Humble PVC drain pipe is cheap, widely available, easy to work with, and almost endlessly useful for making everything from patio furniture to elegant sculptures.

This lamp adds a romantic glow to any room. Designed to provide good airflow around the bulb, it seems to float magically on a soft ring of light around its base.

The Floating Accent Lamp is part of a series of four family-friendly projects that use 3″- or 4″-ID (inside diameter) PVC pipe. In a weekend you can easily make all four: an accent lamp that seems to float on light, a two-faced clock to help you remember friends in another time zone, a kids’ table with a dry-erase top and matching stool, and a hanging planter.

You can make them with handheld tools, but bench tools such as a band saw or table saw with a fine-toothed blade work best for making square and accurate cuts. PVC also bends easily when heated in boiling water, which opens up all kinds of new shapes and design possibilities.

If cutting pipe from a 10′ length, ask a friend to help support it. Use a face mask and ear protection for cutting and sanding.

Fill any dings with automotive body filler and/or glaze. Then sand the pipe parts with 180-grit sandpaper, prime, and paint. If you want to skip the primer, there are new spray paints that adhere directly to plastic.