I’ve been alluding to this project on Instagram for a while now, but I am finally rolling out the reveal today! It is my DIY floor lamp as part of Brittany’s DIY Lighting Challenge:
But my build was actually a lot more complicated than it may first appear. First, there was the challenge of building a lamp out of wood (not that that was a requirement of the challenge, but I wanted to use my woodworking skills so I made it a personal requirement) and secondly, because I couldn’t find any industrial looking pulleys locally. (I waited to long to order them online of course.) If I was going to build this again, I could just order these actual pulleys.
Instead I found these casters which had the great industrial look. They are intended for the bottom of a piece of furniture and had large swiveling mounting brackets, but I loved the shape of the wheel and knew I could make them work. Plus they are only SIX BUCKS! Similar pulley wheels go for 4-5 times that on etsy.
So these are the supplies that are required for my “pulley" hack.
3 Steel Swivel Casters
3 Simpson Strong-Tie Straps (9 inch or 12 inch) (Make sure you get the 20 gauge so you can cut them!)
Pliers or Channellocks
First you just need to remove the wheel from the caster by loosening the bolt with the pliers. you can throw out the swiveling bracket.
Next, you need to cut down your Strong-Tie straps with the tin snips to form the new pulley “bracket". I got SO LUCKY that the large hole in the strap is the EXACT SIZE to fit the bolt from the caster. You can get 2 supports (enough for one bracket) out of each strap.
Now you just run the bolt though those cut down straps and there you have it. Brand new “pulleys” which are ready to be attached to your wooden lamp base.
And out of sheer luck (again, the width of the caster wheel is exactly 1-1/2 inches.. The thickness of a 1x2!
Here is what those pulleys look like on the actual lamp:
Now for the supplies for the rest of the lamp:
One 6-ft 2x2 (cut to 58 inches)
One 6-ft 1x2 (cut to 36 inches)
2 Strong-Tie 2x2 Rigid Tie Brackets
Quick Setting Concrete (I used Mortar Mix)
Router with roundover bit
Staple Gun (Optional) I like this one since it is designed for wires
Paint (I used Rustoleum Hammered Metal in Brown, to make the wood look like metal pipes)
First I cut down my boards and rounded all the corners with my router. Next I painted them with Rustoleum Hammered Metal in Brown so they would look like the Pottery Barn Inspiration piece. Next I needed to add the 2x2 bracket on the top of the 2x2. However, I wanted the top piece to swivel so I drilled a large hole in the center of the top part of the bracket in order to run a bolt though the 1x2. I also drilled a hole through the 1x2.
Then I attached it to the top of the 2x2Here is how it looks in the schematic. And here is what it looked like when I actually built it.
I also needed to support the post in the concrete base so I used a stepping stone mold and I cut to slits into it so the Strong Tie Connector would protrude from the surface. then I filled it with concrete and let it set.
I screwed the 2x2 into the bracket. It was a lot more stable than I thought it would be. I was worried the heavy metal caster wheels would weigh too much, but that wasn’t a problem at all.
Once I had all the pulleys and brackets attached, I was finally able to string my old Dollar Store Wastepaper Pendant lamp through the pulleys:
So I ran to Ikea and bought this fun copper lined shade (NYMO) instead (Ironically the shade cost as much as the entire lamp!) :
It does look really neat when it is lit up.
And gives it a fun Mid Century Modern vibe. I really like it. However, if the more vintage farm house style is your thing, this version is pretty darn cute too:
I have to admit, this project through me for a loop.. And it took me a long time to figure out exactly how to get the pulleys to work, but now that I have the final project I’m pretty excited about it. Definitely a one of a kind lamp for a one of a kind girl!
If you have a DIY lighting project you would like to share, or are just looking for more inspiration, check out the link up below: