If your home is anything like mine then you have ugly boob lights throughout your home. Literally, when we moved into our home, every single room was graced with the presence of these attractive lights. I’m on a mission though! One by one I am determined to make us some DIY, stunning lights. Today, I’m excited to show you how to make a modern industrial light that we built for my husband’s home office.
It seriously turned out beautiful if I do say so myself!
You can see our inspiration board for his industrial office here. It’s your typical leather couch, industrial pipes, and warm stained woods throughout.
A year later and we have yet to build his industrial pipe bookshelves but one day, hopefully soon, we can check that off the to do list. So on to today’s beauty. Here’s how you can make your own modern industrial light complete with clean lines and cutout grooves.
- 2 – 1″x12”x4’ fir
- 120 grit sandpaper
- Wood stain – we went with this Minwax English Chestnut to match the look of his custom desk
- 2 rags
- Small paint brush
- Clear wood varnish spray
- Latch plate
- Hammered spray paint
- 6” nipple (like these ones)
- 3 nuts
- Light finial
- 2 – 11.5”x12” cut at 45 degrees on both sides
- 2 – 23”x12” cut at 45 degrees on both side
- 1 – 21.5” x 10” bottom board
- Table saw
- Micro pinner
- Drill with 25/64 bit
1. Start by cutting all your boards to size. We chose to cut them all at 45 degrees for a clean joint but you very well could just do straight cuts and use different sized boards. After you make your cuts, attach all your sides to make a box using a micro pinner. The micro pinner is key in getting the clean look for this DIY industrial light.
2. Once your box is made, cut your bottom board to size and attach it in the bottom of the box using the micro pinner. If you plan on doing the same dimensions as our light, the bottom ends up being 21.5” long by 10” wide.
3. Now comes the fun part! Using your table saw, set your blade height to cut into your board but not all the way through. The depth is totally up to you, but we went with about half the thickness of the wood. Next, decide what distance in from the edge you want the grooves and then go for it! Once all your grooves are cut, adjust your fence over just a little and do a second pass on all sides to make the groove wider.
4. Next you’re going to cut your side accent slits. This detail is what makes this light so fun! Using a pencil, draw out roughly where you want the slits. If you’re Type A like me, don’t stress over putting it at the perfect spot, I promise you, it will look great!! Cut them using your table saw with the height of about 3”. Depending on how much light you need in the room, you can do more slits. We chose one full slit on the end pieces and one long slit on each side. Using 120 grit sandpaper sand down any rough edges and then wipe your whole box down with a clean cloth.
5. Now the pretty part. Dip your rag in the stain and rub it on your box. I do it one side at a time and then wipe the excess off using a clean rag. Be sure when you put the stain on and wipe it off you wipe in the same direction of the grain. To get in the slits and grooves, use a small paint brush.
6. Wait about 24 hours and then spray the entire box with a clear wood varnish. You could brush on a clear varnish but the spray version is much easier to get in all the grooves. Ours took four thin coats. Be sure to wait at least 30 minutes between each coat.
7. Depending on your light fixture, you most likely will need a 25/64 drill bit to match the nipple size that holds on your original shade. We had to purchase a 6” nipple to accommodate the taller light shade. You should be able to find one in the lighting section at your local hardware store.
Flip your box over so the bottom is facing up and measure to find the center. Be sure to measure this a few times before drilling because if this is off then your light will sit crooked.
Once you have drilled the hole in the wood, you can drill a hole through your latch plate and attach it to the middle of the box. Honestly, the latch plate serves no function except to be pretty, but I love how it adds to the industrial feel of the light. The latch plate should come with 4 small screws to attach it to the box. If yours doesn’t, you’ll need 4 screws to attach it to the box.
8. Now that the DIY industrial light is done, it’s time to install it. The first step is to attach the nipple with one nut on each side of the light fixture to keep it secure. Then attach another nut about an inch from the bottom so that you have a tight hold when you attach the finial. It should look something like this.
9. For this last step you will need two people, unless you’re Hercules and have super strength. One will need to hold the light shade and maneuver the nipple through the hole, while the other screws the finial on to secure the whole thing.
Now take a step back, dust your hands off, and feel awesome about yourself! Or at least that’s what we did. I am so excited with how this light fixture turned out!
Now that you’ve seen what type of fixture fits our home office, what type would you love to see in your office? Are you ready to make your own DIY industrial light? If you do, I’d love to see it! Leave me a link in the comments below.
2 thoughts on “How to Make a Modern Industrial Light”
Wow! This is so clever and creative. Really love this idea. Thanks for the inspiration!
So chic and easy to make, would look perfect in my study
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