How to make a lamp with copper pipes

copper pipe lamp DIY

Make your own lamp mixing copper and driftwood.

 

Copper crafts and decor are beautiful. The color of this metal is warm, almost like a rose gold shade. It is perfect for those who like industrial style, but prefer warm tones in their house.

Everybody needs table lamps in their home. Luckily, it’s an easy DIY. So, next time when you think about how to make a lamp without breaking the bank, think about copper pipes.

They are mainly used for water supply lines and refrigerant lines in HVAC systems. Copper pipes are excellent corrosion-resistance at affordable prices.

With so many different parts and shapes to choose from, you can make a beautiful copper pipe lamp everybody will admire.

 

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Necessary parts for making lamps

 

This pipe lamp has a lot of little parts. I went overboard at the Home Depot when planning the shape of the lamp. Believe me; you can make a cute pipe lamp with fewer parts.

copper lamp parts

Just in case you want to follow this design, here is the list I used for this project.

Necessary parts:

 

My million pieces of copper pipes. I strongly suggest building your own and don’t bother buying the same parts.

 

Copper pipe lamp tools

diy copper lamp tools you need

Depending on your design and lamp base, you might also need a drill. I use the Dewalt drill combo for almost all my DIY projects.

 

Answering your questions

Before we jump into the lamp tutorial, let’s clean and prepare our pipes.

 

Q: How to clean copper pipe?

When you buy copper pipes in stores, they might look dirty or dull. Older pipes can have green spots on them too.

  • Clean with lukewarm water and a sponge first.
  • Let it dry completely.
  • You can use a metal polish that’s suitable for copper. I skipped this step and tried a homemade solution.

 

Here is the easiest recipe:

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of salt in a cup of white vinegar.
  • Use a cloth to apply and rub on the salt-and-vinegar mixture onto the pipe. It’ll create a chemical reaction that will remove the tarnish in a few seconds.
  • Wash the pipe again to make sure you remove the vinegar. This step will keep the copper pipe from tarnishing.

 

Oil and dirt from your fingertips can cause discoloration. Try to use cloth when touching the copper pipes. To keep your copper shiny, you can spray or polish a lacquer.

 

Q: How to glue copper pipes together?

Since we’re making a lamp, the pipes don’t have to take hot water or water pressure. We can use almost any kind of strong glue.

The Gorilla super glue brush & nozzle is an excellent choice of glue for copper pipes, and it worked perfectly on our industrial lamp.

  • Before gluing the pipes, the joint must be clean.
  • You can use a 60 grit sandpaper or suitable wire wool than a cloth to wipe off all dirt.
  • Apply the glue on both parts to the external section of the pipe to be joined and the inside of the fitting. The tube is pushed into the joint, twisted into position.
  • Depending on the glue you are using, you might have to hold the joints together and let it bond for 10 seconds or more.

 

Q: How to cut copper pipe?

Luckily this is a lightweight material; therefore, it is easy to cut without heavy tools.

Here are the 3 most common options you can use to cut your pipes:

  1. The Autocut tool is perfect for under 1-inch diameter copper pipes.  Turn the device around the pipe to make a clean cut.
  2. Tubing cutters can be used for larger pipes. It is attached to the pipe. Tighten the cutter as you rotate it around the pipe.
  3. If you are like us and don’t have these tools at home, hopefully, you have a hacksaw. The best tool ever! It can be used for everything: metal, wood plastic. Sawing the pipe won’t give you as precise of a cut, but it won’t show on your project anyway. 

 

 

Copper pipe lamp design

 

Before you start, you want to layout your lamp design. Personally, I like to be creative and come up with my unique ideas, but if you don’t feel creative today, here is the pipe lamp design I put together.

copper pipe design ideas

 

How to make a copper pipe lamp instructions

 

We got to the fun part! Ready? Follow the step by step tutorial, and you’ll have your own lamp done in no time.

Are you a visual learner? Video tutorial is coming soon!

 

Treat the driftwood base.

prepare your wood lamp base

Making cute driftwood decorations is fun, but you want to prepare and protect your wood. I made an organic wood polish cream and love to use on all my wood furniture and pieces.

Rub on the polish with a soft cloth and let it soak in.

 

Make the holes in the lamp base.

homemade lamp with copper pipes and driftwood

Drill the wood lamp base.

The cord will thread down from the lamp socket, through the pipes, and out a hole in the base.

Drill that hole now so you can glue the adapter. I used my friend Dewalt drill and Irwin 3/4 spade drill bit.

 

Install the threaded adapter

can you glue copper pipe together

This is your chance to create a stable base. The copper threaded adapter will attach the lamp holder to the copper pipe.

