say WOW!! Your projects are so awesome and I am going crazy cause I want to make all of them lol. I am trying to do home made crafts with my 13 year old daughter. She is growing up so fast and I am trying to keep her a little busy at home instead of having her running around with her friends doing who knows what. We have already done some projects, and she just loves participating with me!! We are dying to make the light sconces as there are such a great idea. The problem we are having is!! I can’t order online and it would cost more to have items shipped to me. I also don’t know where to find some of the materials. I will start with the Candelabra Light Kit. I went to Home Depot and they said they don’t have it. Seeing as I’m from Toronto, Canada do you know where I could find it here. Or is there another one similar I could use that I could find @ a store here in Toronto?? And one more thing is the Poster Board!! What is a Poster Board and where can I find that?? I really hope you can help as we are so excited to start it. Thank you so much and please keep adding projects 🙂

    Sandra

    • Hi Sandra!
      Thank you so much for your message – I’m so happy to hear that you and your daughter are finding inspiration in my projects and that you’re making things together! I have fond memories of making thinks with my mom when I was a teenager 🙂

      Now for the materials to make the wall sconces: as a fellow Canadian, I used to have the same frustration of trying to find things in stores or online only to find out it would cost an arm and a leg for shipping! I’m really sorry to hear that Canadian Home Depot’s don’t carry the candelabra light kits… I can’t think of another Canadian source right now but I’ll search for another option – hopefully I’ll find another suitable light kit near you!

      You should have an easier time to find poster board – it’s essentially thin cardboard (thicker than construction paper but thinner than cardboard). I like to use the kind with grid lines (you can’t really see them but it makes it easier to measure and cut straight lines). You’ll find it at office supply stores like Staples, Walmart or Dollar Stores. Hope this helps and thanks so much for watching 🙂

      Isabelle

  10. I also agree with Jose Perez!! You should definitely have your own TV show. They have so many stupid shows that are on TV that do-nothing to teach our children about the value of life or even to value themselves!! Every time my children sit down to watch TV, I worry about the effects that what they’re watching will have on them. What you’re doing is not only educational but it’s fun and is also something you can do with your family. That’s the kind of shows that should be on TV :). I hope this is something we can look forward to watching in the future. Keep up the great work…….thanks,

    Sandra

    • I agree that there is a lot of fluff on TV – hopefully the time has come for having more constructive shows available! And if my show could be one of them, that would be amazing 🙂 Thanks again for watching!
      Isabelle

  11. Hello Again Isabelle,

    I’m sorry but I forgot to ask you about what size drill bits that you used to drill the holes?? Also thank you soooo much for your quick response:).

    As for the Candelabra Kight Kit,
    Well I got my husband to take me around to see if we could find it @ another store other then Home Deopt!! I still was not able to find the kit. But what I did find was the base of it {Not sure if that’s what you would call it lol}, but it just doesn’t have the cord. Now tomorrow I am going to check a few other stores. But if I don’t find the kit, is it still ok to use what I have?? And I guess I would just have to connect a cord some how. My husband said “a cord can be attached”. I will add a photo of what I picked up to show you. I can say that I am getting very excited to start making it:). I have picked up a lot of the supplies, mind you I had to shop around to find where there sold. But I’m sure in the end….it will be well worth it!! One more thing Isabelle……once I have all the supplies!! Would it be ok if I send you a list of the supplies and where I got them?? It may help you in the future it someone else asks if you know where to get one of the items here in Canada?? It’s nice to know that you are a fellow Canadian:). Again thanks for everything Isabelle!!

    Note: It will only let me upload 1 photo @ a time. So I will have to make another comment under this one with the other photos!! Sorry

    Sandra

    • Hi Sandra,

      Yes, that looks like the same socket, and as you said, it’s just missing the lamp cord with the switch (I don’t think your light socket has a switch?) and the plug (here’s a link to what I’m talking about: http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/200530542871?lpid=82). You would need to take off the existing wires and attach the wires from the lamp cord to the socket. Here’s a video for rewiring a lamp that might be helpful – I’m sure there are others out there – sorry, I don’t have a video of that!

      As for the drill bit size, I used one that was the width of the legs of the brads, about 1/8″. You might want to do a test hole just to make sure you have the right size.

      And of course, it would be great if you could send me your list of stores – might come in handy for other Canadians !

      Can’t wait to see the finished lamps!

