Old rotary phones look really cool, but we don’t see too many people using them. That’s why we made this sweet phone lamp. It turns that old retro phone into something useful! Find out how to make your own rotary phone lamp.

Phone Lamp Tutorial

For this video tutorial, we have teamed up with Safestore, a self-storage company in the UK. Safestore knows that there are lots of upcycling materials hanging out in storage units. We took a look in our storage and found an old rotary phone. We decided to upcycle it into a fun phone lamp!

Check out our phone lamp tutorial video:

Materials you need to make a phone lamp:

  • Retro telephone
  • Curved metal rod (we used an old lamp part) and hex nut
  • 2 pieces of electrical wire (one long, one short)
  • Lamp switch wire including plug
  • Pivot join
  • Twist-on wire connector x2
  • Candelabra light bulbs x2
  • Clippers
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Light sockets (chandelier size)

Here’s how to make a phone lamp:

  1. Open up the base of the phone and cut out the wires.

Phone lamp - take out wires

2. Take the phone caps off. Drill a smaller hole to start and then increase the size of your drill bit. This is where the lamp socket will go. Work to get the size just so.

Phone lamp - drill hole

3. Wrap the phone cord around a curved metal rod. We used a piece from an old lamp.

Phone lamp - lamp neck

4. Strip the ends of your electrical wire and thread it through the lamp neck.

Phone lamp - thread thru

5. We recommend adding a pivot joint so that you can adjust the tilt on your phone lamp. This is optional.

Phone lamp - pivot joint

6. Attach the lamp neck to the phone receiver.

Phone lamp - attach lamp neck

7. Connect the electrical wire that runs thru the phone lamp neck to the first lamp socket. Also connect the second, smaller piece of electrical wire to the same lamp socket. Then thread this small piece of wire thru the middle of the phone receiver and connect it to the lamp socket on the other side.

Phone lamp - wire lamp sockets

8. Place the phone cap back on, and hold onto the socket as you spin to close the phone cap back into place.

Phone lamp - reattach phone caps

9. Attach the lamp neck to the base of the phone and hold it in place with a hex nut. Use marrettes (called twist-on wire connectors in the UK) to attach the lamp switch to the electrical wire at the base of the phone lamp. Then close up the base of the lamp.

Phone lamp - close up on base of phone

That’s it, you now have an awesome retro phone lamp!

Phone lamp - retro phone lamp

Shout out to Mark Yuen Visuals for his amazing work on this video.

A big thank you to Bart Taylor from Refind Home Furnishings for all of his support and also the beautiful props shown here!

Thank you to Merakos Fieldhouse for our sweet studio location.

Stay tuned for more exciting tutorials!

Phone lamp

2 Thoughts on Phone Lamp

  1. Love this so much.

    Reply
  2. I like the idea of upcycling an old phone into a desklamp. But I prefer not to see the bulbs “hanging” out of it. That’s why I used built in LED’s.
    Have a look at it:
    https://upcycle-it.ch/ideensammlung/index

    Reply

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