Make Your Own Rustic Side Lamp

DIY Rustic side lamp

Every now and then one comes across a piece of wood in its natural state that could earn itself a place in your home. Why not make something out of it? Like a rustic side lamp.


  • A selected piece of wood for the pedestal.
  • Two-core electric flex (about 2m).
  • Bulb fitting (brass or plastic – we chose brass).
  • Toggle switch.
  • 3-Pin plug.
  • Two nipple screw inserts.
  • Two lock nuts.
  • 12.7mmØ Aluminium tubing – the wall thickness is 1.2mm and the tubes are available in lengths of 2.5m (so you will have quite a bit left over).
  • Pack of four Easy Slider cushions (we chose the Teflon-coated version that is attached with a single screw as the self-adhesive version would probably not stick too well to the rough-cut base).
  • Spray varnish, clear gloss – to bring out the wood’s colour.


    Rustic Lamp Point 1

  1. You will need the piece of wood you have selected for your pedestal, the electrics, and the long shank 13mmØ spade bit that will enable you to go right through the timber without a break.
  2. Rustic Lamp Point 2

  3. Mark the position of the tube inserts as accurately as you can, it needs to be as close to the centre of the base as possible for greatest stability.
  4. Rustic Lamp Point 3
    Rustic Lamp Point 4

  5. We secured the base in a vice, but wrapped it in cloth to avoid having the vice’s jaws mark the surface. Then drilled up through the middle.
  6. We cut the tube to length using a pipe cutter and then its deburring tool to clean out the inside of the tube. We then used a 10mm tap bit to thread the inside of the tube and screwed home the nipple screw insert.
  7. We repeated the process at the lower end and screwed on a lock nut to hold the tube firmly in its channel.
  8. Rustic Lamp 7

  9. We attached the brass bulb mounting to the top of the tube, ensuring that it was level.
  10. We threaded the flex through the tube and at the outer end and attached the plug.
  11. Strip off about 10mm of insulation and attach the two flex cores as shown to the plug’s small pins. (Neutral on left live on right). Never attach either flex to the top (larger) earth pin. (When connecting a three-core cord to a plug, with the pins facing away from you, as here, the bLue core is connected to the Left (neutraL), the Brown core is attached to the Right (positive) pin and the Green/Yellow core is attached to the large Earth pin.
  12. Lamp Image 10

  13. We attached the toggle switch to the flex about 200mm from the bottom of the base. Begin by carefully cutting through one flex core, as shown here – take care not to nick the insulation on the other core.
  14. Rustic Lamp Point 4

  15. Separate about 25mm of the cut core other either side of the cut, remove the last 8-10mm of insulation on each and attach to the switch by inserting each end under each screw and tightening the latter. Some people make the mistake of shortening the cut ends. The switch is designed with the dimensions to ensure that when the ends of the flex are secured, the uncut core that passes on the far side of the switching itself, will fit perfectly within the switch body – as you can see here.
  16. Rustic Lamp Point 4
    Rustic Lamp Point 4

  17. For the bulb end, strip off the last 10mm of insulation on each core, separate the cores about 15mm down their length and attach them through the underside of the ceramic bulb fitting, as shown here.
  18. Rustic Lamp Point 4

  19. Finally, we drilled a pilot hole for each slider and attached each using a single chipboard screw.
  20. Rustic Lamp Point 4

  21. Make sure the sliders are as far apart as possible for a stable base.

Project guide:

  • Skill level: 3
  • Estimated time: a day
  • Cost: R150, depending on the bulb and electrical fittings you select.
  • Assistant: No

Tools required:

  • Drill
  • Craft knife
  • Wire stripper (optional)
  • Small screwdriver
  • Drill/driver
  • Tap & die set
  • One 13mmØ long shank (400mm) spade bit.


These materials (other than the rustic wood pedestal) are available at Selected Mica Stores. To find out which is your closest Mica and whether or not they stock the items required, please go to, find your store and call them. If your local Mica does not stock exactly what you need they will be able to order it for you or suggest an alternative product or a reputable source.