Apply the Gorilla super glue gel to both the wood and to the adapter and let it dry overnight or until it is completely dry.

 

 

Preassemble the copper pipes

Using your original layout, do a trial, and assemble all-copper pipes. Don’t use glue this time.

You want to make sure your pipe lamp plan works well, and all parts fit together.

 

Glue the parts

Apply the glue on both pieces and join them together. You want to do this piece by piece because you will thread the wire through the pipes as well.

So threading the wire and gluing the pieces together should work section by section.

 

Pull through the wire.

copper light fixture wiring

As I said before, you want to work, piece by piece.

Thread as you go. Insert the wire in the hole you drilled in the base, and then keep threading the wire through the pipes. In the end, you’ll get to the light fixture socket.

 

Wire the socket

 

Please, work with a licensed electrician or a certified professional to help with wiring your lamp if you are in doubt. We are not responsible for any action taken as a result of the information or advice on hungaricanjourney.com.

  

Then attach the upper part of the socket, locking it into the base part.

 

Install the light switch

DIy copper lamp switch installation

Read and follow the instructions on the package of the switch. Please, work with a licensed electrician or a certified professional to help with wiring your lamp if you are in doubt. We are not responsible for any action taken as a result of the information or advice on hungaricanjourney.com.

Most common steps:

  • Determine which wire is the hot wire. My heavy-duty switch came with a smooth side and that is the hot wire.
  • Position the switch on the wire. Find a place where it will be easily accessible.
  • Split the cord with a utility knife through the center.
  • Snip the hot wire in two with wire cutters.
  • Wrap the wire as instructed around the screws.
  • Put the switch back together.

 

Glue the socket in place.

diy industrial light fixture

The base of the socket fits loosely in the copper piece I chose and needed to use glue here too.

Gorilla glue worked well for me in this project, so I finished my lamp with it.

Apply the adhesive to the base of the socket.

 

Leave your beautiful lamp overnight to allow the glue to dry.

Add the bulb and turn on your creation!

how to make lamps with copper pipes

 

Make a lamp with copper pipes experience.

 

Working with copper is easy. It is a lightweight material easy to cut, glue, and assemble. Perfect for an easy DIY lamp project.

Using only a hacksaw for cutting and glue for joining the copper pipes together worked perfectly.

The lamp is strong and still standing. 😉

Use fewer parts. Sometimes less is more. You don’t have to go crazy as I did.

I love the driftwood as a lamp base, and it was easy to drill a hole in it.

Driftwood is for FREE, and the copper parts are budget-friendly. You can make a lamp on a dime with these materials. 

 

I hope you got inspired, and off you go to make your own lamp today.

 

How about some more home decor DIY projects?

 

Don’t forget to PIN it and come back anytime when you need the instructions. Do you still have questions? Leave a comment below.

copper pipe lamp tutorial


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14 Comments

  1. Heidi

    This really inspires me to make my own lamp and is super easy to follow! Thanks so much!

    Heidi

    Reply
    • Andrea

      Hi Heidi. It’s easy and cheap. I love its unique shape. Nobody will have the same pipe lamp like you. 😉

      Reply
  2. Jess

    I love this idea! Might even give it a try to gift my dad for Father’s day! Thank you for giving such detailed pictures, too!

    Reply
    • Andrea

      Make one, Jess. Your dad will love it!

      Reply
  3. Jen Towkaniuk

    What a fun project! I didn’t know it was so easy to make a lamp, and now I can’t wait to make one for our remodel. Thank you so much for this awesome idea!

    Reply
    • Andrea

      Jen, I didn’t expect to be this easy either. Both pipe lamp we made were easy to assemble. I hope you make one soon.

      Reply
  4. Jenny Bhatia

    You know I love driftwood pieces, beachy and casual. The combination of the rose gold and driftwood is beautiful. You keep inspiring me to try to DIY.

    Reply
    • Andrea

      It cannot get any better than combining two beautiful natural pieces together. I paired the other part of the driftwood with black iron pipes and I think the warm copper is prettier. Better for girly rooms. 😉

      Reply
  5. Lisa Bayorek

    This is so cool! We have a bar that we made with pipe lighting.

    Reply
    • Andrea

      Thanks, Lisa. Well, now you can make one for a coffee table too. 😉

      Reply
  6. Conny

    This is such a cool looking lamp which would fit perfectly to my interior. So this is definitely on my to make list. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    • Andrea

      Thanks, Conny. I hope you’ll make your copper lamp soon.

      Reply
  7. just luve

    Wow, this is so creative. Thanks for the tutorial, it’s going to fit so well in our conservatory as we have copper piping for our wall lights as well!

    Reply
    • Andrea

      I’m sure they will look good together. Happy DIY-ing!

      Reply

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