Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Take That Z Gallerie!

Ever read one of those D.I.Y. magazines and tell yourself, "Ohh that looks like fun, I should make that." Well fellow graphic designer Brianna Beard and I did the same. Brianna found a twig lamp in the ReadyMade magazine archives and I was quick to jump on board. A Saturday Do-It-Yourself project, what could be more satisfying?

Our venture began with a trip to the local Lowe's, after deciphering the different materials our first stop seemed to be painless. Light bulbs, check. Paint, check. Lamp Wire, che...........and the fun began.

We needed 6-12 feet of lamp wire, finding it wasn't a problem. Finding someone to actually cut it, became the dilemna. How convenient, a button to push when you need assistance. Click. "Special Assistance Needed in the Wire Cutting Area." This became the anthem of the afternoon. Several, and by several and I mean a few shy of a hundred clicks later and failing efforts to chase down a Lowe's employee, an old man named Phil came to our rescue. Finally after arriving to Lowe's slightly after 11 am we were departing with our materials just shy of 1:30. What better way to reward ourselves? A delicious trip to the target deli.

Don't judge. Until you have had an Archer Farms Deli sandwich specially toasted just for your enjoyment you may not comment. I highly recommend the Ciabatta.

Next step, woodworking. Luckily Brianna's father has a workshop to rival the New Yankee Workshop any day of the week. A few cuts, some wood glue and some protective glasses (guaranteed to make anyone look like a stylish child molester while keeping safety first) and our lamp base was taking form. Next stop, finding the twigs.

Luckily a neighbor had cut down a tree and their loss was our gain. Twigs, check.

Time to get crafting, with all our materials gathered, and our tools at hand we had a new enemy against us. Daylight. Working as fast as we could, we started to read the actual instructions. (note: I recommend reading them fully in advance) We began by drilling holes in our lamp bases for the light bulb socket and another hole for the lamp wire. This is where we began to go on our on path. We followed step one of the instructions, and never looked at them again. The project calls for a push button switch to be installed on the base. We could not figure out how on earth they did it, so we decided to just use a simple clicker installed on the cord. Lamp Base set up for wiring. Check

Next we gathered all our found twigs and started drilling holes in the base for the twigs to fit in. At this point I decided to leave my twigs their natural color and Brianna painted hers off white. After all the holes were drilled we gave the base a good sanding, and prepared it for painting.

What's more fun than a Saturday do-it-yourself project? A Saturday do it yourself project that lasts until Sunday. Day one complete.

Day two, our bases are ready to be painted. I decided on an orange base (a much discussed and argued choice) Brianna decided to go with a dark stain. What better way to pass the time while paint/stain was drying? A delicious Greek lunch.

Painted Bases. Check. Gyro and Schwarma. Check.

Next comes the wiring. Be sure to follow all these instructions properly. Failure to do so may result in plugging your lamp in and sparks flying from the socket, not to mention any names. Another crisis avoided. A working light, a working switch, and we are on the home stretch.

We filled the pre-drilled holes with hot glue and began shaping our twigs, before long our lamps were near completion. I decided to go back with a 2 part plumber putty to cover up the gap between the twigs and the holes, and with that our "simple" do-it yourself project was complete.

Yes, it may have taken longer than expected, and we may have deviated from the original instructions but at about 25-30 dollars each, and the satisfaction of making something from scratch it was well worth the effort.

More D.I.Y. projects to come, and suggestions and participation is always welcome........ in the meantime please post yours, as simple or as elaborate as they may be.


jenny said...

These look awesome! You guys did a great job!

Kelli said...

yes, totally awesome, and i really want to make one!!! they came out so nice!