Before we get eyeball deep into this project, let me stop this post right now and say, normally when I post a DIY, I include ALL the supplies so you can easily find what you need to make your own version of whatever it is that I’ve made.
Unfortunately, this one has been an absolute bitch. Specifically this damn skull:
Have you seen this skull?
This was supposed to be posted yesterday, but I’ve spent the last three days online searching everywhere for similar skulls and a steady supplier so I can link you guys to it…and have come up with ZERO!
So please, forgive me…this DIY may not be as easy to recreate as my usual ones…although my fingers are crossed that as we get closer to Halloween, these skulls will pop up somewhere. That also means, if someone out there finds these skulls in a mass quantity and can provide me the link so I can update this DIY and include it…I have something extra Nommy special just for you to say thank you!
Now, back to the project…
I was out the other day stomping through my local Home Goods and found this filigree carved skull on sale for $6.00 (normally $12…which is a steal even at that price!) Gold and black aren’t really my thing, but I liked how it looked so I figured I’d bring it home and see what I could do with it.
Later that afternoon I found myself at the hardware store in the lighting section and was struck by inspiration for this project!
The entire thing cost me less than $25 in supplies and was so easy to do! I was done in less than three hours (and 2 of those were waiting for things to dry!)
To make your own DIY skull desk lamp you will need:
1 filigree carved skull (Fingers crossed you guys find one!)
1 can white spray paint
1 can gold spray paint (optional)
1 Candelabra Base Switch Cord
1 Candelabra base light bulb 25W
1 1-1/4″ X 1″ Schedule 40 PVC reducer bushing (I got mine at Home Depot)
1″ Circular Drill bit
The first thing you want to do is mark on the bottom of your skull where you’re going to install your lighting kit. Using your pencil, trace around the outside of your PVC bushing, making sure you’re tracing around the flared lip end.
Carefully and slowly drill out your hole using your circular bit. I happened to be at a house with access to a drill press but you can just as easily do this with a handheld drill.
Because you are drilling through polyester based plastic and it will generate a fair amount of particulate dust, wear a mask or some sort of respirator as well as goggles.
Once you get your hole drilled, test fit your bushing and make sure it fits snugly.
Time to paint! This step is optional only if you want to change the look of the factory finish on the skull and how you decide to paint it is totally up to you! Personally, I wasn’t a fan of the original black and gold as it didn’t go with my current decor, so I painted mine white on the outside and blasted the inside with gold to help reflect the light.
Let it dry thoroughly before moving onto the next step.
Once your skull is dry, squeeze a generous amount of E6000 glue around the edge of your PVC bushing just under the lip of your flange and set it into the hole you drilled into the skull. (I cut a small notch in my PVC bushing to make hiding the cord easier and to assist in helping the finished light sit evenly on the table, but this is purely optional as well).
Let the glue dry for at least an hour.
While you’re waiting, let’s check out the lighting kit. The wiring set up I used is called a Candelabra Base Switch Cord in dark brown. It came with a 6-foot cord, light socket and rocker switch all pre-assembled.
This version is really bare bones (ha, no pun intended) and the cheapest option I could find that came with all the wiring already done. It also comes in white, so you should have some options when you choose which one to use.
You want to make sure when you purchase your bulb that you double check that they fit the Candelabra base…both in wattage size and base size. Candelabra bulbs have a much smaller base than regular bulbs and you don’t want to buy the wrong ones and have to go back. With the wattage size, the smaller the wattage the better for this project. The skull I am using is a hard polyester resin which is essentially plastic, so I wanted a bulb that wouldn’t generate much heat. You could also look for low temp LED bulbs.
No matter what you choose, safety should be your first consideration.