Best Popsicle Stick Furniture: A Local Artist's 20,000 (!) Stick Strong Tables + Lamps

David Hrobowski Sitting In One Of His Designs
David Hrobowski Sitting In One Of His Designs
Jenn Garbee

To some, post-consumer Popsicle sticks are little more than prime vegetable garden composting fuel. But West Hollywood artist David Hrobowski looks at each four-inch piece of discarded birch wood as prime lumber for his latest New Orleans-inspired floor lamp design.

These are not dollhouse-sized sofas or hand-held summer camp crafts, but mahogany-stained, 20,000 stick glass-topped dining tables and 2-foot-tall Art Deco table lamps with shirred wood lampshades.

Popsicle Stick + Elmer's Glue Designs
Popsicle Stick + Elmer's Glue Designs

A lamp was in fact Hrobowski's first Popsicle project nearly fifty years ago, when as a young boy in St. Louis the local news station discovered his ability to turn someone else's trash into functional lamp art.

A few years ago, Hrobowski took up his old Elmer's glue habit again and made his first self-dubbed "riffstick" debut at Highland Park's Mor York Gallery. Since then, those life-sized, 18,000 stick Christmas trees still take months to grow, stick-by-stick.

The obvious question -- wherever does one find the patience to glue 18,000 Popsicle sticks together? Hrobowski smiles. "Wine helps."

For more information, go to or email

Yes, it's that time of year again, or almost. This is one of over 400 pieces that will be appearing in our upcoming Best of L.A. issue, out October 6th.

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