Great lighting is such an important component of great design. It can be challenging, however, to find the perfect lighting fixture that fits your space, your style, and your budget. That’s why DIYing lighting fixtures is such a great alternative – you can check off all those boxes at once. This tutorial for a DIY globe brass wall sconce gives step-by-step photographic instructions so you can build your own fixtures.
These lights were used as bedside lamps (to free up some nightstand space), although simple and chic globe sconces like this could really be used in just about any space, whether it’s the living room, the entryway, even the kitchen or dining room. Let’s get started.
Note: The author is an experienced, although not professional, DIYer and is not responsible for any damage or harm caused as a result of following this tutorial. Please take care and use common sense in following these instructions.
DIY Level: Intermediate
Note: All materials for this DIY project were purchased from this online retailer; to make things easier for our readers, we’ve provided the item number at that store for each item as well.
- Brass canopy (CAS05) x1
- Brass socket cup (CU578) x1
- Porcelain socket (SO10045C) x1
- White snap-in plug (PL123PW) x1
- Swivel mounting plate (CBSV2-3/4) x1
- 5” 90-degree brass arm (AR90B) x1
- White toggle switch (SWEUROW) x1
- 4” brass neckless ball holder – two-piece set (HONL04BR) x1
- White nylon braid lamp wire (W118SPT1POULW) x9’ (length may vary for your project)
- Brass acorn cap (FI855-8/32) x2
- Lock washer (WASTAR1/8) x1
- 1” large washer (WABP1) x1
- 1-1/2” threaded stud (SCS600) x2
- 1” threaded steel nipple (NI1-0X1/8) x1
- Hex head nut (NU233WZ) x1
- Brass slip ring with set screw (SRS0-3/8) x1
- Brass threaded coupling (NE438) x1
- Neckless satin opal globe (GLGB08NLSO) x1
Other equipment/tools used for this DIY project include the items shown in this photo.
Begin by threading one end of your nylon braid wire through the 90-degree brass arm. The end of your nylon braid wire should exit through the shorter side of the arm (this is the side that will attach to the socket and globe).
Loosen the slip screw on your slip ring, then slide the slip ring up over the nylon braid wire and onto the short side of your brass arm.
Follow the slip ring with the brass neckless ball holder pieces(first the brass dome, then the silver). Slide all three of these pieces around to the longer end of the brass arm.
Remove the silver socket top from the porcelain socket by unscrewing it. Then slide the brass socket cup onto the short side of the brass arm, followed by the silver socket top.
Screw the silver socket top to the end of the short side of the brass arm, then tighten the silver socket top’s slip screw.
With the main components in place, it’s time to wire the porcelain socket to the nylon braid wire. Pull back the nylon from the end of the wires, then split the two sections of wire about 1-1/2”. You may find it helpful to snip the very end of the rubber casing divide to get it started.
Remove about 1” of the rubber casing around the ends of both wires (silver and copper). Twist the wire strands clockwise, carefully, to keep them together as one piece.
Form a small “U” shape with the ends of your wires, then attach them to the head of the porcelain socket – silver wire to silver screw, copper wire to gold screw. It’s best if you wrap the wires in a clockwise direction so that when you go to tighten the screws, they tighten down on the wires rather than undo their wrap. Make sure no wire parts are touching and that the attachment is secure and clean. There should be some protective casing between the wires even a little ways after where they split to ensure they don’t touch.
With the silver-to-silver and copper-to-gold wire/screw attachments clean and secure, screw the porcelain socket to the silver socket top, which is attached to the short side of the brass arm.
Slide the brass neckless ball holder pieces and the slip ring back onto the short arm over the brass socket holder. Go ahead and loosely tighten the slip ring to keep these pieces in place.
Now direct your attention to the longer side of the brass arm. Thread the end of the nylon braid wire through the brass threaded coupling, and screw the coupling onto the end of the brass arm (so it attaches at about the halfway mark).
Next, thread the end of the nylon braid wire through the threaded steel nipple, and screw the nipple into the other half of the threaded coupling.
Then thread the end of the nylon braid through the following pieces, in this order: brass canopy (flat face facing the brass arm), large washer, lock washer, and hex head nut. Push all pieces up against the brass arm end.
Use a crescent wrench to tighten the hex head nut.
