Friday, March 2

DIY [three legs are better than one leg]

How can you look at an inspiration image like this and not get excited?
Adventurous Design Quest
 That tripod lamp is linear and minimal and rustic and MCM-ish all at once. I knew I had to have one, but I can't afford  the pricier lamps. And the cheaper ones, well, you get what you pay for.

D was quite skeptical at first, but I decided to make my own. That would require a tripod, a lamp kit (complete with wiring), a bulb, and a shade. Some parts were easier than others...
The lamp kit was easy- Home Depot (the best store in the world) sells lamp kits for about $10. The top piece is a final, under which goes your lamp shade. Screw that on to hold the shade in place. This image shows how the rest screws together top to bottom- the only tricky part is the wiring. That has to go through the middle and twist around two bolts. I got a 3-way socket kit, which allows for dim, medium, and bright light (as long as you buy a 3-way bulb). I'll admit, it took a few Youtube videos and half a movie for me to get the wiring right, but I finally did.

For the legs, I was able to find an antique photographer's tripod on Craigslist. The seller lived 45 minutes away from me, and D was hesitant to travel all that way and back empty handed (I've been known to change my mind when I see the item in person). After a nice chat on the phone with the seller, who said she picked the piece up at a flea market with the same project in mind, we realized that her husband worked just 10 minutes from our apartment. I met him the next day, and brought home a sexy set of legs for just $35.

The top piece of the stand, called the base or mount, is the part a camera or telescope would normally rest on. I needed to drill a hole through this- I used a large bit and my power drill (winner of the coveted Best Christmas Present 2010 award-thanks Dad!). Luckily my base was pretty thin, or else the tube-like piece (shown at the very bottom of the lamp kit above) wouldn't extended on both sides of the tripod base, which was necessary for security and stability. I wish I had pictures, but I didn't know I'd soon be sharing this project on the interwebs. Next time.

All that I needed now was shade, and Anthropologie came through BIG: I found a tribal ikat shade for $69.99 on sale in the home section. I bought it on a whim a month ago, thinking a thin circular slice of a tree could be laid on top to create a cool nightstand (clearly I've been contemplating nightstands for awhile now). It looks great against our dark bedroom walls (debuted here!) and is the right proportion for the length and size of the tripod.

So, without further ado, my final product:

Cost break down:
Lamp kit- $9.99
Shade- $69.99
Tripod- $35
Bulb- don't you have one laying around??
= just about $115

Maybe just save yourself the trouble and shell out  $2250 for this one.
(If that's your M.O., you're probably on the wrong blog. Just sayin.)
Steven Sclaroff Wood Tripod Lamp


  1. Great job on the lamp! It looks awesome. I also really like the half of the picture you can see next to it in your room.

  2. Hey there! So glad I found this post. I have been wanting a tripod lamp for awhile now. I feel that it would show my personality so much better than my current lighting but I cannot see spending the money they are asking. I had no idea a light kit would be an easy thing.. or sort of easy thing to do. Thank you so much for the insight. I cannot wait to put this project together :)

    1. It truly was super easy- let me know if you need better instructions. I just clicked over to your blog, I too LOVE the photo-strip art from "The Joneses"...prob the best part of that movie haha :) let me know if you figure out how to make it!

  3. This is so great Meaghan...I'm adding this to Houzz today!

  4. What a great result! Can you share more info about your shade?


how you like dem apples?