Grain Scoop Sconce DIY – Upcycled Ladder Projects

About a year ago I created a few things from some flea market finds that were quite a hit. (read more HERE) Out of that set I decided to keep a grain scoop I turned into a candle sconce. Many asked me to create them one if I ever got around to it, so today I’m showing you how to do it DIY style. Follow along as I create a grain scoop sconce from this old broken ladder and a few simple supplies.

Broken Ladder Parts for Repurposing | Prodigal Pieces |

If you remember, I recently built a chair from the ladder that my dad had given us and I couldn’t bare to throw out the remaining parts. I had no intention of letting those pieces go to waste. Big surprise, right?

First, I wanted to use those small bits of ladder dowel above to make a grain scoop sconce. Here is what my original one looks like as it still hangs right there on my wall:Repurposed Farmhouse Feed Scoop Candle Sconce by Prodigal Pieces |

*post contains affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too! (see full disclosure)

It looks simple enough to recreate and I’m going to show you how. Since this has awesome patina on it in both the metal and the wood, we’re going to replicate that look with the materials below.

Not into DIY? No worries, as I have these available in my shop already made.

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To get started making your grain scoop sconce, first grab your piece of duct. I found this at the local home improvement store for about $8. I chose this length because I planned to make several.

Steel Duct for Grain Scoop Sconce | Prodigal Pieces |

Before you get started, be sure to put on protective gloves. Safety first! I traced my scoop onto the duct using my Sharpie. Now, I realize that it is highly likely you don’t have a scoop to trace. So you’re going to draw a sort of a domed semi-circle that is 14″ L x 9″ H. You can create yourself a template using an empty cereal box, heavy craft paper, or cardstock to make it easier.

Tracing Scoop on Duct | Prodigal Pieces |

After you’re done tracing, grab your tin snips and cut. Be careful! I love these snips because I’ve used them when I was siding our home, making my lanterns, and so many other past projects.

Pair of Tin Snips | Prodigal Pieces |

Cutting Duct for Grain Scoop Sconce | Prodigal Pieces |

Once you’ve cut our duct, use your drill with a 3/8″ drill bit to make a hole in the center and about an inch or so down from the top. Place a piece of scrap wood behind it to catch the bit when it punches through.

Adding Hanger Hole | Prodigal Pieces |

Next, using a bit same or smaller size than your roofing nail, make 6 holes evenly spaced starting at the corners and 1/8″ up from the bottom edge.

Adding Holes to Sconce | Prodigal Pieces |

Since everything you just cut is fairly sharp, we need to grind those edges down using a file, or my favorite, my Dremel.

Dremel to Grind Metal Edges | Prodigal Pieces |

I requested this dream tool for my birthday a few years ago and I LOVE IT. I make toys, do handy things, and create ever so much with all the accessories.

Now… we have a shiny scoop, right? But…that’s no fun. To give this metal some time-worn lovin’, we need to age it. Enter in one of my favorite secrets…Zep.

Zep Toilet Bowl Cleaner to Age Metal | Prodigal Pieces |

I’ve used it on my beverage stand with much success and use it whenever I want old looking metal. Here’s what you do. Put on your rubber gloves, and grab your steel wool and head outside. Using a 5 gallon bucket or similar, squirt Zep all over the metal and use your steel wool to scour the metal surfaces. Pay close attention to direction of rubbing as we want this to look legit. For instance, a scoop would have rub marks at the tip and up and down the height of it since it would have been scooping grain.

While you can let this sit for an hour or so, I let mine sit over night and even put the tip down in the liquid in the bottom so it would corrode the most. I love it. hee hee hee. This is my favorite part because it’s like opening a present to see that patina happening. When you have aged to your choosing, rinse with water and pat dry.

Next, it’s time to use that 1″x 6″ piece of wood and trace your duct on it. I found it much easier to use a longer board and cut the rounded end first. Then, I wrapped the duct around it and marked where it ended. Once I was sure I got the right size, I used my miter saw to cut it to length.

For my grain scoop sconce, I used a fence board from a gate my neighbors set out for trash. Ya can’t let good weathered wood be hauled off, right?! If you don’t have weathered wood, just create the look yourself using either a Sunbleached stain or the like on new wood. Trust me, no one will know. Even use the same effect for your piece of dowel.

After you have cut the 1″ x 6″ piece to size with a jig saw, add a center hole the width of your dowel using a spade bit and drill.

