Sep 14, 2011 - Lighting, Recycle & Reuse    32 Comments

Salvaged Wood Lamp

DIY Wood Lamp I am sure you have heard of Craigslist, but where I live, it’s all about KSL Classifieds.  This is a news website that has free classifieds.  It is AMAZING!  I have sold and bought things from KSL and have not been disappointed yet!  Well, this story starts with a Friday night, browsing the FREE section.  I had never checked out the FREE section, but figured I’d give it a shot.  After an hour or so I found a listing for free barn wood.  It turns out a construction crew was doing some work right off the freeway about 10 miles from where I live.  They tore down a small shed and an old wooden fence.  All I had to do was follow their directions and load up all that I could.  My husband wasn’t too keen on spending his Saturday morning picking up someone else’s free junk, but I was in!  I hardly slept a wink, figuring everyone would snatch up all that wood before dawn.  I got out of bed and packed my Chrysler Town and Country Transformer minivan with a tarp and gloves.  You see, it had snowed that night, some 2″ so I needed to protect my car and my hands.  I roll up at the location of the wood and not a soul is in sight.  No footprints, nothing.  I guess not EVERY one was looking for barn wood on a cold snowy Saturday morning.  Any-who, I packed up as much wood as I could fit in my van, and drove home, not sure what I was going to make from my treasures.  My hubby borrowed a power washer from a friend and I prayed all the mud, snow, spiders and a little moss off the wood.  Then the idea of the lamp was born from one of the railroad ties.

How to make your own wood block lamp

Isn’t it beautiful?

There is one similar I found (after I made mine) from Currey for $740!

Currey and Company 6522

It reminds me of one Anthropologie sells for $298

Anthropologie Ubiquity Lamp Ensemble

OK, here are the instructions.

Step 1.  Pull out any nails, barbed wire or other undesired foreign objects.  They actually leave odd shaped holes that look beatiful on the finished product.

Step 2. Cut the railroad tie to desired height.  I chose 14″.  My husband cut it with a circular saw (he had to rotate it in order to cut all the way through the wood).   It was such hard wood that it started to burn as the saw heated up, I love the dark burn marks and the grain of the wood.

How to make your own wood block lamp

Step 3. Lightly sand the top and bottom to remove some of the circular saw marks.  I also lightly sanded with a mouse sander the front and sides of the lamp.  You can see where this was done because the brown of the natural wood shows through the gray aged exterior.

How to make your own wood block lamp

Step 4. Use a long drill bit to burrow out a hole from the center, diagonally to the back (I did this because the back of my wood had imperfections making it easier to thread my wire later).

How to make your own wood block lamp

Step 3. Take apart an old lamp for it’s parts.  You can also buy lamp parts, but I had an old lamp collecting dust so I used it.  Feed the wire up through the burrowed hole to the center of the lamp and reassemble lamp (I had to cut the tube surrounding the parts to fit the desired height of my lamp shade to 3 1/2″).

How to make your own wood block lamp

Step 4. Pick a lamp shade and set it on top!  I chose an inexpensive shade from Target.  It has a natural feel and I love the nubby texture.

Step 5. Add furniture pads to all four corners to prevent your lamp from scratching tables etc.

How to make your own wood block lamp

Step 6. Turn it on and enjoy!

How to make your own wood block lamp

 (p.s. I actually made two!  One for each side of my bed)

Wood Block Lamp Salvaged Reclaimed Upcycled

Excuse all the photos, but these turned out SO beautiful in real life, I had to share.

Wood Block Lamp Anthropologie Reclaimed Upcycled

Look at the knots on the side and front and the variations in color!You can see where this block was nailed to another one on the lower half of this side.  These characteristics make each one a unique piece of art.

Wood Block Lamp Anthropologie Reclaimed Upcycled

Click the image below for the updated photo instructions to assemble this lamp

(thank you children for breaking it so I could put it back together and take photos along the way):

How to build a Salvaged Wood Lamp

Linked Up: Funky Junk30 Days, Inspired by Charm, Blue Cricket Design, Tatertots & Jello, French Country Cottage, Home Stories A2Z



  • Just a fabulous idea – love this!

