A couple of years ago, a local beloved store (We Took to the Woods) had a FANTASTIC “yard sale” which was more like a fancy flea market. At this sale, I bought two things- a pretty antique picture frame and a very cool, very trendy vintage surveyor’s tripod. Cottonball was intensely fascinated by the tripod from the start, and he briefly thought about a surveying career.
I always knew that the tripod would eventually become a lamp. They are all the rage, and can cost upwards of $500. I mean, who has that kind of cash laying around for a floor lamp? Ok, maybe lots of people do- but I don’t!
So my vintage tripod hung out in our garage, patiently waiting its turn. This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience.
Well, as luck would have it, our current floor lamp broke down in the oddest of ways recently- the concrete base (tucked inside an ornate metal stand) came loose and started crumbling everywhere! We got rid of it and the tripod quickly moved to the top position in our project queue.
We’ve built lamps before, so it wasn’t our first lighting rodeo. But there was a problem- the large hole at the top of the tripod- where the lamp kit needs to go- was a gaping hole, way too big for a lamp nipple.
Jon knew he had to build a “plug” for it- something to fill the wide hole so that the electrical kit could be secured in place. We cleaned out the tripod hole (it was coated in vintage goo- fun!) and we bought a wooden dowel, slightly larger in diameter than the tripod hole. Jon then sanded down one end of the dowel to the point that it barely fit in the tripod.
After sanding down enough dowel to fill the tripod hole, he cut off the “plug” and drilled a hole through the center . This was no easy task without cracking the small plug in half- fair warning! Then, we inserted a reducer for the lamp nipple.
He then hammered the plug into the tripod (a perfectly snug fit!) and screwed in a lamp nipple.
A few minutes later, he had wired the socket into place and we had a functioning lamp!! Now all I needed was to do something about the hanging cord and to buy the perfect shade.
To make the lamp neater, I wanted to gently secure the cord along one of the legs. I decided a staple gun was too risky and too semi-permanent, but the staples themselves were the perfect hardware for the job.
Using my funfetti craft hammer, I lightly tapped them into the tripod leg. The staples “bridged” the cord in place without hard-clamping it down.
And ta-da it worked beautifully- no more draping cord!
All in all, a complete success- I only wish we hadn’t waited so long to make it because it really is fantastic. AND it was nowhere nearly as costly as the versions in hip home décor stores. Yard sales + DIY = stylish savings, which is ALWAYS trendy.