DIY Branch Table Lamp

Oh lights. They are one of my “house struggles”.  I live in an old farmhouse with basically no ceiling lights, and I’m a person who needs bright lighting, so I need a good number of lamps around.  I can never seem to decide on lighting and lamps that I like.  Or the ones I do like are way out of my price range.  The table lamp we’ve had in our living room has been bothering me for quite some time – I just can’t seem to find a shade that works well with the base.  So I decided it was time to make our own.  I’m so happy with our new branch lamp – and it was a quick and cheap DIY to whip up (or have Mike whip up…).
DIY Branch Table Lamp @themerrythought
What you need:

  • branch
  • light socket
  • lamp shade
  • light bulb
  • extension cord
  • wood for lamp base – we used reclaimed lumber
  • hand saw
  • scroll saw
  • drill (with long bit and forstner bit)
  • diagonal pliers (or any kind of cutting pliers)
  • wood glue
  • screwdriver

How to do it:


    • Using the hand saw, cut your branch to the desired size.  
    • Using a drill with a long drill bit, drill a hole down the middle of your branch (this is where the wire will run through).  Make sure the drill bit you use is big enough so the cord will fit through and that the bottom tip of the light socket can fit in.  (You many need to make the very top of the hole bigger for the bottom tip of the light socket to fit in).  


    • Cut your wood base to size (if needed) and into whatever shape you’d like, using the scroll saw.
    • Measure the diameter of the bottom of your branch.
    • Using the drill and the forstner bit, drill a hole in the base where the branch will sit down in.
    • If needed, cut the bottom of the branch to size to fit into the center hole.
    • Drill a hole in the side of your wood base to the center hole (where the cord will come out).


    • Cut a notch in the bottom of the branch, this is for the cord to go through.  


    • Using the diagonal pliers, cut the end off the extension cord.
    • Slide the cut cord through the hole in the side of the base up through the center hole.


    • Then slide the cord through the branch.
    • Set the branch into the hole in the base, using wood glue to secure.
    • Cut the end of the extension cord, right down the middle where the seam is, into two. Strip the end of the wires.


    • Take apart the light socket and slide the bottom piece onto the cord.
    • Next, take the piece that has the screws on it and loosen the screws slightly. Wrap each end of the stripped wire around each screw (2).


  • Tighten the screws.
  • Slide the remaining pieces of the socket on so the socket is put back together.
  • Gently pull the cord down at the base of the lamp, until the socket is sitting in the hole at the top of the branch.
  • Put in light bulb and shade.

DIY Branch Table Lamp @themerrythought
DIY Branch Table Lamp @themerrythought
DIY Branch Table Lamp @themerrythought
Have you seen any good lamps out there lately?? I’ll be needing a few more…

Enjoy this weekend! Manda

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  • Friday, January 24, 2014 - 4:58 pm

    Gemma - Awesome and really prettyReplyCancel

  • Friday, January 24, 2014 - 6:33 pm

    Rebekah - ok my jaw is on the ground ladies – incredible the post below made my heart skip a beat guys inspire! xoReplyCancel

    • Sunday, January 26, 2014 - 10:06 pm

      Manda - Aw – thanks so much Rebekah! :)ReplyCancel

  • Saturday, January 25, 2014 - 12:31 am

    raviniana - How long was your drill bit? The hard part for me in a project like this one has been having a drill bit that’s long enough and then directing it so that it doesn’t go crooked and come out through the side of the branch, or whatever. How did you keep the bit going straight through all the way down? Did you have to drill from both ends of the branch and have the two holes meet up halfway down? I’m curious because doing this has always been a stumbling block for my partner and I and we are pretty good with tools and with making things. Thanks for your response. BarbaraReplyCancel

    • Sunday, January 26, 2014 - 10:06 pm

      Manda - Hi Barbara – it was 3/8 by 16″ long drill bit. We did drill holes at both ends and have them meet in the middle, so hopefully trying that will help solve your problem.ReplyCancel

  • Saturday, January 25, 2014 - 9:22 am

    Herc - WOW that’s amazing! Beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Saturday, January 25, 2014 - 4:40 pm

    Stacia - I adore this more than I can say!ReplyCancel

    • Sunday, January 26, 2014 - 10:07 pm

      Manda - Thanks Stacia! I’m really enjoying our new lamp!ReplyCancel

  • Thursday, January 30, 2014 - 11:32 pm

    Malt Memories - Great D.I.Y! I want one!

    Jess | Malt Memories.ReplyCancel

  • Sunday, February 9, 2014 - 6:01 am

    Laura | Zurleys Floor Lamps - That is beautiful….. such skilled work too.You should run classes or something!ReplyCancel

  • Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 3:43 pm

    Jenny - Really beautiful lamp, I think I’m going to do one like yours as well! :)
    You wrote you need more “lamp-ideas”? I made one out of an empty, beautiful Whiskey bottle. Almost like you did yours. Very easy and also looks very nice!ReplyCancel

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