Farmhouse Lamp from a Wood Baluster

Farmhouse Lamp from a Wood Baluster

Many moons ago, I had spotted a gorgeous farmhouse lamp at a highfalutin antique shop in Cashiers, North Carolina. Constructed from an old porch baluster (the spindle’s more robust cousin), it was striking…and strikingly expensive. I went from defeated to determined, though, when Jon whispered to me in the shop, “We can make that.”

Months of antiquing would pass before I found the perfect pieces- a pair of proud, stout balusters from an antique shop in Charlotte, North Carolina.

architectural salvage for making farmhouse lamps

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

As you can see, Cottonball found them quite interesting. He feels that way about a LOT of vintage items- I suspect they have interesting smells…

Anyway, I procured a pair of lamp bases, as well. This will give you a better idea of what the farmhouse lamp pair will look like.

bases for farmhouse lamps

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

With that, it was time to make our new lamps from the wood balusters! Before anything else, though, I sprayed them with a matte clear coat in order to protect the chippy paint. Protect and prevent, really- I didn’t want them chipping all over our bedroom.

Anyway, ready to see the process of upcycling them into lamps?

This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. All blue, bold, and underlined text is a clickable link, either to a product or to a related post. Originally published in August 2014, but updates have been added for clarity.

Drilling Through a Wood Baluster

The hardest part of this project isn’t really hard, per se. But rather the slow and tedious process of drilling a straight hole all the way through the wood baluster. This is required for wiring the lamp kit through it.

First, Jon measured the exact center on each end of the baluster using a speed square.

measuring a center point using a speed square

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Then, we started the hard work- drilling a hole through the length of the baluster (which was about 20” long). Before he really got started, though, he drilled pilot holes at each center point that he’d measured.

Next, he attached a portable drill guide and a very long, auger-like drill bit to our drill.

drill attachments for lamp making

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

And from there, he slowly, methodically let the drill do the work as he held everything in place.

using an auger drill bit

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Even with the crazy-long auger, we (and by we, I mean Jon) had to go in from both ends until the holes met in the center. The garage spelled like pine from all the shavings!

drilling a hole through a baluster to make a diy lamp

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

But eventually, we could see daylight through the baluster. No, really- we treated the baluster like a telescope in the driveway. We’re those kind of neighbors- the weird ones with a lot going on.

Finishing and Wiring a Farmhouse Lamp


Before Jon had worked on drilling through the wood baluster, I’d gone ahead and stained the lamp bases with a dark gel stain. And when he was finished drilling through the whole length and the baluster had been dusted off, we attached a base on the bottom.

adding a base to a farmhouse lamp

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

There, now the first farmhouse lamp was constructed and ready to be electrified.

diy lamp from architectural salvage

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

This is why I stained the bases dark like this. So the farmhouse lamps will coordinate with our bedroom furniture, such as this dresser from The Ivy House in Columbia, SC.

Dresser that was painted and matches a panel from an antique door

Image credit: The Ivy House.

Anyway, all that we needed to do was electrify it- which is seriously easy to do with a DIY Lamp Kit. We also bought metal reducers to secure the nipple as opposed to using the rubber version that came with the kit we’d purchased.

metal reducer in a diy table lamp

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Lastly, Jon threaded the cord through the base and wood baluster and then moments later, we had a farmhouse lamp that worked perfectly!

installing a lamp kit in an antique baluster

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Farmhouse Lamp from a Wood Baluster

With the addition of a shade, it was ready- and PERFECT- for my bedside table.

upcycled wood baluster as a table lamp

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.


And you know what? Even after adding up all the costs- the baluster, the base, the tools we bought, the lamp kit, and the shade, our version is STILL a ton cheaper than its inspiration at pricey (but gorgeous) antique shop.

Plus we have the tools for future projects (and of course, the matching farmhouse lamp!).

upcycled architectural salvage as a farmhouse lamp

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

Craft on!


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making a farmhouse lamp from architectural salvage

Image credit: Sadie Seasongoods.

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. These are absolutely beautiful. I love me some tools, so the long auger deal is now on my wish list! I bet you are thinking up lots of things you could do with it! What about a lamp from a stump that is polished or painted? HMMMM….thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Sadie,
    These are really pretty. I love vintage items that are repurposed. I also love new tools. Now you can go to town with lots of new projects just in time for the fall season.

  3. These are so great! What a great idea to use old banisters, I never would have thought to do that! I love how easy they are, too. Visiting from Create Link Inspire! Also, would love for you to link up at our Motivation Monday party! 🙂

  4. These are gorgeous! What a great find and fun projects!

  5. Melissa @ Simply Sweets by Honeybee says

    Absolutely stunning!

  6. What a terrific idea and so masterfully executed. Posted on my fb page 🙂

  7. Beautiful!

  8. What a great tutorial, I have tons of these parts around. I need to get the long drilling piece. Want to make one tonight! Thanks for sharing at The Handmade Hangout! Featuring at Redouxinteriors tonight.

  9. Beautiful! I love this lamp and all it’s chipy glory! I’m off to pin! Thanks so much for linking up to Creativity Unleashed!

  10. this is an awesome project! so so pretty! Thanks for linking up at DIY Inspired 🙂

  11. That’s gorgeous!! It’s perfect for a lamp! Pinning. 🙂

  12. Really cool lamps! I am sure they would sell for a pretty penny in a boutique store. Love that they had the distressed / weathered look already. Great job!

  13. This is fabulous! I love your version and the mahogany base is perfect. So inspiring! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Thank you for sharing your wonderful blog post with us at the #PureBlogLove recipe and DIY craft Link Party. I enjoyed dropping by and checking your blog post out and look forward to seeing you next week on Thursday at 8pm est- Sunday at midnight! Thanks again!
    Heidy L. McCallum

  15. I totally love it. So nicely done.

  16. swatkins827 says

    Love these lamps! What an awesome project. Thanks for sharing on Friday Favorites. Hope to see you link up this week. I also pinned your post!

  17. Elaine Lemaster says

    I have tried 2 times to drill a hole through a baluster, but the bit would blow out the side of the baluster. what is the name of the drill guide you used. I could really use one. haha.

  18. What size drill bit did you use? Thanks!

  19. Mandy Hatchel says

    What size did you use for your base?

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      It was the 4″ square- my balusters were pretty big, so a smaller spindle wouldn’t need that big a base.

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