      Isabelle

  12. Here is the cover of the box!!

  13. Here is another pic!!

  14. Hi Isabelle,

    Just thought I would let you know that I will be starting the lamp tomorrow. I have everything I need, mind you some things I had to improvise. I went to like ten different stores to try and find the wood embroidery hoop!! I still was not able to find it, so I had to substitute the wood one for a hard plastic one. Michael’s told me they don’t even carry embroidery hoops, they have everything for embroidery but not the hoops. Tell me that’s not crazy that Michael’a don’t carry that?? As for the plastic corner pieces, I had a hard time finding that as well but we finally found one. So it has been a bit of a challenge finding the supplies, but I think it will be worth it in the end:) I am looking so forward to doing this!! I will show you a picture when it has been completed and also send you a list of the stores where people can find the supplies here in Canada. Thanks again Isabelle!!

    Sandra

    • Hi Sandra,

      Hope you’re having fun making the lamp! I can’t believe that Michael’s doesn’t carry those wooden embroidery hoops! I’ve had luck finding them at fabric stores in the past, both in Canada (Quebec) and NYC. As for the corner guards, it looks like Canadian hardware stores really don’t carry any of the same stuff as their American counterparts!

      Can’t wait to see how your lamp turns out!

      Isabelle

  15. I wanted to know how to modify this design to fit corners. I have two corners to light and no floor space.

  16. Could you share the dimensions of the wall panels for the birch shades? I love the proportions and am wondering what you used. Thanks!

    • I left those panels behind when I moved to LA and I don’t remember what the exact dimensions were, sorry! I like to use a piece of cardboard as a template to test out different sizes to see what works best before I commit to cutting the panel – hope that helps!

  17. I have a light fixture that I am wanting t put up in my bathroom, very similar to what you have done here, I got it from the ReStore where things are refurbished and or reused. It is a fixture with 4 lights on it. There is no wiring in the bathroom where I want to put it so was wanting to wire it with a plug in cord. can you direct me to a site or tell me here how to wire it if it can be done.

  18. Hi! I’m Sooooooo happy I found you! Just last night I saw looking to buy $200 will scones and I needed two! Question, I don’t see the video where you did the wall panels

  19. Hi!!

    Love your videos! I want to put sconces lights on a wall that has not plug outlet, any ideas??

    Thnxs!!

  20. I really love these diy projects! They meet all my needs at a low expense. But I have been trying to figure out how you built the smallerror wall panels and hid the cord below. I noticed there covered but with what?

  21. Hi Isabelle,

    First I wanted to say that I LOVE your channel and that you are a true inspiration. My question is, do I absolutely need corner guards that are 3/4″? I can’t seem to find any that size around my area, and those who have it online charge an too much for shipping. Any tips? Thanks.

    -Kelly

    • Hi Kelly,

      Thank you so much! Any corner guard should be able to do the trick, as long as there’s enough space to drill a pilot hole for the brads to go through. If they are too wide, you could always trim them down using a utility knife or heavy duty scissors. Hope this helps!

      Isabelle

  22. Hi Isabelle

    I´m from México, and I just want to tell you thanks for your great ideas and for share them, congratulations!!!!

    • Thank you so much Emanuel!

  23. its so nice and this is too cheap that a renter can afford this helps me and i’ll try this !!!! thanks

    • Glad this helps you!

  24. Hi i am going to try to do this over the weekend but wanted to know if I could use fabric instead of panel.

    Thanks
    Maria F

    • Hi Maria, Sorry for the late reply – the panel material works better because it’s thicker and stiffer so it’s easier for it to stay smooth when you attach it to the embroidery hoops. You might be able to use fabric if it’s thick enough. All the best with your project!

  25. Do you have to use the brads or can we just heat the wood edging and leave it like that without the brads?

    • The brads are needed to secure the edges to the corner guards.

  26. I make this. is it Good?

    • Looks great! Thank you so much for sharing!

  27. This is really neat and might work for my little space. My challenge is getting the products needed in South Africa as they usually have different names.

    • I totally understand the challenges of finding the right supplies. Hopefully you’ll find what’s needed to recreate the project!

  28. Hi Isabelle
    Let me start first by saying, I love, love your projects. Reading your projects and tips are really an inspiration.
    Now for the question.. If I want to make the wall lamps longer in height (twice the size of yours)do you think one bulb will do or should I install 2? If I install 2, how should I position them under the loop shade? side by side or one on the bottom and the other on top?

    • Hi Sylvia,

      Thank you so much, so glad to hear you like my projects!

      I think I would position them one on the bottom and one on the top to have a more even distribution of light from top to bottom. Hope you’ll share pics of your project!

