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Stump lamp

DIY project from NZ Gardener magazine

Jacob Leaf takes a log and turns it into a lamp. This lamp is inspired by Tasmanian furniture and lighting designer Duncan Meerding's cracked log lamp. Much of his work is inspired by the natural environment.

How to turn a log into a lamp
Learn how to turn a log into a lamp

You will need


  • Log
  • 1 light suspension kit
  • 1 batten holder
  • 35w LED light to fit batten holder



  • Chainsaw or hand saw
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Clamp
  • Various drill bits
  • Sandpaper or sanding disc
  • Paintbrush
  • Screwdriver

Cost: $40 excluding Resene products.


Step one

Cut the log to length. The length of the log should be at least one and a half times the thickness of the log.

Step two

Mark up the area you want to remove from the centre of the log, then start drilling out the negative space. Secure it in place with a clamp while you’re doing this.

Step 1
Step one

Step 2
Step two

Step two (b)
Step two (b)

Step three

With a mallet and chisel, carefully remove the centre mass of drilled wood. Repeat the drilling and chiselling until you have created a void big enough to hold your light fitting.

Step 4

With a chainsaw or hand saw, cut cracks up the length of the log so that it will emit light. Sand off any rough edges before varnishing.

Step 3
Step three

Step 4
Step four

Step 5
Step five

Step 5

Drill a hole through the side of the log near the bottom, which is big enough to fit the light cable.

Unscrew the suspension fitting on your light, then thread it through the hole. Re-wire the batten holder fitting to the cable (or have an electrician do it for you), then screw it into the hollowed-out underside of the log.

Plug in a low watt LED. Do not use a heat- generating light such as an incandescent bulb. You could also insert a battery-powered solar light into the log for outdoor use.

Project by: Jacob Leaf

Download the PDF of this project  

Watch the DIY video

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