As a self-professed scavenger, I get my ideas and my supplies from just about anywhere. I’ve been known to root around in a dump or two, flea markets, thrift stores, abandoned homes, junked cars…to name but a few. It’s the thrill of the hunt. However, once it gets out there that you actually like this kind of thing, then you open yourself up to getting gifts of , let’s call it what it is , junk. It’s not just any junk, it’s junk with potential.
That’s how it came to be that for my birthday this year, my oldest son Keith and his wife Steph, gave me a pile of “junk”. I do believe Steph thought Keith was a little nuts, but he assured her that I could see the potential. With a few of the items, I too think he’s a little nuts….he may have to help me brainstorm. But in the pile was this fantastic galvanized bucket which didn’t take too much thought into making a decorated galvanized bucket.
Also in the pile, were these four window shutters. I believe they envisioned them standing up , with a light inside and with the shutter mechanism you could adjust the light dim to dimmer. Cool idea, but I don’t use nightlights that often. When I have a lamp on, I want light and lots of it. What if I could use the shutters as my base for a freestanding lamp? The problem was, they were kind of tall for a lamp, 24 inches. Even my pipe lamp, which I thought was kind of tall, was only 18 inches.
Deconstruction was the key!. With a jigsaw I sawed down one edge of the shutters. It turns out that the slats are only held in place by a small little peg on each side. Once one side is cut, the entire piece is freed from the frame. That still leaves pegs on the other side, but we’ll deal with that later.
Now for something to build my lamp around. It turns out that those slats are the perfect width of a 6 x 6 post. One of which I had conveniently under my deck. It really was meant to be.
Cut the 6 x 6 post to 14 1/2 inches for no other reason than ….that looks about right.
Since my post was only 14 1/2 inches, I had to remove 3 1/2 slats on each side. Could use a jigsaw, but chose a chopsaw which gets the job done super quick.
The pegs that were sticking out on the side of each shutter were cut off with my tin snips.
The four shutters were lined up on the 6 x 6 post and nailed into position with a nail gun. Only needed to nail one side and by keeping those nails on the side, they would be covered up in the next step. Those shutters weren’t going anywhere. f you don’t have a nail gun, regular nails would work or building adhesive, but you would just have to wait for it to dry before moving on.
To cover up all those ugly corners, bought 5 feet of corner molding from the hardware store and used finishing nails to nail into place.
Need to attach a bottom and top. I used 2 pieces of mdf plywood 1″ thick, and 7 3/4 inch square. Alternatively, could have used 1 inch pine cut to size and routered the edges. Because I used the mdf, and I wanted to have a nicer finished edge, I still needed to purchase additional molding. I chose a half round molding, about 3 feet. That molding was cut with a miter saw and I also used finishing nails to nail it into place.
Nail holes were filled and sanded. Nailed and glued the top and bottom pieces on.
Stained the edges of the lamp so that when I painted and sanded off the edges, a darker finish would show through. Note…if you are not going to sand the edges there is no need to stain the lamp.
Spray painted the entire lamp white. For this project , spray paint was easiest, since it gets into all the nooks and crannies.
Edges were sanded, to give a bit of an aged look.
Ready to make this guy into a lamp. Check out my post here for lamp making instructions.
Now for the most important part. Take your lamp into the store to pick out a shade. Just like you wouldn’t by a hat without seeing what it looks like on you first…don’t buy a lampshade without seeing what it will look like on your lamp. You’ll probably save yourself a couple of trips to the store.
From shutters to a lamp.
and Coastal Charm