Salvaged Copper Lamps

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We’re always going through yard sales to see what we can find to make over. Recently, we came across  a couple of GREAT exterior Arroyo Craftsman sconces. We didn’t need sconces on the outside of our house, but we did need lamps for the family room. Hmmmm…

Okay! You know us well enough to know that we’d make lamps out of these wall sconces. The real question is how are we going to make the base. Simple! Wood. We’re going to make a simple upside down T-pattern with two small bar supports, which will also give them the appropriate Arts and Craft detail to the lamps. We paid very little for these sconces, but we now have lamps that are priceless!

Here’s what we used to make the lamps:

  • Two exterior Arroyo Craftsman wall sconces
  • 7-foot piece of 1 x 6 oak
  • Two electric cords with wall plug
  • Paint remover
  • Red Chestnut stain
  • Satin finish sealer

This is what we needed to put it together:

  • Drill
  • Rotary saw
  • Screw driver
  • Electric sander
  • Sandpaper (100 and 220)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Screws
  • Electrical tape
  • Tape measure and pencil

Let’s Make More Lamps!


  • Measure and cut the entire length of the 1 x 6 to 5 3/4-inches wide. This width was determined by the top of the sconces because we wanted the support to be the same size as the top.
  • Next measure 23 1/4-inches from one end, and cut. Repeat this step. These pieces will be the vertical supports for the lamps. Now, measure 10 1/4-inches from the end, and cut two more pieces. These will be the bases for the lamps.
  • Finally, measure and cut 4 1-inch pieces for the decorative supports.


  • For the decorative supports, measure and cut them to 4 1/2-inches wide to mimic the width of the actual sconce lamps.
  • Sand each piece with 100 grain sandpaper, and follow up with 220 grain sandpaper.

Putting it Together!


  • For this next part, drill holes for the screws so that you don’t split the wood, and countersink each hole so that the screw will not lie on top of the wood.
  • Measure 7 1/2-inches from one end of the base on the bottom, and draw a line.
  • Next, place the vertical support on the line and attach the base to the vertical support and attach the decorative support to the base. Then screw the vertical support to the decorative support.
  • Finally attach the other decorative support to the back of the vertical support. This decorative support will help stabilize the vertical piece as well as hide the screws for the front support.
  • Repeat this for the other lamp base.

  • Drill a hole for the screw attachment, and a smaller hole for the plug-in.

Make it Sparkle!

  • Now, stain the two bases with the Red Chestnut stain. Be sure to wipe on the stain with one rag, and wipe it off immediately with another rag. This process will keep the color consistent.
  • Brush on the clear satin sealer and let dry. Make sure that you don’t have any runs! (Apply as many coats as you want, and sand with 220 grain sandpaper in between coats. We applied two coats, and it came out great.)
  • While the sealer is drying, clean the house paint off of the sonces by using a little paint remover and cleaning with a damp paper towel.

Cocktail Break!

Our neighbors went strawberry picking, and brought us a huge batch of strawberries. They were so delicious that we wanted to use them for a cocktail. What says summer better than a Strawberry Piña Colada?!! This drink tastes like strawberry coconut ice cream. It’s pretty, delicious, and VERY dangerous!!!

Getting Wired!


  • Place the threaded pipe through the larger hole, and attach the cap on the back of the base.
  • Thread the plug-in cord through the smaller hole, and wire it to the light. Put caps on the wire and enclose with the electrical tape.
  • Place the sconce over the threaded rod, and attach with a nut.

We love these lamps. They look like we purchased them from an Arts and Crafts store, and they’re perfect for the family room. It just goes to show you that you can find amazing things at a yard sale!!


One Response to Salvaged Copper Lamps

  1. Cheenna Gracey says:

    You guys are so KEWL … my eyes are seriously green that you can look at something like old discarded outdoor sconces and see such unique lamps. BEAUTIFUL … thank you for sharing.


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