DIY Floor Lamp

This post was sponsored by Habitat Greater Orlando Restore.
This week myself and a few other DIY bloggers got the chance to partner up with The Habitat for Humanity Restore here in Orlando (1649 Florida Mall Avenue, Orlando, FL 32809). They asked us to basically shop around and see what I could DIY for ya'll. Um, yes. You see, when this Habitat store opened a couple years back, I think Katie (from Sew Woodsy) and I were the first ones in the door. We used to work (at our "real" jobs) quite close to there and well, who needs to eat lunch on lunch break when you can thrift shop? :) They carry a wide variety of items from household goods to home d├ęcor, furniture, and appliances. The store also accepts donations of these gently used goods. And the best part; all proceeds support Habitat’s mission of providing affordable homes for families in need. Win.

I headed over early and wandered blissfully through the goods. That hanging pendant lamp below was gorgeous and huge but a bit out of my budget. However, craft paint for 50 cents?! That's what I'm talking about. They also had tons and tons of paint brushes and paint supplies. I need to remember that when we paint the new house. :)

There were at least a hundred tiny sewing kits for 50 cents. So cute! And the hardware. Oh man. Must. Restrain. Self. There were so many good ones. Some for less than a buck! The burlap ribbon I thought would be a great 4th of July DIY. And the bins of just random parts always strike me as interesting. No idea what they are actually intended for but I'm sure one day I'll make something up.

Alas, here's what I came home with. An awesome jewelry tree for Kaley's room for $6. She's already filled it. 2 brand new ceramic picture frames–one for my bedroom, the other for the guest room. Love the texture on those. A "j" hook I intend to DIY into something for my husband's (Jamey's) new office. And, a ginormous drum shade for $2! Okay, cheater alert. I actually got that drum shade like a year ago at the same Restore. Too good of a deal to pass up, and see... lamp hoarding pays off!

And last but not least, this gem. The tag said "coat rack" but it's screaming floor lamp to me.

$20 bucks aint bad for a future 6-foot lamp!

In order to make my coat rack a lamp, I needed actual lamp parts. I picked this beauty up for $4 at a local thrift store. Habitat has tons (TONS I tell you!) of lights and lamps but they were all too nice to cut apart. This task called for a junker... and a junker I got.

Let's get started! First thing I did was disassemble the lamp. I just loosened the nut on the bottom.

And the whole thing just came apart.

Next, I clipped off the thing that holds the bulb. I know that seems scary, but it was the only way to get the pieces I needed out of the lamp.

I just used wire cutters and left myself about 6" of wire from where the bulb gets screwed in to work with.

While I would have loved to just use the thrifted lamp for parts, I did have to buy a couple things. All were cheap. I think the most expensive part was $3. Mainly I needed that harp thing to hold my shade. I also bought a shorter stem (zinc-plated nipple) because the one my lamp came with was really long, and a finial for the top of the lamp.

Once I had all my pieces, I reassembled the lamp parts I needed by threading them onto the cord. I really just figured it out as I went. Lamp parts are all standard sizes and just screw together quite easily. 

To reattach the cord I cut in half, I first made sure I was attaching the correct wires together. Lamp cords have two wires in them separated in a plastic/rubbery coating. One side should have some sort of writing printed on it, the other should be blank. When reattaching, make sure to match up the wires with the "words" and the wires that are blank. 

I just twisted the ends together tightly and wrapped each wire separately in electrical tape making sure they were secure and separate. If you're unsure of this step, consult an expert or Google :) Safety first people. Don't start any fires. Then the whole connection got shoved down into the metal stem I bought and I screwed all my parts together.

While this was going on, the coat rack got it's first coat in the yard.... of spray paint that is. You see what I did there? ;)

Then, I got my husband to help me bend the arms out a bit and we shoved the lamp stem in the middle. That sucker isn't going anywhere.

Then I added the shade and finial and BAM! New 6-foot tripod floor lamp for about $30 and one afternoon. I'm so excited! We've used it every night so far. I love the height it provides the room now, not to mention the light in the evening.

So are you inspired to visit the Greater Orlando Restore? I'll sweeten the deal. For everyone that donates to the ReStore and mentions this blog post, the store will provide $5 off your purchase of $20 or more. You could get 10 sewing kits for that $5! :) ha. A couple of my DIY blog buddies accepted the challenge too and DIYed their own Restore goodies. Hop around and check them out...

Spring Jello Mold Wreath from Shaken Together 


  1. Seriously?! This DIY floor lamp is just fantastic!! Now I am on the hunt for a super cool "coat rack", too!!

  2. This turned out amazing!!! Great job on transforming this from a coat rack to a fancy floor lamp!

  3. Nice work! I love making lamps so now I'm going to have to keep my eyes peeled for a coat rack

    1. Thanks Chris. Coat rack lamps... all the new rage I tell ya! ;)

  4. I LOVE your project! Thanks for the steps on taking apart the lamp. I've yet to do this, and have always wanted to give it a go! I remember last year when you found that big lampshade..I SO wanted one too!

  5. This is awesome! Just found your blog, I'm a fellow Orlando DIY-er/home blogger. Cant wait to see your future projects!

  6. This is such a unique idea, and I love how it turned out! I love the fact that you only spend about 25 dollars on it too! I have been looking for a good floor lamp for my front room, but have had no luck, so I am so glad that I came across your tutorial to give me some inspiration. http://www.electrolight.ca/en/floor_lamps.html