Thursday, May 2, 2013

DIY Army Tripod Floor Lamp

I needed a lamp for my son’s room. We had this lamp in there until now and it just didn’t give off enough light. Also, the lamp shade isn’t very durable and my son could tear through it in a heart beat if he wanted to, which with a toddler could be at any given moment. 

So I set off to find a new lamp. I started by scouring the internet, light shops, and just anywhere you can buy a lamp. Unfortunately, every lamp I liked was out of my price range. Next, I turned to the thrift stores and I just couldn’t find anything I wanted. I definitely needed a floor lamp, there’s just not enough dresser space for a table lamp because we still need space to do diaper changes. The floor lamps at the thrift shops were all flimsy, falling apart, or were those weird lamps that looked like space ships from the 80’s. These lamps just weren’t going to work. So I decided I would do what any normal person would do; find a lamp that I like and make it! That’s normal, right? 

After looking at what felt like thousands of pictures of lamps I realized that I kept going back to these images of tripod lamps. I liked the look and feel of the lamp. I liked that they were unique, fun, and could grow with him as his style changes and grows. And if he decided he didn’t like the lamp as he got older I could move it into a new room because well, I like it. 

My next challenge was finding a tripod. I decided wooden would be best. First, I checked craigslist and there were some pretty contenders but all were out of my price range with the cheapest being $100. I finally hopped online to ebay. Oh ebay I hadn’t forgotten about you, I just get too stressed with the bidding! 
I started to watch several tripods and finally settled on an old vintage army tripod. The color was unique, kinda this army green, it had some cool markings and probably had a cool story. Also, this particular tripod had three different height settings! Could this tripod be any more perfect!!! After days of watching it, we came down to the wire and I bid with ten seconds to spare and won! I paid $35 for the tripod, which may seem like a lot, but most of these tripods start bidding at $50. 

Now that I had accumulated the most important piece to my lamp I had to figure out what kind of well lamp that I wanted. I decided to go with a clamp lamp. I liked the look and it felt sort of industrial which I thought would be cool for a little boy’s room. Best of all I wouldn’t have to wire anything, as the clamp lamp comes pre-wired. After looking around for a while I found the best priced clamp lamp to be from Home Depot for less than $15. 

Tripod=Lamp stand. Check.
Clamp Lamp= Light source. Check.

Now all I needed to do was attach it. After much speculation, debate, and well arguing my hubby came up with the idea of using steel straps. This is found in the bathroom/plumbing department of your local hardware store in various lengths and thickness. We easily bent it into place and just used the existing screws in the tripod and the clamp lamp to hold it. 

Voila, we have a one of a kind tripod lamp. 

My son was interested in it at first but now he just ignores it. And the tripod is sturdy enough that he hasn’t knocked it down yet, despite running into it several times. And if he does knock it down, no big deal, I don’t think any piece of it will break. Oh and if your wondering I looked up the serial numbers that were on the tripod and it said it was a land surveillance tripod but that’s all I know.

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