Lamp design with scrap wood

This project is made when you have some wood that you have left over of some project that you did not use and you recycle it, this small project can be used as a bedside lamp, corner of a small library, or simply to place those photos that you always want to see or show, or some drawing or silkscreen that you wish to illuminate.

The materials needed are not many, you can get them in decorative houses, DIY or hardware stores dedicated to wood and ornaments.

It is important to address that this project, is suggested if you have wood that is left over from other works and you want to recycle it to maintain the environment, and to contribute to the use of recycling materials.

It is also important to note that all the necessary dimensions are specified in the attached drawings, you can change any of the dimensions for ones that suit your materials and necessities. All dimensions are specified in mm and the drawings are in an A4 sheet format in order for you to print them.

The case of the lamp consist of 4 primary pieces of wood (see render image 1), that are joint using glue and self taping screws, and two dividers one for the wire screen and one internal divider for the two pictures or drawings that you want to illuminate.

Materials needed for one lamp:

  • Some pine, Cedrus, or any scrap wood that you have laying around, in this project as an example we use strips of 1.20m x 0.10 cm x 10 mm of thickness.
  • A dozen screws for wood (self-taping) of a diameter of 3mm and 20mm long, or the ones that you could find in a hardware store.
  • Glue for wood
  • Sandpaper 80 grid
  • Sealer and wood paint
  • 7m of copper wire or similar (the diameter depends on how much light attenuation you want), the amount of wire needed will depend of the spacing on the wire screen.
  • Wire AWG 18 for connecting the bulb. The amount of wire needed will depend on how much you need to connect the lamp to your house electrical system.
  • LED bulb and his socket. We suggest using an LED bulb because if we use a normal incandescent bulb it will leave burn marks in the wood and in the drawings that you want to illuminate, also it will consume less electricity from the grid.
  • Electrical tape or preferably heat shrinkable tubing. Make sure when you buy heat shrinkable tubing to ask for the correct diameter and also ask the salesman for the contraction factor, if you buy a smaller diameter than the wire that you are using the tubing won’t fit the connection, if you buy it too big the tubing will hang loose and the connection won’t be protected. With 30 cm of heat shrinkable is more than enough but we encourage you to buy a lot of It because is very useful for every type of electrical project, once you use it you cannot go back to tape.

Basic Tools required for this project:

  • Flathead Screwdrivers (we recommend the ones that come magnetized they make the job a lot easier)
  • Phillips Screwdrivers
  • It would be ideal to use instead of a normal screwdriver an electrical screwdriver because sometimes becomes difficult to screw the screws in the wood.
  • Measuring tape and squads for the measurements
  • 3/4′ hole saw for the small hole
  • 1/8′ o 1.1mm drill bit for the holes of the wire screen
  • 2′ Hole saw for the big hole in the sides
  • Blades for a Jigsaw/reciprocating saw (make sure you buy blades that are specified for woodcutting)
  • Drill key (this tool is used to remove and attach the drill bits to the drill)
  • Drill

Steps to follow for the construction and assembly:

It is important that you view the attached drawings in order to understand correctly the construction and assembly process.

Warning: It is important that for any job big or small that you wear the correct personal protective equipment, and also work in a well ventilated and illuminated area.  We recommend that you use:

  • Safety glasses
  • Safety footwear
  • Gloves when needed to handle equipment or tools
  • Comfortable clothes that do not hang near the turning tools

Warning: Always make sure to follow the instructions of your tools manufacturer on how to change the drill bits of your drill and how to change the blade of your jigsaw.


  • As in any wood, you need to prepare the surface; to eliminate details or any undesired deformations. For this purpose, we use the 80 grid sandpaper until the required surface finish.

Then if you wish, you can apply some sealer to have a cleaner surface to work on; don’t forget to wait for 2 hours to let it dry.

  • With the dimensions that we have in the drawings, we will proceed to trace with the meter and pencil our points and lines to perform the required cuts and perforations; it is suggested to see attached drawings.
  • Cut the wood pieces using the jigsaw preferably.3

Warning: When cutting with the jigsaw make sure you always cut in a horizontal table to make it easier for you and also wear safety goggles and a mask for dust protection.

  • Drill the holes of the side parts, top, and bottom. It is important to note that the hole drills of ¾ “and 2” must be made before joining the sides, and similarly, it is required to prepare the surfaces and put sealant. So that in this way the lighting effect is the desired one.
  • Apply glue to all joints and sides of the pieces of the lamp that are specified in the drawings. Screw the screws in the correct positions to help the glue joint of the side pieces. Make sure you align the pieces properly you can use a carpenter’s square for this purpose. We recommend that you join the sides with the top and bottom first (make sure there are align) and then you put the back cover.
  • The placement of the back cover and the silkscreen or photo will depend on what design you want to place, in the same way, the paint and color to is up to you, in our case we use a matte black color, since our photos are in black and white, likewise the wire screen density depends on your taste and how much luminosity you want to reflect in your environment.
  • Apply glue to the top and bottom parts of the lamp put the screws on the correct position. Make sure all the pieces are correctly aligned.
  • The election of the bulb socket will depend on the type of bulb you want to install, we recommended that you use LED lighting because it saves more energy and also the bulb produces less heat. Also, we recommend a low power bulb because this lamp probably will stay on all the time.
  • Install the bulb and the correspondent wiring. You will need to connect two wires a phase wire and a neutral wire.

Let’s say as an example we are working with 120V, in an electrical system, there are three main wires the phase, neutral and earth. You need to connect the phase wire of the lamp to the nearest phase wire and the neutral wire coming from the socket to the nearest neutral wire in the electrical installation of your home. We suggest that you connect a switch in series to the lamp (in the phase wire) to turn it on/off, you can also avoid the dangerous process of connecting the wires directly to the electrical system by buying a plug and connecting the lamp to an outlet instead. Make sure you isolate all the connections with the heat shrinkable tubing (don’t forget to put the shrinkable tubing before making the connection.):

  1. Put the shrinkable tubing before connecting the wires.
  2. Connect the two wires.
  3. Slide the tubing until the connection is completely covered.
  4. To shrink the tubing it is ideal to use a heat gun if you don’t have one you can light a matchstick and put the flame near the tubing until it shrinks completely (do not burn the tubing).

Warning: Always when working with electrical installations make sure you always disconnect the power, and also each country has specific laws and regulations regarding electrical installations, an example of this laws include specification of the color of the wiring, so make sure when buying the electrical materials needed for this project you take into account this fact. You can ask an electrician or the salesman in the store if you are not familiarized with the regulations in your country.

  • Apply glue to the dividers and screw them to the main case of the lamp.
  • Use the copper wire to form the wire screen.


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