Atrium Glass Table Lamp
My Atrium Glass Table Lamp was so fun and easy to make! After finding this glass vessel/vase at Southeastern Salvage for only $29.99, I knew I wanted to turn it into a table lamp. It’s roughly 17″ tall and 42″ around. Perfect size for a lamp base.
Fast forward six months and said vessel is still sitting on the floor in my kitchen collecting dust and wine bottle corks… Since the evidence is mounting that we have consumed a lot of wine since last summer, I decided it’s time to stop making deposits and finally turn it into a lamp.
While on the phone with my friend Jennifer, who happens to be a make your own lamp guru, she is the one that convinced me you can make a lamp out of AHN-Y-THING! I proposed we schedule a date to make a project together and a lamp is on the top of my list. She was happy to guide me through the process and added that I shouldn’t go out and buy a bunch of stuff to make it, she was sure she’d have everything I needed.
I wasn’t about to show up with just my glass jar in hand so I head to Home Depot to buy a few basics.
Westinghouse Make A Lamp Brushed Nickel 3-Way Socket
While in the lamp section I look over the lamp kits, on average they cost about $12.00-$13.00. There were a few variations so it depends on the type of lamp you want to make. With or without a harp to hold the shade, 3 way socket for dimming or a candlestick and bottle adapter, different color cords, etc. Basically, you can find a kit with everything you need to build any lamp, here’s an example of what they include.
Westinghouse Projector Lamps 8 ft. Silver Cord
The mouth of my jar was too large to just place a socket in it and build the lamp from there, I racked my brain looking for something to fill that gaping hole. I thought a cork stopper might be cute, but I couldn’t find one the correct size. One of the Home Depot associates graciously asked if she could help, but without seeing the jar her only suggestion was stuffing circular styrofoam in the hole, evidently I wasn’t clear about trying to make my $30.00 jar look like a $300.00 lamp.
Naturally, I cruise the aisles looking for something I can fashion into a plug. I end up in the plumbing section, an unlikely place to find lamp accessories but I’m getting creative and desperate. Funny thing, I found what I thought could be a solution. A “Qwik Cap” which is a flexible PVC cap and looked just the right size to insert into the hole of the jar. Since it was flexible I knew it would be easy to drill through to insert the threaded rod. I wasn’t a fan of it being black but I hoped Jennifer would have a way to mask or disguise it.
Fernco Plumbing 1-1/2 in. Flexible Cap
With a Qwik Cap, light socket, cord, drill bit and glass jar, it’s time to head to Jennifer’s house to assemble this thing! We go through her spare parts and find finials, harps, shades and even something to cover up my PVC plug.
We start by drilling the hole in the bottom/side of the vessel. Jennifer kept it steady while I drilled the hole through the glass for the cord, I didn’t realize it was a two person job but it was pretty wobbly. It took several minutes to get all the way through the glass.
Half way through jar
Jennifer had a small plastic cap to insert into the hole so the cord isn’t frayed, glad she thought of that!
Next, I drilled a hole into the PVC cap with a standard drill bit. I push this threaded nipple from the underside of the cap through the top so the threads were sticking out of the top of the cap and the hex nut is stopping it from going all the way through. Slowly we start pushing the cord through and out of the top of the jar. Next, push the cord through the threaded pipe leaving enough slack to attach to the socket.
Next I lay the pretty flat piece on top of the cap and secure with super glue.
Then I glued the bottom piece of the detachable harp to the flat finial. I slip a round finial to cover the threaded pipe.
Feed the wires through the small base of the socket. There will be instructions if you purchase a new socket, if you repurpose one it is quite simple. When the socket is pulled apart, there are two screws on the socket and two wires from your cord, you may have to cut the sheathing back to expose enough wire to make a hook with the exposed wire and place behind the screw. Tighten screws with a screwdriver. Then put the socket back into its base, be sure to adjust the slack in the cord by pulling gently from the bottom.
Slide each stem of the harp into the prong, then pull the small cap down to secure in place.
Place the lamp shade over the threads that are on the top of the harp
Attach a decorative finial to keep the shade in place
This project could have been nearly free but I had a few must have’s for my new lamp. This what I spent:
Glass vessel: $29.99
3 way socket: $4.97
8 foot silver cord set: $6.97 (must have)
Flexible Qwik cap: $2.97 (must have)
Since many of the necessary items I received from Jennifer I spent less than $50.00 to make this lamp. If I had to buy everything myself it would have broken down like this:
Glass vessel: $29.99
Lamp Kit: $13.00
8 foot silver cord set: $6.97 (may find a kit with a silver cord?)
Lamp shade: $25.00-$30.00
Flexible Qwik cap: $2.97
Decorative finials: $9.00
With tax I would have spent around $95-$100
Maybe you already have a glass jar or lamp shade you can repurpose, or a lamp in your attic you can disassemble for it’s harp, socket and finials like we did. You could literally get away with making this for free depending on the supplies you have at home.
If you decide to make your own lamp, be sure to send me pictures of your finished project!