Monday, October 3, 2011

How To Make A Boot Lamp

After getting nearly 20 "likes" on facebook-- I decided the boot lamp deserved its own post, and not just a picture in the "Here is Dekker's Room... Finally" post that is coming, I promise.

This blog I am titling: How To Make A Boot Lamp
The Answer Is: Ask Your Husband.

Thank you all and have a good day!

Hahahaha. I am just kidding-- kind of!  But, it was very much a project that "we" did.  And Dave just told me he is considering changing his name to "we"-- because whenever "we" do something, it does end up being more like "Dave" does it.  But I organized it all, bought the goods, blah blah, and married a smart man.

Step One: Call your Mimi for a pair of used boots.  This worked out well.  I was to see her over Labor Day anyway and she had two pair ready for the Goodwill.  Second lucky break, my Papa has small feet, so the boot is not enormous.  My Papa is still alive, in case you were wondering.  But that this is his boot does make it extra special.

Step Two: Drill Hole in boot.  We drilled just in front of the heel (in the arch) to give the bolt room to tighten on without messing up the way to boot sat on the nightstand.

Step Three: Buy "lamp kit" from Menards.  Do not haul your two year old to Hobby Lobby hoping they have one, because they do not. A lamp kit looks like this, but is packaged much nicer and is about $10.  You will find it in the "lighting" section of a home goods store.

Then, take the "rod" from the kit (you might have to buy this separately, but it's right next to the kit) and paint it to match.  The above kit does not include the rod, and that is because they come in all different lengths.  We did cut ours down to the right length.  I spray painted it red--totally optional.  I also painted to bolt that went on the bottom to hold it in place.  Dave oversaw all this buying, but I was quite independent I'll have you know.

Step Four: Attach rod to boot, secure using bolt (and maybe a 'washer') on the bottom.  Dave also used some clear caulking around the hole to make sure nothing would seep out.  Fill boot with Plaster A Paris (is that how you spell that?), which I found at Hobby Lobby.  All they had was the Pottery Plaster, and the kind lady said it was the same.

I wanted to mix the whole container, so Dave helped me with some of his tools-- a drywall mixer and 5 gallon bucket.  For the record, I think this could have been done with a wooden spoon and large Tupperware-- it contained 4 cups water with the jar of mix.  But seriously, best husband ever.

Step Five: Let dry.  It was heavier than we anticipated, about 6.5lbs to be exact.  The boot looked wet in places, but it all dried just fine over a few days in the garage.  "We" put some Styrofoam in the boot to try and hold the rod level.  When it was totally try, I cleaned up the Pottery Plaster around the edges and on the rod, and was glad that it was the pottery kind because I think it cleaned easier.

Step Six: Attach hardware.  You do have to do some very minor wiring, sending the plug-in cord up from the bottom of the boot through the rod.  Thank you again handsome hubby.  The kit had great directions (and cost $9.99-- did I mention that).

Step Seven: Attach lampshade and presto.  You should know that this type of hardware calls for a "harped" lampshade, which is considered more "traditional" and less contemporary.  It is the kind of lampshade that screws on with a little knob on the top.  So I looked everywhere and found nothing that wasn't HUGE or ugly, and eventually bought a cheap lamp and then just took the shade off it.  Dave thinks we could have stripped that lamp for the parts, too, but it was too late.  I am going to try and convert that lamp to a contemporary shade and use it in the nursery-- but we'll certainly see how that goes.

This is BY FAR the most crafty thing I have EVER done, and Dave did most of it :)  It is so, so, so awesome in Dekker's room.  He loves it, and it provides a lot of light for our book-reading, nap-stalling marathons.  Speaking of nap time, I'm almost certain a little someone is almost up so I better run!

On the journey,

P.S. You can make lamps out of vases and wine bottles, too!


  1. Your husband sounds amazing, you lucky thing! ;)

  2. Actually, I think the craftiest thing you've ever done is grow a couple of babies from scratch, but this is a close second. (If this at all sounds snarky, it's because I am UBER-impressed and just might send you pictures of all my old shoes to ask what I could re-purpose them into.) Nice work Stef!

  3. hello:
    i'm making a boot lamp and wanted to know if after you mixed the plaster you poured it into the boot? if so, about how many inches of plaster would you say for a man's cowboy boot? Is the plaster holding the rod in place?

  4. hello:
    i'm making a boot lamp and wanted to know if after you mixed the plaster you poured it into the boot? if so, about how many inches of plaster would you say for a man's cowboy boot? Is the plaster holding the rod in place?