D I Y G E O C O P P E R L A M P
I have been going DIY crazy these last few weeks! It all started with this copper himmelli side table, which was so rewarding to finish and have it actually look amazing in the space. Most do-it-yourself projects can be really hit or miss (let's not talk about those dairy-free cookies I tried to bake once...) but after one major success, I've been obsessed with using my own two hands to create unique decor pieces, instead of running out to buy them.
The idea for this DIY struck me suddenly yesterday as I struggled to find a new, smaller lamp to fit my new, smaller end table. I realized that I could easily construct one using just a few materials.
I'll share the steps below and, as always, if anything needs clarification or if you have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment!
HERE'S WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
- 10ft of 1/8" copper tubing- this is available in a coil in the plumbing section of Home Depot. If you are making more than one light, buy the 20ft coil!
- 20 gauge copper wire- you will need about 6ft for one lamp
- Mini pipe cutter
- Nylon cord set- I bought mine at IKEA
- Filament bulb- I also found one at IKEA!
- Ceiling anchor
NOTE: Pictured here is a gold cieling hook that I bought, but the lamp kit also comes with a much studier one, so I recommend using that instead. Not pictured here is a pair of pliers/wire cutters which will make this project much easier!
Gently uncoil your copper piping and measure out the following. You will need:
- 6 pieces that are 5.5" in length (let's call these long)
- 6 pieces that are 4.5" in length (let's call these short)
- 6 pieces that are 2.5" in length (let's call these mini)
If you have never used a pipe cutter before, it's easy! But watch this tutorial first.
Your copper pieces will still be slightly bent out of shape. The easiest way to straighten them is by using your hand like a rolling pin, and smoothing them out against a hard, flat, and durable surface.
Then, cut a piece of your thin copper wire that is about 6ft in length. This will be more than enough to complete your project, but it's better to have too much than too little. I ran out of wire about halfway through which resulted in a bit of a mess, so always cut more than you need.
String your copper tubes in the following sequence: long, short, short, long. This creates your first diamond shape.
String your copper wire back through the first long tube and pull tightly. This will close your diamond shape. Make sure you use a lot of strength when you pull the wire because this project relies heavily on tension (your pliers will come in handy right about now!). String a mini copper tube in the centre of your diamond, and wrap tightly around the other end.
Now, I find explaining wiring shapes really difficult and confusing, so if you get stuck, you might want to check out this tutorial, which helped me a lot! Just keep in mind that any time you add new coper tubes, you'll bring your wire back through the last tubes you strung to fasten it all together. If you always remember to do this, you can't mess it up.
String your copper wire back up through your second long tube. Then you can add another long and short tube. String your wire through the bottom of your first diamond shape and then add another mini tube in the center. This is when your lamp begins to create a 3-dimensional shape- woohoo!
Continue stringing and wiring until you have 5 facets of the diamond complete. Before you close your shape with the last few copper pipes, don't forget to insert your lightbulb and cord kit. Since the lamp is built around the bulb, there's no way to add it in after!
Once you've added your final mini copper tube, just wrap your wire tightly a few times to secure. Trim the excess and tuck it back into a tube to hide it.
You did it! Great job!
Since I had to re-string my lamp halfway through, I had some excess wire at the top of my lamp when I was finished. I simply trimmed it down and wrapped it around the cord a few times. This also helps keep the bulb in place.
You are now ready to hang your lamp from the ceiling. This light fixture is not heavy at all, but it is still important to use a light-duty anchor, before installing your hook. The nylon cord will be a bit wavy from being so tightly wound in the package, but it should naturally straighten over time.
I loved how simple this DIY was and I can't tell you how much I love the warm glow it has given my room. In the future, I would definitely want to experiment with more complex shapes.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below!