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Turning a Glass Vase Into a Lamp Tutorial

12 May 2011

Turning a Glass Vase Into a Lamp Tutorial by Aaron

Hey y'all!  I'm Aaron and I blog at The Thrifty Abode.  I'm a wife, mother, and teacher and I blog about my attempts at creating a beautiful home on a small budget.  I'm pretty much a newbie blogger so I'm super excited to be guesting on such a popular and established blog!  Thanks for having me Cassity!

I absolutely love finding a bargain or a knock-off that looks exactly like an item from Pottery Barn, West Elm, or ______________(fill in your favorite inspiring, but out of budget store here).   What's even better is creating the item from things I already own and a couple things I found at a hardware store.

That's exactly what I did with my glass jug and $18 I spent at Lowe's.

I turned this:
 Into this:

I'd been working on refreshing my living room and looking for a cheaper version of one of these lamps.

In all of my searching I never found one.  I'd had the glass jug pictured above for years and I started wondering how difficult it could be to turn it into a lamp.  The only difference between my $15 jug and the $100 + lamps was a hole and some wiring.

I knew that bottle lamp kits were sold at Lowe's so all I had to do was figure out how to put a hole in my jug.  With a little research I found out that I needed a ceramic cutting drill bit.  I made a trip to Lowe's and picked up the kit and bit (I got the 5/16") for $18.
I got my supplies home and got drilling!  I put some tape on the jug because I was nervous about it cracking.  Thank goodness it didn't crack, but it did take about five minutes of drilling to make a hole big enough for the cord to fit.  

After the hole was made, all I had to do was follow the instructions on the lamp kit packaging (it's surprisingly easy).  I only had to make one adjustment.  The stoppers that are included in the kit were all too small for the opening of my jug, so I used a little hot glue to create a seal so the stopper would fit.  The hot glue worked great and you can't even tell it's there.  

Here's the finished product again:
And here's what it cost me:

New money spent:
  • drill bit: $8
  • lamp kit:  $10
$18 is pretty good for a solid PB or West Elm knock-off.

Here's what it would cost if all the parts had to be bought new:
  • bit and kit:  $18
  • jug:  $10-$15  (The shelves of HomeGoods, T.J. Maxx, and Marshall's are littered with glass jug thingies.  Mine was $15, but I've seen ones the same size for $10.)
  • drum shade:  $15 from Wal-Mart's Canopy line
  • lamp harp and prongs:  $4 (you may need these depending on what kind of shade you have.  These are also sold at Lowe's)
$47-$52 is still about half of what it would cost to buy the Pottery Barn Eva lamp.  

I hope you'll hop over to The Thrifty Abode and check out my other thrifty adventures in decorating.


Red Hill General Store May 13, 2011 at 1:27 PM  

Great project. Very inspiring way to stay on budget. And your lamp turned out beautifully.

Pearl May 13, 2011 at 2:35 PM  

Great job. What a neat vase to turn into a lamp. I don't know if you know or not, but most of PB's glass jug type lamps don't have the wire coming down thru the glass. They are wired to come right off the connection at the top. I think they call it French wiring. I like your version better.

Jacqueline May 13, 2011 at 4:08 PM  

I've been wanting to do this for a long time...just need to find the right jug or vase.

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