  • thanks ill be back

  • I envy your work , thankyou for all the interesting blog posts.

  • Amazing!! I love these- super fantastic idea and they turned out so neat!!Would love for you to come share them at Feathered Nest Friday too!

    • Will do Courtney, I’m a fan of French Country Cottage already!

  • omg yummy lovely lamp project! loving the rustic chic.

    visiting via french country cottage.

    would love to have you stop over to my kate spade giveaway!



  • Hi there~ just stopping back by to say thanks for linking up!! :)

  • Beautiful lamp; so much character. Thanks for the how to, and the story. I can relate. I found a link to this on Decor Hacks, and was alarmed when they referred to the wood as a section of railroad tie. You need to stay away from railroad ties because they’re sprayed with toxic chemicals that you really don’t want to have in your home. I think an old shed should be ok, though. Not clear exactly which you used. I liked your little typo on how you cleaned the wood off. I do that too, sometimes. It helps.

    • Jusa,
      Thanks for your comment, railroad ties are kind of nasty with the chemicals, smell and stuff. The lamps are the shape of a railroad tie, but definitely NOT treated. The wood was used as posts for a raggedy old fence I think.

  • Consider new hosting, the site isn’t loading images. I experimented with getting in touch with the world wide web operator but I have not been obtaining any response. You Will Find a great offer going on. Geolocalised IPs for:.CzechRepublic, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, France, Britain, Germany, Spain&Switzerland, CzechRepublic, CzechRepublic, Finland, Netherlands, CzechRepublic, Lithuania. Great for online marketers. Outstanding ratings and best prices. I cannot notify you how numerous shared hosting offers I’ve acquired .The VPS and VDS servers are definitely incredible as well, examine the deals.

  • Amanda,

    Lovely lamp and thanks for sharing step by step instructions!!
    I am planning to do a lamp similar to yours and was wondering what is the width of the wood. I will have to get lumber from local hardware store. Also what kind of bit did you use to drill the hole for the wire and how long was the bit.


    • Maria,
      I think the wood was originally 6X9 posts, it’s hard to tell with chunks of wood missing now. For the bit, I used the largest one my husband had, probably 5/8″ or so. I was worried about how I would get it deep enough to make it to the bottom of the lamp, fortunatly the back sides of my wood were split and chipped. So I drilled diagonally till I hit a split. Then fished the wire through and down the crack where no one could see it. I know there are long drill bits for this, but I was too cheap to buy anything extra :) Good luck, and send me a pic when you are finished!

  • Ich drück die Daumen, dass es klappt

  • Wow, it looks amazing! I’ve always wanted something like this. I’m still waiting for my perfect piece of wood though. Thank you for the tutorial, now I know exactly how to do it. :)

  • Firstly thank you for writing this. Additionally there is an issue
    with your new stylesheet orr possibly it’s just my computer but it doesn’t show right.

  • These are wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

  • Clever idea, love it! I shared it on my FB page. Diane

    • Thanks Diane! I bet you come across a lot of old wood in your neck of the woods.

  • […] Salvaged Wood Lamp from Burlap and Denim […]

  • Every weekend i used to visit this web site,
    because i wish for enjoyment, for the reason that this this website conations really fastidious funny stuff too.

  • […] Salvaged Wood Lamp | Burlap and Denim […]

  • Nice blog here! Additionally your web site
    quite a bit up very fast! What web host are you
    using? Can I get your associate link on your host?

    I desire my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  • […] image via Burlap & Denim […]

  • […] you have some salvaged or scrap wood lying around, you can turn it into a lamp with these instructions from Burlap & […]

  • I don’t agree.
    Sincerely, Dominga

  • looking good

  • nice post

  • I’m in love with this ..Beautiful

  • […] Tutorial via Burlap & Denim […]

  • […] Salvaged Wood Block Lamp – Burlap and Denim […]

  • […] Tutorial gut Jute & Denim […]

Got something to say? Go ahead and leave a comment!