DIY Industrial Pipe Sconce

Make this industrial-modern light sconce using pipe fittings and basic lamp parts from the hardware store. Pair with a 40-watt filament bulb for a vintage vibe and lower overall glow.

Things You’ll Need
(makes a single sconce)

  • 7-inch round wood plaque
  • ½-inch hole saw bit & power drill
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Wood finish
  • Paintbrush or cotton cloth
  • 12 inches white and black wire, #14 THHN solid copper
  • Wire cutters & strippers
  • Porcelain lamp socket
  • ½-inch lamp nipple
  • Steel pipe fittings: ½-inch floor flange, ½-inch 45-degree steel elbow, ½-inch-to-1/8-inch hex bushing
  • 4 wood screws #12, ½ inch
  • 2 wood screws, 2 inch
  • 40-watt standard filament bulb

Start by prepping the wood plaque (which can be found in a variety of shapes and sizes at most craft stores). Using the floor flange as a guide, mark the placement for the screws and a central wiring hole that sits 2 ½ inches below the top center of the wood edge.

Using a ½-inch round hole saw bit, drill a hole all the way through the plaque.

Use fine-grit sandpaper to smooth away any rough or splintered edges around the wood plaque and drilled hole, and then apply wood finish.

Wood finish comes in a variety of color options and will penetrate, stain and seal the wood all in one step. Apply finish in the direction of the wood grain using a paintbrush or by wiping it into the wood with a dry cotton cloth. Allow the finish to dry at least eight hours before handling.

To assemble the sconce, first attach the wiring to the lamp socket. Strip away roughly 1 inch of the plastic wire coating on both the white and black wires to expose the copper wire underneath. Bend the wire to into a hook shape to make for easier wrapping around the terminal screws.

Wrap the wire around each terminal screw (typically the white goes on the silver and the black goes with gold). Then string the socket cap through the wires and screw to secure.

String the lamp nipple onto the wire and screw into the top of the lamp socket, leaving ¼ inch exposed.

The rest of the assembly is a matter of stringing and screwing together the remaining pipe fittings. Slide the hex bushing onto the wire and screw it onto the lamp nipple.

Next, slide and secure the 45-degree elbow to the hex bushing, followed by the floor flange to finish.

String the wire through the hole in the wood plaque, and secure the floor flange to the wood with ½-inch screws.

Now the sconce is ready for installation.

To install, turn off the electrical breaker where you’ll be working, and then wire the sconce to the wall per your locale’s lighting codes. When wired, screw the wood plaque into the wall using 2-inch wood screws, and then screw in the bulb.

At this stage, you can gently adjust the position of the elbow pipe to rest on an angle as desired.

Looking for more bright ideas? Learn how to make a hanging pendant light from an antique basket and set a glowing mood by making these hanging mason jar votives.

Mary & Tim

Keep up with Mary and Tim’s adventures in DIY, home and gardening on their collaborative lifestyle blog, 17Apart. Find them on Instagram (@17Apart) and page through delicious recipes on Tim’s food blog, E.A.T.

Photo credits: Mary & Tim Vidra

About the Author

Mary and Tim Vidra, the creative couple behind the lifestyle blog 17Apart.com, live and work in Richmond, Virginia. Both do-it-yourselfers by nature, they are continually in search of simple solutions for living more sustainably — sharing their ideas, tips and tricks for DIY home decor, urban gardening and cooking.