Now that we finally have the T-totally perfect headboard anchoring our master bedroom bed, I felt like it was high time that I added in some more permanent lighting off to the side. But don’t let the word “permanent” overwhelm you! This simple DIY project (inspired by a similar lighting hack care of Sugar & Cloth) can easily be tackled in an afternoon and doesn’t need any electrical skills aside from the ability to plug in a cord and screw in a lightbulb. Here’s how.
- IKEA Sekond Cord Set, in green
- IKEA 13″ Jara Lamp Shade, in white
- 12″ metal L-bracket
- Drill bit
- Stud finder
Start by removing your IKEA goodies from their packaging, and then follow the instructions that come with each section to assemble. In my own words following my own experience, you’ll start by removing and discarding the plastic pieces that come screwed onto the center interior section of the lampshade. Then, slide the black metal brackets up the shade supports until they no longer get in the way of the swinging metal section. Rotate this central section up 180 degrees (the part that will eventually hold the socket portion of the cord set), and slide the black metal brackets back into place to keep everything from slipping around.
I know it sounds confusing, but it will make a whole lot more sense when you have the pieces actually in-hand. Also, the illustrations that come with the pieces from IKEA do a good job of showing the process. Of course, if you have issues, you always could phone the IKEA call center, as demonstrated by that cute cartoon fella in the top lefthand corner above…
Finish by slipping the green cord’s socket into the shade’s center support and screw on the plastic bolt to keep it all together.
Once you’ve finished your lamp assembly, loop the green cord over and over again through the metal L-bracket, which was purchased from our local Home Depot. You can then adjust the height of the lamp shade to suit your particular needs by holding the bracket up in the air to test things. If the shade is sitting too low, simply loosen the section of the cord that’s wrapped around the metal L-bracket, and tug gently on the end of the cord to pull the lamp shade up an inch or two—however much you need. Conversely, loosen the cord and add slack if the shade seems too high.
Next, hold the bracket up against the wall where you intend to install the light. Place a level nearby so that you can make sure that the bracket is sitting straight up and down on the wall. Once you’re satisfied with the height and placement of the bracket, use a pencil to make marks through the open holes in the bracket to show where the screws will go. Although the shade and bracket aren’t very heavy, I did use a stud finder in tandem with my marks to ensure that my hardware was good and attached to the wall. With the holes marked, set the shade and bracket aside.
Finish by selecting a drill bit that matches your hardware, pre-drill holes into the drywall and then screw the bracket into the wall. If you removed your cord and lamp from the bracket to attach it to the wall (I didn’t bother doing so since this process went so quickly, but you certainly could if it becomes too cumbersome for your comfort level), reattach everything again now. Make final adjustments to the shade height, screw in a lightbulb, plug in the cord, step back and rejoice in your new, semi-custom bedside lamp.
I will never be able to fully thank IKEA for helping to outfit our home with cheap solutions that feel fresh, unique and even a little bit built-in. Cheers to the marriage of practicality and style! Hope you have a great weekend.