      Isabelle

  29. A couple questions:
    How long do the brads need to be? I see them in many lengths, not sure which to buy.
    Also, are there any other suggestions as to where can I buy the “panel material”? I don’t have any of the stores listed on your materials list. Is there another name for panel material that might show up on a Google search? I do have a great fabric store down the street, but they didn’t know what I was asking for. Would upholstery fabric work, or some kind of thick burlap?
    Thanks so much!
    Great idea. I just fully overhauled (patched and painted)my son’s old bedroom, and am not sure how I am ultimately going to use that room. So I don’t want to make any holes on the pristine walls yet. But meanwhile,I need a safe earthquake-proof source of light in there., i.e. a lamp that is attached to the wall- to prevent potential fire from my tall torch lamps tipping over in an earthquake. Had an earthquake just yesterday! This only emphasized what needs to be done in there. There are no ceiling lights attached to the switches in any of my bedrooms. Strange! I have other folks in the house who shall remain nameless ;-), who are not good about turning off lights when they leave the room, or even when they leave the home. I need fail-safe alternative light sources that are not cost prohibitive and the frosting on the cake here is that I don’t have to make holes in those walls. Your project was exactly what I needed and looking for. I am going to make one for each bedroom in my house.
    Thanks again,
    Lucy

    • Hi Lucy,

      The silver brads I used are 20 mm long – here’s a link to the ones I bought online: http://www.eyeletoutlet.com/3loprsibr.html

      The panels come from IKEA and I haven’t seen that type of material elsewhere. This said, any fabric with some rigidity to it can work, including the burlap as you suggested. It just needs to let some light through, otherwise the sconces won’t provide much light.

      I would love to see the sconces you end up making and how they look in your home so I hope you’ll share pics!

      Thanks for watching the show!

      Isabelle

  30. Hello Isabelle!!
    I loved this project! Although, I have a question. I’ve been thinking on making it with fabric or burlap as you mention in other comments, but my question is, Do you think it is ok? Like because of the heat, it wont be dangerous or anything right?

    Thank you very much for sharing your creative ideas with us!!!

    Franliz García

    • Hi Franliz, Thank you, glad you like it! I recommend always using LED lightbulbs with my DIY lamps – they don’t give off as much heat so it’s not an issue to use burlap or any other fabric to make the shades. Plus they don’t consume as much energy so LED lightbulbs are better all around. Hope this helps!

      Isabelle

  31. Hi Isabelle! I am totally addicted to your website! 🙂

    For the wood lamp shade, how long should the brads be? And what board are you using (the smaller one, off-white/cream colored) to attach the lamp to? THANKS! Can’t wait to get started!

  32. Can you show to everyone, how to mount the lamp to the wall. Tq

    • I just used 3m command strips to hang it on the wall (the wall sconces are very light). I also hung them on panels by drilling some holes in the metal base and used bolts to secure them to the panel.

    • I could never get to the part where it shows how to mount
      with the cord not showing. If you could email that to me
      I would really appreciate it . Thanks.

  33. You have inspired me to diy my home! I am so excited. Thank you so much. You are extremely talented.

    • That’s great to hear Rebecca! Can’t wait to see what you create in your home. Thank YOU for watching! Isabelle

  34. I really like your DIY things. I started this project for my media room. I need 4 wall lamps.

    I have a question on drilling holes. what is your drill bit number or size for holes?
    The reason I’m asking you is this, I bought brads from staples (they called fasteners). But those really really long almost 45mm and 10mm head. For this I need to make really big holes to insert brads. I did for couple holes but not nothing working out.

    Now I ordered from eyesletoutlets.com. Next one I want use right size bit. Let me know if you know drill bit (or size).

    • So glad to hear you’re making these! I used a 1/8″ drill bit to make the holes – the brads go in just a bit snug which is best so they don’t tend to move around. Hope you’ll share pics of your finished sconces, would love to see them!

  35. Hello Isabelle,
    I followed your tutorial and run the electrical cord through a decorative drapery rod. I am very pleased with the outcome and want to share it with you.

    Thank you for the wisdom you share.

    • Hello Doris,

      Absolutely stunning! I love the effect of the 2 colors in the shade and the curtain rod idea is just brilliant and looks amazing! Thanks so much for sharing!

  36. Can I download this video? I wish to play this over and over. Thank you

    • Hi Shirley,

      It’s not available for download at the moment.

      Thanks,

      Isabelle

  37. Hi isabella..I’m a huge fan of ur diy’s you are an inspiration !
    Plz tell me what will what will be tge size of the poster board.
    Thanks

    • Thank you Rajni! I usually just buy the large sheets of poster board but a piece that’s about 10″ x 18″ should be big enough.

  38. Fantastic idea!!! We tweaked the design just a bit to finish off the inside. (we can see inside coming down our stairs) Your drum light idea worked great too!! Cheers and thanks.

    • Love it! They give such a nice glow on the walls! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

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