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Turn me on!

July 17, 2013

I do like lamps. Like obsessively like them. You can never have enough of them. And it’s quite easy to make lamps yourself. I think I showed that already. However once I saw the concrete and copper lamp from mormorsglamour and the things the guys from HomeMade Modern make with concrete, I had to make my own.


I think you know me by now well enough to know that I don’t just followed the step-by-step tutorial but looked at the pictures and said: I could do it. And off I went to the hardware store.

All you need is:
– quick cement
– copper tube in 30 cm and 20 cm
– a straight piece as copper tube connection
– one 45° piece of copper tube connection
– a cable with a plug
– a light fixture (mine has a toggle switch included which is quite handy)
– a light bulb
– an old ice-cream box (empty, of course but I’m sure that’s not a problem for you)
– a drill
– a screw driver (to build the light fixture)


Sounds like a lot but it isn’t. It was actually quite easy and cheap considering that you can build several lamps if you just buy some more cable and light fixtures.

It’s quite easy to make as well:

1. Take 1/2 kg of the cement and stir it in the ice-cream box with water as it says on the packaging. Then push the straight copper piece into the still wet concrete (you have to be quick here because it hardens really fast!). Let it dry for 30 mins and then drill a whole into the concrete inside the copper piece so that you have a hole to pull the cable through later. I found this an easier solution that what I saw at the tutorial. I took a little spoon and got rid of all the cement inside that little tube end. Wait for a day.


2. Take the concrete lamp foot out of the ice-cream box and assemble the lamp as in the picture above. Just put them all together like a puzzle. Pull the cable through and add the light fixture. Just be careful that the lamp is not plugged in while you work with the cable.


3. Add the light bulb and now look what I made: a concrete and copper  industrial inspired lamp with only 30 mins work and a minimum of money. Ha. Those are my favourite tutorials!




For this DIY copper and concrete lamp, it was the first time that I worked with concrete and it was a bit daunting in the beginning but boy is it rewarding! I can promise you that this is not the last tutorial featuring concrete that you will see on this blog. I made some concrete letters here and a little stand with the foot of  a broken wine glass here. Have you ever worked with this material?

Now. Carry on!

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  • Reply Petra Gschwendtner July 19, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Awesome idea and a really lovely result <3

  • Reply Lisa July 19, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    What did you use for the feet on the concrete lamp base? Love the lamp.

    • Reply Sarah July 19, 2013 at 9:54 pm

      It’s an old ice-cream box. I will post a photo tomorrow, if you care to come back.

      • Reply Lisa July 19, 2013 at 11:00 pm

        Oh, Okay. I thought the ice-cream box was just the mold for the base and you used something else for the feet. The ice-cream boxes I empty :) are just square. I’ll be back tomorrow!

        • Reply Sarah July 20, 2013 at 2:21 am

          I updated it with a picture of the cement in the ice-cream box. I did use this container to combine the dry cement with the water as well and I let it dry in their. However every plastic mold will do the trick. Hope that helps.

          • Lisa July 21, 2013 at 10:51 pm

            Thanks Sarah.

          • Sarah July 21, 2013 at 10:53 pm

            Sure, let me know if you need any further assistance.

        • Reply Matthew October 12, 2014 at 4:35 am

          How did you get the cement out of the ice cream box mold once it dried? It didn’t stick to the ice cream box?

          • sarah October 12, 2014 at 9:53 am

            Hi Matthew,

            no, the cement didn’t stick that much to the ice cream box. I just bent the box a little outwards to remove the plastic from the cement. That’s all you need to do. This works just fine.

  • Reply Laura July 22, 2013 at 12:34 am

    Think this could be used with longer lengths to make a floor lamp? Would have to use a larger mold to keep the bottom heavy enough…

    • Reply Sarah July 22, 2013 at 8:35 am

      Cement is not as heavy as you think. First my lamp was taller as well but it kept loosing balance to the point where I got so annoyed that I shortened the copper tube to the length is has now.

      However it certainly can be used to make a floor lamp. You just might to use something heavy to put into the cement base and/or much more. :) I was also pondering the idea of making a big one. It would be great if you share a picture once you’re done!

      • Reply Laura C George July 22, 2013 at 7:02 pm

        Ahh… ok! Well I’ll have to think on that, but I bet I could figure out a way to weigh it down more. Even if I had to do half the concrete, insert a weight of some sort, and then do the other half of the concrete.

        • Reply Sarah July 22, 2013 at 7:55 pm

          Sounds great. Good luck!

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    this is so cute, I am tempted to try and make one myself. I have been itching to play with concrete for a while!

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    I love the design! I made a similar lamp a little while ago and posted the details as an Instructable. I used galvanized pipe instead of copper, and embedded a switch in the base. Check it out here:

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  • Reply dekekun October 12, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Can I suggest you put a rubber grommet around the top edge of the copper pipe? The weight of the bulb pulling down on the cord will, over time, make the edge of the copper eat a nice little cut into the cord, and then you’ll have a tall piece of live metal, ready to cause a fire or shock someone.

    • Reply sarah October 12, 2014 at 6:16 pm

      You’re right. I haven’t thought of that. Safety first!

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