Make this Homemade Holiday Gift: Copper Tripod Lamp

Make this Homemade Holiday Gift: Copper Tripod Lamp

Tara Bellucci
Nov 12, 2013
(Image credit: Sarah M. Dorsey Designs)
Maker: Sarah Dorsey
Skill Level: Moderate
Time Required: An evening
Project Cost: $17 for materials, plus cost of lampshade ($18)
(Image credit: Sarah Dorsey)

Inspired by expensive tripod lamps, Sarah decided to make a version using copper pipe for a friend who just moved to a new apartment. Think this would look chic in your space? Here's how to make one:

Materials & tools:
  • 2x4

  • 1 10-foot piece of 1/2-inch copper plumbing pipe, cut into 3 equal-sized pieces

  • 3 1/2-inch copper caps

  • Black spray paint
  • Lamp kit
  • Lampshade
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Jigsaw
  • Sandpaper or electric sander


  1. First you'll take the 2x4 and drill holes to hold the legs. We created a template to mark where the holes needed to go and then held a template to mark the angle of the drill (removed once we started drilling). This is the hardest part of the project, and you might have to do it a couple of times until they are even. (Not the best way to go about it, but since we just moved, most of our tools are in boxes. This worked well with our limited tools!)
  2. Cut a notch in the middle of the wood for the socket to sit in.
  3. Using a cup, mark a circle around the holes, cut it out with a jigsaw, and sand it down with an electric sander.
  4. Spray paint the wooden cut out (I used black to blend in with the lampshade).
  5. Polish the copper legs. I rubbed it with ketchup and let it sit for about 30 minutes. I then used a combo of cleaner (to remove the ketchup residue) and then nail polish remover to erase the red print.
  6. Drill a hole in the side near the bottom of one of the pipes, and thread the lamp wire through the inside and out your hole.
  7. Attach the legs to the wooden piece and cap the bottom of the pipes. Add the lampshade and plug in.
(Image credit: Sarah M. Dorsey Designs)
(Image credit: Sarah M. Dorsey Designs)

Thanks to Sarah for sharing the Copper Tripod Lamp gift idea. Check out her blog, Sarah M. Dorsey Designs for more of her creativity and style.

All this month, Apartment Therapy is featuring homemade gift ideas made and submitted by you, the readers. Check back every day for a new project, or head over here to see all the DIY gift ideas.

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