A Smashing Rack of... Lamps!

I have been in full force project mode at the Hamlin House, and today I am so excited to unveil to you the process for making my new lamps that I LOVE, LOVE so much!

Pardon little lamp shade on the right who I woke from a slumber to take this pic! I have been working on redecorating my living room for about a year, trying to figure out exactly where I wanted to take the room and how I would achieve the look.  

After a conversation with a design-savvy friend of mine, I finally got it!

Infuse TONS of bright and bold color.


It all began at Home Goods when I stumbled across these so fun and adorable vases for $29.99 each. Found them. Loved them. Wasn't quite sure what I would do with them. They came in two sizes.  So, I toted them to the closest table for careful consideration. The closest table happened to be in the lamp section.

And, Aha!  A light bulb went off!.. Literally :)

I would turn them into lamps.

So I took them home, did a little research and determined the first step was purchasing a Lamp Kit from Lowe's for about $10. My expectation was that we would buy this lamp kit and Bada Bing, Bada Boom, Voila!  A Lamp!  

Not the case.  

This particular kit is pretty much meant to replace the hardware on an already existing lamp. So, a little more work was involved here.

While this kit possessed the majority of the components we needed to turn the vase into a lamp, we had to engineer a solution to securely attach the lamp kit to the vase. Below is a diagram of your typical lamp parts.  Just an FYI.


If you look at an existing lamp, you will see the lamp rod going through the bottom of the lamp attached with a nut onto a lamp base.  

Because we didn't have a lamp base, our lamp rod wasn't going to be able to pass all the way to the bottom, so this required us purchasing a longer lamp rod (about 1 ft. in our case) and rubber stoppers in efforts to stabilize the lamp kit as much as possible. 

We used TWO rubber stoppers (the black object shown above) for each lamp. Using a 3/8 inch drill bit, Most Wonderful Man in the World drilled a hole, vertically, through the middle of the rubber stopper.  Then, he inserted the lamp rod (the silver piece you see above) into the rubber stopper. The next step was to drill a hole into the vase, which you see below. Most Wonderful Man in the World bought a drill bit specific for drilling tile and ceramic. As per the recommendation of a Lowe's associate, we kept the drill bit cool by spraying it with water. You do this to prevent the drill bit from getting overheated and becoming dull. 

Pretty wild looking, huh?

Pretty little perfectly round hole!

We don't have any images of the rubber stoppers with lamp rod attached, but it is situated in the neck of the vase in the below picture. At this point, we are ready to attach the remaining parts. What you see below is the electrical cord which will be attached to the socket shell. (Reference above diagram again to see all of these parts).

Testing the fit with the rubber stoppers...

At this point, we are pretty much all set with assembling the parts of the lamp kit and other pieces needed.  We discussed permanently affixing the rubber stoppers to the lamp with some silicone, but I felt like the lamp seemed sturdy enough as is. I picked up a pair of inexpensive lamp shades at Target.  I tried all different shapes and sizes. I knew the shade needed to be somewhat large, given the length of the base.

I put the shade on top, using the harp provided in the kit, but because of how long the neck of the vase is, it was sitting up way too high.

Looking for longer lamp shades to cover up the neck, I hit all the big discount home stores, schlepping the lamp base with attached kit with me all along the way.  I was stopped at every store I visited, and one time stopped three times. Everyone wanted to know where I got my awesome lamps. With a proud smile, "Why thank you!  My husband and I made them." One of those complements turned into a thirty minute conversation with a new friend! 

We both were so sure we had met, but still neither of us can figure out how or where.  Needless to say, he suggested an adjustable Lamp Harp.

So, I headed back to Target to purchase this one.

This would allow the lamp shade to lower, thus covering more of the neck of the lamp.  

And.... Yahoo! Over the moon.  In Love.

As you can see, I've done a little rearranging with our home bar, as well. I'm really loving my little sideboard vignette!

You'll have to join us for dinner some time soon!

I hope you've enjoyed this little lamp tutorial. I've been super excited to share it with you!

For the love of making it your own, all in great style... Whitley