DIY Lamp: Make Your Own Birch Lamp
It all started with a forest of birch trees and an idea for lamps. Why not bring some of that beautiful nature indoors? When my husband and I started our craft business, lamps were our primary art/craft item. Each lamp would have its own unique look because no two trees look exactly the same. The floor lamp pictured is one of my favorite. The way one birch trunk wraps around the other is especially artistic. Of course we couldn’t put just an ordinary shade on such a lamp so we incorporated the use of birch twigs, or in the case of this floor lamp, peaberries as well.
You can purchase birch logs, bark and twigs from people who grow and harvest birch just for this type of use. One place that I have found birch for sale is at birchbarkstore.com . If you intend to create many things with birch, you can grow and harvest your own birch trees. This will take a little while to get started though. But, if you transplant fairly good sized trees you will be able to prune branches in no time. The other way is to go out into a woods containing birch trees right after a storm. Chances are you will find some fallen trees that you can use. Freshly fallen trees are the best for most lamp projects since they wouldn’t have had a chance to rot yet. The last suggestion for finding material for lamps is simply to cut the suckers that grow straight up from a large birch tree’s base. These root suckers make great lamp material and they don’t harm the tree when you cut them off. The suckers can actually get out of control so it is a good idea to cut these anyway. You still may need to get a cutting permit if you are on state or federal land. You may also be able to get a permit to cut down some of the trees, on state or federal land, or at least prune some branches. If an area is real thick with trees, they may want it cleared out a little bit.
Once you get your birch, you can decide what type of lamp you would like to build. Floor lamps are probably the most time consuming to do because of their size. We also have done table lamps, wall sconces, and even a pool table chandelier. The procedure is basically the same for all of them, the difference of course is in the design which can be almost anything as long as it is functional.
Another great look for a lamp is to use pine and peel the bark off. If the wood underneath is still sappy, a good way to clean it is with a mixture of bleach and water. It cleans it up perfectly and it stays sap free. Any tree can work for this art, either with bark on or bark off.
The designs can be so versatile, especially with how you coordinate the lampshade, that the lamp can fit in with almost any kind of decor. It doesn’t have to be just rustic. I have put birch lamps with peaberry lampshades in with a traditional decor and they looked whimsically natural and made a fun accent piece. Another area I tried was in our study which again was a warm traditional style with brown leather arm chairs. The lamps looked perfectly natural and warm behind the chairs and in front of the fireplace.
For complete instructions on making your own rustic lamp and details on lampshade design go to: How To Craft A Whimsical Lampshade. I have diagramed all of the details and even included an outside video on lamp making for further clarification.