Drilling Handle Hole in Grain Scoop Sconce | Prodigal Pieces |

This next part can be a little tricky, but totally doable. Ask a friend to help to make it easier if you like. You want to wrap your scoop around your newly cut wood and line up one of the front corners.

Using a small drill bit and the holes you already made, pre-drill holes through the metal and into the wood for you roofing nails to go in. Start at the corner and work your way around. This process will prevent the wood from splitting. Just make sure you get it in the center of your board.

Next, hammer in your nails, again, starting at one corner and working your way around. Depending on how well you lined them up, you may need to buckle your metal just a bit to make it work. This got easier for me the more I made.

Adding Nails to Grain Scoop Sconce | Prodigal Pieces |

You’re almost done! Now you just need to add a bit of wood glue to one end of you dowel and stick it in the hole you made in the board. Viola!

Grain Scoop Candle Sconce Tutorial by Prodigal Pieces |

Would you have guessed this grain scoop sconce wasn’t decades old? When I brought it in to show my kids, they thought it was my old one. Sweet! Even JC gave me a thumbs up.

Repurposed Farmhouse Grain Scoop Sconce by Prodigal Pieces |

Rustic Grain Scoop | Prodigal Pieces |

Just for fun…

DIY Grain Scoop Sconce Comparison | Prodigal Pieces |

You may be wondering what happened to those other ladder parts. Well, I decided to use the longer piece of dowel and more of those fence posts, plus this remnant part of my dad’s ladder to create another project.

Broken Wooden Ladder Repurposed | Prodigal Pieces |

I cut this all apart with my jig saw and then made this sweet tote. If you want to try your hand at a tote, I have the tutorial HERE.

Repurposed Farmhouse Tote from Salavaged Pieces by Prodigal Pieces |

It fit well in to my fireplace decor, don’t you think?

Rustic Farmhouse Style Fireplace Decor | Prodigal Pieces |

Salvage Style Fireplace Decor by Prodigal Pieces |

Oh, and the last bit of ladder from the first picture is now displaying my doilies.

Rustic Chic Fireplace Mantel by Prodigal Pieces |

Collected Vignette of Salvaged Finds and Vintage Textiles by Prodigal Pieces |

For fun I even took some scraps to make that arched window frame. I’ve added those to my shop too. Creating layers with textures is what I’m all about. woot!

Farmhouse Fireplace with Salvaged Style Decor | Prodigal Pieces |

My hope is that you are inspired to give DIY a try, especially to try this grain scoop sconce tutorial. I’d love your feedback!

Do pin and share to spread the fun.

DIY Farmhouse Grain Scoop Sconce with Step-by-Step Tutorial by Prodigal Pieces |

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More projects like my grain scoop sconce:

Vintage Soda Crate Repurposed into Foot Stool by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.comCreate a Soda Crate Stand from Vintage Crate and Reclaimed Barn Wood for Home Decor or Shop Display by Prodigal Pieces |

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  • Martha E Felgar

    Hey, It’s Martha who won the brushes. They arrived yesterday, so beautiful, almost don’t want to use them….almost!!! Thank you so much and for the box too, must do something wonderful with that also.

    March 7, 2017 at 5:49 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I’m happy to hear it, Martha! I’d love for you to leave a review in my shop when you’ve given them a try. Thanks!

      March 7, 2017 at 5:52 am Reply
  • Debrashoppeno5

    Congrats on the milestone!

    March 7, 2017 at 7:22 am Reply
  • Patty Soriano

    oh, poo! wish I did instagram (don’t have the right kind of phone). An awesome contest! Your scoop is a great antique impersonation! The only thing I would do is use an original edge on my wood so that a newly-sawed edge was not showing in the front. I would saw the curved edge since it’s going under the metal anyway and won’t be seen. But I’ve also seen information where you can “age” wood and that could be another choice to put 100 years on it. Good one, Larissa!

    March 7, 2017 at 9:29 am Reply
  • Marie|The Interior Frugalista

    That is one sweet Instagram Giveaway, Larissa! I remember when you shared your awesome grain scoop sconce. Thanks for the great tip on aging tin.

    March 7, 2017 at 10:15 am Reply
  • Kaycee F

    Congratulations on your latest milestone Larissa! I really love the little remnant of your Dad’s ladder displaying your doilies on your mantle, so sweet! Very generous contest, thank you for the opportunity to enter.

    March 7, 2017 at 10:53 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      My pleasure, Kaycee.

      March 9, 2017 at 11:54 am Reply

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