Monday, April 11, 2011

DIY Designer Glass Lamps

I know, I'm posting another lighting project.  But it's one of the quickest ways to update a home and I really needed a lot of updating. 

I have been on a lighting DIY marathon lately.
Have you seen these beauties showing up in pictures on the internet?  I saw this glass light in a store and thought it was pretty cool. This one is $600.  Not that cool, even if it was on sale for 50% off,  it would still be out of my budget.
I like that the center of the glass base is completely empty. 
The cord runs off the top down the back of the lamp.  The bottom is open.

Here is another picture of a similar lamp. 

  This isn't my first attempt at making a lighting fixture myself. 
Like I said earlier, I've been a little cuckoo for lighting.

After closer inspection, I made this one for $37.

I wanted to make two of these glass lamps and I wanted them to be tall.  I already had vases that would work for this project but not a pair.  I ended up buying two identical vases from Home Goods.

They are 27 and a half inches tall, but any size will do. 
 I picked a vase with a mouth(the opening) that was wider than the bottom to insure sturdiness when I flip it over to make the lamp.  If the mouth is smaller then the bottom your lamp might tip over.

They were $9.99 each

I used some Goo Gone to get all the sticker residue off. 
Clean the vases well before you start gluing. 
You will still need to clean any leftover finger prints after assembly.

I bought lamp parts at Home Depot.  I ended up not needing the lamp harps.  The shades I used did not require them.  You can't add the harps later so use them if your not sure of the type of lamp shade you will end up using.  You can buy everything you see here in one kit, but I wanted silver cord so I had to buy the pieces separately.

Start by drilling a hole in the side of the bottom of the 3 way socket.  It's very thin metal and easy to drill.  The hole needs to be big enough to feed the cord wire through.  This step needs to be done because you can't run the wire through the bottom of the socket and glue it to the bottom of the vase.

Feed the wire through the newly drilled hole and follow the package directions on how to assemble the socket.

It should look like this assembled.

I removed the small screw (the washers won't fit over it) from the bottom neck of the socket and glued three washers with the Gorilla Glue. 

Stack the washers on top of each other with glue in between each one.  This will create a wider surface area to glue the socket to the bottom of the vase.

Now glue the harp to the bottom of the vase.  Once the harp glue is semi dry, glue the socket with the three washers to the harp.  You might need to add some tape over the top to secure it while it dries.

It should look like this.

The first lamp shades I used were ones I already had and they required a harp.  I thought they looked to small for the base so I had to purchase two lamp shades.

I found these at Target for $19.99 a piece.  This is included in my total lamp cost.  They are made by Thomas O'Brien and they are a light silver color.

I put them on my Craig's List buffet that separates our eating area from the family room.

The kids aren't allowed to eat on the couch so they like to have a snack at the table and catch some TV.  These taller clear lamps make TV watching easier now.

I like the airiness these lamps bring to the room.  They also provide great reading light at night for the couch.  I like the clean lines of the new lamps with the curvy details of the refurbished buffet.  Another benefit is they are hollow.  If I get tired of the clear glass I can easily fill them.

Lighting is an easy way to update any space.
I'm linking this up to a Knock Off Party over at Homebody.
I would love to see your lighting makeovers.

Thanks for checking it out.

I'm linking this to Remodelaholic.




  1. Gorgeous! I love them!! You really can't beat that price;)

  2. WOW, so clever! I love it! I've always stopped when it comes to electrical things...but your step by step pictures make me feel like maybe even I can handle something like that!

  3. Ok, that looked too easy. I must try! Great job.

  4. Wow, your lamps look great! I love the open clear glass base.

  5. This is so pretty! What a great idea. And for $37?! Wow! Much better than if you had bought one from the store.


  6. Shannon, your lamps are awesome! I'm so impressed that you made them yourself. Thanks for linking to my party!

  7. Great job. Those look so professional.

  8. Really pretty. Could you place objects inside of them? I always wanted a lamp i could put collectibles somethings in, like wine corks or shells. Yours look so professional!

  9. Love, love, love these lamps! They are so cool and elegant. I heard a fancy, smancy lamp designer on Martha Stewart radio yesterday and he was saying that he uses silver cords on his lamps too. I think his lamps cost about 50 times more than yours.

  10. Wow these are absolutely amazing. You are super talented!

  11. I wanted to let you know I featured your project on my blog today as one of my favorites for the week! Thanks for the inspiration!

  12. A "must do!" And added to pinterest today. Thank you.

  13. These are awesome and a great tutorial! Can't wait to look at some of your other lighting projects. I love lamps too!

    Visiting from CSI Project.

  14. Oh, wowwww! I have always wanted to try a lamp kind of like this, but I was scared of drilling through glass. Brilliant idea!

  15. These are gorgeous, I love them!

  16. WOW! Love these and LOVE the buffet you have them sitting on!

  17. These are so great!!! I really love them!

  18. Wow, these are awesome. I'm going to pass this along to my mom because I think she would LOVE them!

  19. Shannon! You ARE the lighting lady. I think you should rename your blog to lampology. ;) Seriously--these are awesome. :)

    Congrats on your CSI wins!!

  20. Amazing!! Wish you had a subscription button on your blog!!

  21. I love your lamps! I'm just wondering where your cord is? I really don't see it in any of the pictures. I would love to try these some day!

  22. Fell in love with these lamps! What a great idea! I was also curious as to where the cord is and where is ti plugged it in?

  23. wonderful idea ! i foresee a weekend project! THanks for sharing!

  24. These lamps are beautiful!!! I would like to create wedding table centerpieces with this style of lamp. I would have to use a battery operated light. Any ideas?

  25. Wow! Those are great! My first thought when I saw the pin was tap lights. I did not see the cord at all.

  26. Awesome! Thanks for all of your great tips and ideas. Hope I can make my own lamp to for my condo philippines living room. :)

  27. Really simple (after seeing your pictures of the whole project ) yet so very elegant...i going to make this with some additions like glass painting and rice light strings inside the it will be lit all the way....Thanks for all the great tips and such wonderful inspiration...will you be kind enough to let me know what glue u have used to stick lamp holder to the bottom of the vase....



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