DIY: Creating a Colorful Pipe Lamp

One of the best things about industrial and rustic influenced decor is that the character of the materials make it very easy to create a look that is unique and distinctive. For this DIY, we decided to use various galvanized pipe sundries to create our own version of an industrial decor staple that combines a rustic materials and colorful influences.
 
DIY Lamp Full

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You may have seen different pipe lamps in stores and around the Internet that can range in price from $75 all way up to $300 depending on size and style. We are going to give you the inspiration you need to create your own version for a lot less. Plus, you can make the design fit your personality.
 
Before we get started, please remember that we HIGHLY recommend you consult an electrician when wiring your lamp.


 1. Part Selection

 

We started with 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch galvanized pipe parts that can be found at any local hardware store. Used pipe will work just as well, but you will have to take on the task of breaking it apart. And rusty pipes are a force to be reckoned with. Keep in mind, larger pipe diameters will cost more money but it will make the lamp easier to wire. For this reason, we decided to use 1/2 inch pipe for the lamp body and a 3/4 inch street elbow for bulb socket holder.
 

Pipe Parts

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When it comes to electrical parts, you can be even more creative. Plenty of stores sell lamp kits that will fit your needs. You can also cut and repurpose hanging pendant lights. There are a number of websites that will allow you to order custom cords and parts in any combination you would like. Because our final color was important, we decided to order some of our electrical parts from The Color Cord Company. They sell a huge collection of great parts, like silicone socket covers and bulb cages with different finishes.
 

Electrical and Pipe Parts

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Color Cord Company

 

2. Lamp Structure and wiring

 
To help get you inspired, we put together 3 different lamp types. These were all inspired by versions we have seen for sale, but this is where you get creative. Remember using sharp turns of the pipe and smaller pipe diameters can increase the difficulty of the lamp wiring. All three of these use different entry points for the lamp wiring. After you have settled on your design, it’s time to run your wires. If your lamp is simple, you can run your wires after paint, but it’s almost always easier to do it before you paint.
 
DIY Pipe Lamp Example 1

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DIY Pipe Lamp Example 2

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DIY Pipe Lamp Example 3

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3. Paint

 
Protect your cables from excess paint by using zippered plastic bags and painters tape. If you decide to paint your lighting socket, make sure you cover the electrical parts. Paint will ruin the contacts.
 
We were inspired to use a color not typically seen in industrial decor, or even traditional holiday colors, so that it really pops regardless of season or decor. The turquoise also makes the gold bulb cage stand out. You may want to try this year’s Color of the Year from Pantone, Marsala.
 
We decided to use spray paint in two different colors. For the base coat we used Valspar Color Radiance Satin Paint & Primier in Nautical we used a shade that is lighter than our top coat so that as the paint chips with wear and tear, it will create a fun effect that never goes back to original black.
 
For the top coat we went with Montana Colors MTN 94 in Turquoise (RV 5018) . This is a great low pressure paint and matching our cord was really important. MTN has one of the best color selections out there, so they were our first choice.
 
Valspar Spray Paint in Nautical

 
MTN 94

 
MTN 94 TURQUOISE


 

4. Wire the Plug and Socket
 
With the painting finished, you just have to complete your wiring. Again, please consult an electrician if you do not have experience with electrical wiring. We used a weatherproof lightbulb socket so that we got a plastic body that we could spray paint the same color. The plastic also allows you to super glue the socket to the pipe for clean and finished look. The final touch was our vintage filament lightbulb. You can use any bulb from and incandescent to LED. Its not the most green option, but we are are big fan off the vintage glow that comes from the individual filaments.
 
DIY Lamp Closeup

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Edison Bulb Closeup

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5. Enjoy!
 

We paired our lamp with one of our favorite pieces from the 12 Days of Art Collection, Five Golden Rings by Erin Ashley.
 
120514_LampDIY_2

 
Ashley Gold Rings