Thursday, May 9, 2013

DIY lamp from a jar or bottle (without drilling into the glass)

Introducing the latest addition to our master bedroom makeover...actually additionS because I made a pair.   Believe it or not these are DIY lamps and I am so thrilled with the way the set came out.  

Lamps are seriously expensive.  I have a few sitting in the basement, but none seemed to work with our new motif and I didn't feel like shelling out triple digits for a pair.  Actually these shades are from the basement set and I'm not really feeling it, so I'm on the hunt for some cheapo drum shades.  I hear Walmart calling my name....

Anywho...I really like the look of glass lamps so I did a little research and realized I could probably make them on a much friendly budget.  Many of the tutorials I found, however, required that you drill through the glass with a special drill diamond bit.   This was something I really did not want to do for a few reasons.  I found an easy way around it by using corks, but it required the right type of bottle.


I picked up these glass rattan covered jars at TJ Maxx and thought they'd be perfect since the bottom was large and the opening at the top rather small.  I knew for the electrical part of the lamp to work it would need some kind of lid.  I came up with the idea to use wine corks and it worked great.

But let's back up.  First I ordered two Make a Lamp kits.  I did some comparison shopping on Amazon and these seemed to be the easiest to use and for $10 each they were a steal compared to some of the other lamp kits that sell for much more.  Here's exactly what I ordered if you're interested..

When they finally arrived today I got to work.  The directions on the packaging were a little wishy-washy for me.   I think it's because they

assume you're making a lamp out of ... well, an actual lamp and not a jar.  So they talk about some parts that your jar isn't going to have....and they also don't really label the parts very well.  Perhaps, I'm just dense or maybe it is lack of sleep (my oldest was up barfing half the night)- call it what you will  I seriously stood there for about 20 minutes like WTH?   Once I figured I that I just needed to skip the first few steps I was humming along and the second lamp only took me about five minutes to put together.  So, you're welcome....I'm going to save you some time and frustration...with this picture which I laid out the pieces in the exact order in which they need to go.  Start from the bottom up to assemble.


Once it's all put together this is what you should have. 

Once you get this all put together...run the wiring up from the bottom.

Now comes the part that you do really need to pay attention to the manufacturer directions.  Starting with Step 7 pay close attention as it it talks about the wiring....It's going to talk about the wire that has the ridges on it.  They're talking about these teeny tiny ridges on the casing...can you see it there??  The other casing is smooth.


 You're going to want to put the wire from the ridged casing under the silver screw and the other wire under the gold screw.  Just make sure the screw is holding it down nice and tight.  By this point I kinda felt like I needed a third hand and much smaller fingers...(and a photographer).



Once you have it all together pull the knot taunt so you can close the whole thing up.

 I would suggest putting your lightbulb in at this point and testing to make sure it actually works before you put your whole lamp together to find out you're not as Edison as you thought you were.

Yay!!  Success!

Now for the jar and the corks I was talking about.  My jar required seven corks. I did not clue them together or anything. I just put one cork in the middle and six around it and shoved them into the opening of the jar.  I started with only six, but there wasn't enough pressure so I added another one.  You want to make sure the corks are going to stay in place.

Push the middle cork down enough that the bottom of your Make a Lamp contraption can rest on it with the bottom of the brass "arms" kind of sitting on the other corks.  I used some krazy glue to keep it in place.  (I tried hot glue first, but the corks don't like it.)
Here's the view from the back where the wire comes out the top.  You can tack it to the back of your jar if you really want to, but I don't notice it at all.

After that it's all easy peasy! Just put your light bulb in and you have a DIY lamp made from a jar that required NO cutting or drilling.