DIY Table Lamp from Architectural Salvage: Porch Baluster

Many moons ago, I had spotted some gorgeous- and I mean STUNNING- lamps at a highfalutin antiques shop in Cashiers, North Carolina. Constructed from old porch balusters (the spindle’s more robust cousin), they were striking…and strikingly expensive. I went from defeated to determined, though, when Jon whispered to me in the shop, “We can make those.”

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


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Once we had procured the balusters, I needed to find good bases for each baluster.


I stained the lamp bases a dark mahogany (as recommended by my friend Melissa from Restoration 41), and then we started the hard work- drilling a hole through the length of the baluster (which is about 20” long).

The quick and dirty version? (1) Measure the exact center; (2) Drill pilot hole (using a portable drill guide); (3) Drill into baluster using a spade bit to widen the pilot hole; and (4) break out crazy-long auger and drill, baby, drill.


Even with the crazy-long auger, we (and by we, I mean Jon) had to go in from both ends- but we eventually 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.



Jon then upended the baluster and attached the stained base.


NOW it was starting to look like a lamp!! 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.


Jon threaded the cord through the base and baluster and then moments later, we had a real, working lamp!


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



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 lamp!).

Want more DIY farmhouse-style inspiration? Check out my full collection of project ideas before you go!

Craft on!


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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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