Monday, March 4, 2013

Branch Lamps! (Tutorial!)

My whole miniature blog and love for miniatures stems from a love of design and interior decorating.  What really attracted to miniatures was that I could decorate full houses and rooms in any style I wanted, over and over and over... and usually, for a fraction of the cost that I would spend on a real house.  Since we aren't home owners, there is only so much "decorating" and "remodeling" I can really do before someone drops the big boot of reality on my tiny dream.  

Before Pinterest, there were magazines and scissors and colored folders.  I have been hoarding design ideas for years, planning what I would want for the day that I do own a home.  James, if you read this, remember to make a savings for me to DIY and rehab our house into a home. :D  When I started the Undersized Urbanite contest, I delved into folders and my Pinterest account for ideas.  You've seen the book nook, and the turquoise bathroom...I just made the chevron chair, and yesterday, I tackled another *I-can't-wait-to-make-this-for-my-own-house-someday*  

Branch Lamps.

A Bit of Bees Knees
I followed some very loose instructions over at A Bit of Bees Knees to achieve these in miniature.  And you know, they wouldn't be that hard to do in RLS either.  Another thing to add to the to-do list!!!

And here is my finished product: 

And here is how I made them.  
A couple notes first, 1) I tried to get pictures of all the steps, but we all know how bad I am at that, and I assume that you will know what glue on wood looks like, yes?  2) Please, if you use this tutorial, link back to me and give me credit and only use for your own personal use.  Don't try to make a payday off of my hard work.  It takes time to figure out how to make these things, and then more time to get pictures, edit them and then to write it all up here for you all to read.  Common courtesy. Okay?
Okay.  Off my soapbox now.

What you will need:
~A good sized branch from outside...probably no thicker than your pinky finger
~scrap wood for a base
~round wire with plug
~soldering gun
~card stock for lamp shade
~floral wire (to make "harp")
~wood glue
~super glue

Here are my sticks, uncut, along with some scrap wood.  I believe these are the chair bases that go with the Coventry Cottage (you get some furniture kits with it)
I cut one of them to a size and shape that I liked and then used it to match the other one to it. I drilled a small hole in the middle of the base.  This is where the stick will go.  I purposely made it smaller than the width of the stick so that it would have a tight fit.
I whittled down the bottom of the stick a bit, checked for fit and then glued into place.

 Stick on a base!
 Here are the two lamps before all the extras.
Now, here is where I missed some parts...  You will need to pick a card stock and cut a lamp shade.  There is no magic number for the measurements.... just cut and shape until you like it.  For my harps, I cut a long length of floral wire.  At the middle of the length, I twisted a loop and then slid it onto the top part of the stick. From there, I made a shape that resembled this:

Then, I just fiddled with it until it was a tight fit in the shade.  Then, I took all of that off and dry brushed the branch and base in Snow White by Americana.
 Here is the lamp with the wire and the light bulb in place. To make the light work, I took a length of round wire that has a plug on the end of it, and a round bulb.  You can buy both of these items at HBS.
I split the wires apart and then stripped them, exposing the copper underneath.  I then soldered one wire around the threads of the bulb and the other to the bottom of the bulb.  There is a little nubbin on the bottom and that is what you need to make contact with.  After it cooled, I wrapped a small bit of electrical tape around the threads the wire back up. To attach the bulb and wire assembly to the lamp, I coiled a bit of the wire around the top of the branch and then secured with glue.  That was a bit tricky, because you have to do it with the harp and shade ON the branch.  This way, everything is secure.
I ran super glue down the length of the branch and pressed the wire into the glue.  I used clamps while it dried.  Not a fan of super glue on my fingers!
 Then they just needed to be put in their new homes!
I love this shot here.  All the elements just look so cool.  :)

The lamps weren't the only thing I worked on yesterday, either.  I also added this built in for under the stairs.  It helps hold it in place and it's just a fun little spot for me to put things later.  :)  I also covered the bottom/back of the stairs with some card stock and the part that goes around the base, too.
The tray on the table got painted white and I added some scrap paper to it.  If you are liking the chair, the link to that post is here.
 It really is turning out to be a great room!
 At the end of my worktime, I started making preparations for the staircase to be fixed into place.  Of course, I still need to do the ceiling and the trim in the living room before that can happen.

Hope you enjoyed the post.  :)  I will be back soon with more miniature fun.  Give the branch lamps a whirl!  You can get all sorts of creative with the different types of trees and different lamp shades. :)


  1. your lamps turned out fantastic! I would love them in my real life home too. Great job :)

  2. Marvelous, my friend!!! They look fabu!

  3. The branch lamps are a great idea! I will have to look at those for my cabin project.

  4. They look fabulous. Thanks for the tutorial.

  5. They look fabulous! Thanks for the tutorial!

  6. The lamps are wonderful! Do you think they could have been made just using the bulb, wire and plug as they arrived, without stripping the wire and soldering? I am not very good with electrical products.

    1. Of course! I didn't have a premade assembly, so I had to do it that way. But yes, you can buy it all-in-one already, no soldering needed and just attach it to a stick. :)

  7. Una gran idea, gracias por el tutorial.
    Te han quedado preciosas.
    besitos ascension

  8. FANTASTIC! THNX for the idea! Hug AM

  9. Mega idea thanks for sharing it ! And may I say I find it no more then logic to grive you credits!

  10. Love the lights and thank you for the tutorial. Love your other projects too :)

  11. What a great idea! Thanks for the tutorial.

    Don't want to step on your toes for Undersized Urbanite, but on the next house I'm trying this. :)

  12. Tus lámparas son muy originales, me gustan!
    Gracias por compartir el tutorial.
    Un abrazo

  13. veo que te ha cundido el tiempo, esas lamparas son muy originales y estoy de acuerdo contigo ,Pinterest es una gran ayuda ,y tambien vas trabajando sobre la casa muy bien



  14. Your lamps are original. Thanks for the tutorial.
    Bye Faby

  15. Boy do I have ideas now! LOL I want to run away with your lamp and stairs ideas. hmmmm Thanks!

  16. Oh god no..if my husband see's this post he'll be making these lights for every room of my house! (but I really love them in mini and your stairs are great too)


  17. me han encantado las lámparas,quedan muy bonitas y muy originales!!!
    Mil gracias por el tutorial!!

  18. Very cool idea. Love your lamps!


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