With your brass canopy locked into place, locate what will be the bottom of the canopy side. You will need the nylon braid wire to go through this point on the canopy, but there’s not a hole there yet. Use a metal drill bit that’s big enough to easily slide the nylon braid wire through, and carefully drill a hole at this bottom point on the canopy.
Sand any sharp edges, if necessary. Then slide the nylon braid wire through the hole.
Next, we’ll be installing the toggle switch. You can choose where you want this located on your nylon braid wire (we’ll call it the “cord” from now on). This example shows the toggle switch quite close to the globe sconce (only about 18” away) because that’s what worked best for the bedside arrangement. This placement will likely vary based upon your particular lighting placement and preferences. Cut the cord at the desired position of your toggle switch.
Pull back the nylon, then split the casing between the wires. Remove a little of the wire casing from the end of each wire.
(Optional: You can remove the cord holders at the top and bottom of your toggle switch interior for easier use. Or you can simply thread the cords through the holes. Your preference. We chose to remove the cord holders because they bunched up the nylon braid when we tried to thread the cord through.)
Attach the ends of your two cords (one end comes from the lamp, the other is the remaining cord from your cut) to the inside of the toggle switch so that the silver wires match up on one side, and the copper wires match up in the center. Tighten down the security screws to keep the wires in place. Be sure no wires from the strands have come loose from their wire grouping.
Snap on the back of the toggle switch.
It’s now time to install the plug to the only “raw” end of your cord. Pull the nylon braid back from the end of your cord, but don’t separate the wires. Separate your plug pieces.
Thread the end of the cord through the plug housing, through the side hole then out the mouth of the case.
On the snap-in part of the plug, the piece with the prongs, open up the prongs. You’ll notice that one side of the plug has a silver prong, and the other side is gold. Thread the wire through the snap-in part of the plug and insert it with the silver wire to silver prong and copper wire to gold prong. Push the wire into the plug until it won’t go any more, then push the prongs back in so they’re parallel. This will attach the prongs to the wire to complete the electrical circuit.
Slide the snap-in prong piece to the plug housing.
Use pliers or a crescent wrench to ensure a snug, secure fit between the prongs and the housing. (At this point, you can screw in a light bulb, plug it in, and try the toggle switch. Hopefully it works like a charm!)
The last step before mounting the sconce is to install the globe ball. Loosen the slip screw on your very first slip ring, and slide the slip ring and brass dome up onto the longer side of your brass arm to get them temporarily out of the way.
Angle the silver dome piece and slide it into the globe. Center and straighten it, then slide the brass dome and slip ring back down.
Grow a third arm or request the assistance of a helper to hold the lamp up while you tighten the slip screw with an allen wrench.
All that we have left to do is mount your DIY globe brass wall sconce, and you’re in business! Find a stud, and screw in the back mounting plate of your swivel mounting plate on the stud. Then determine which holes you’ll be using to fit into your brass canopy (note: the middle holes), and screw in your 1-1/2” threaded studs to these holes.
Mount the brass canopy to these threaded studs by lining up the canopy holes, push the studs through, then screw on the acorn nuts.
One thing to note: Because the threaded studs are 1-1/2” long, they will be slightly longer than the depth of your canopy + the acorn nut. If you want, you can drill shallow holes into your wall behind these threaded studs so they go into the wall ever so slightly to create a flush wall sconce fit.
It looks gorgeous! All we need to do now is polish up that brass canopy in the back, if you want it looking shiny and new. I’m toying with the idea of leaving it looking a little vintage for now, though.
Such a simple piece of lighting (or two, if you’ve done a pair of bedside lamps like this) adds an elegant flavor to any space.
I love the proportion of the globe lamps with the bed (here, a queen size).
They’re also mounted high enough that the provide the perfect task lighting for in-bed reading without being in the way.
“I really wish my nightstand had more stuff on it, like a lamp base,” said no one ever.
We used LED bulbs in ours, and the light they provide is perfect, even through the globe. (I was actually wondering about that before creating this sconce.)
Masculine, feminine, modern, and retro. These wall sconces are all the things, all at once.
We hope you enjoy making your own DIY globe brass wall sconces…and enjoy the instant style-lift they give your space no matter where you mount them. Happy DIYing!