How to make a barber pole out of pvc

Written by michaelyn erickson
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How to make a barber pole out of pvc
Here is a miniature barber pole on the side of a building with a light inside. (barber shop pole image by Tammy Mobley from

Old fashioned barber poles are heartwarming symbols of these classic neighbourhood hotspots. The poles tell customers both what the business does and whether or not it's open via a light usually in the top end fitting of the pole. It is simple to make your own barber pole construction with PVC pipes and an extra light bulb. Purchase red and blue duct tape to get the classic, bold colours that will not quickly fade with weathering.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 6 foot PVC pole
  • Additional PVC piping
  • Red and blue duct tape
  • Light bulb
  • Light bulb wiring
  • Round glass light fixture
  • Drill
  • Liquid caulk

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  1. 1

    Dig a small trench leading from the nearest power outlet to where you want the barber pole to stand. Use a post drilling tool to dig a hole in which your pole will fit. The hole should be at least 2 feet deep.

  2. 2

    Purchase a 5 or 6 foot long piece of PVC piping. The pipe should be between 4 and 5 inches in diameter. Drill a ½ inch hole in the pipe 12 inches from one end. This will be the end that goes into the ground.

  3. 3

    Cut a small piece of PVC pipe to run along the trench you dug. Run electrical wires through the trench pipe. Stick the wires through the hole you drilled in your pole pipe and then pull them through until they reach the top end.

  4. 4

    Place the pole PVC in the ground; the hold you drill should be level with the depth of the trench. Use liquid caulk to connect the pole PVC and the trench PVC at a 90 degree angle so the wires can pass from one pipe to the other without coming into contact with moisture.

  5. 5

    Connect the ends of the wires near your outlet to a switch so you can turn the barber pole light on and off from your building.

  6. 6

    Fill in the trench covering the trench PVC and the wires.

  7. 7

    Decorate your barber pole with red and blue duct tape. Alternate these classic colours in a spiral pattern on the white PVC pipe so it resembles an old fashioned barber pole.

  8. 8

    Wire a light bulb to the ends of the wires that pop out of the top of the pole. Fix the light bulb in place using either a metal frame purchased from your hardware store or hot glue which will not melt from the heat of the light.

  9. 9

    Fit the top of the pole with a round glass light covering. Glue or tape this covering onto the pole so no moisture can enter through the fitting.

Tips and warnings

  • In order to reduce your electrical work for this project, purchase a light bulb from the hardware store with the appropriate length of wires already attached to it. All you need to do at this point is connect the two wires to the corresponding electrodes on the light switch.
  • Perform all electrical work with the power breaker in the off position so you do not risk electrocution. Even though a simple light seems like it may not use a lot of electricity an outlet electrocution can cause injury and death.

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