Bright idea: DIY lamp bases

June 30, 2015

There's no need to buy a new lamp when you can easily refresh an out-of-date lamp base with a coat of paint or another creative solution.

Bright idea: DIY lamp bases

Paint an old lamp base

Spark up an old or inexpensive wooden, metal, plastic or even glass lamp base with a coat of paint. Use paint you already have, but check the info on the can to be sure the paint is suitable for the lamp base material. If you must buy paint, one spray can or one small can of enamel should be plenty for a pair of medium-sized lamps. (Glass requires special paint, available from craft suppliers, for a permanent finish.) Colour and design are up to you. Anything goes, from an antique finish to a thoroughly modern industrial look.

Before painting, use flexible painter's tape to mask off the fittings and any areas that you want to keep paint-free, such as a metal base or trim. Also tape over the top of the socket to avoid getting paint on the contact points.

Sky's-the-limit lamp bases

Picture your beautiful ceramic flowerpot illuminating your living room. It's relatively simple to convert just about any non-fragile container, large or small, into a one-of-a-kind lamp base.

Most containers need a hole drilled in the bottom or side for the cord. You can take apart an old lamp for no-cost parts, but if you lack experience with electrical wiring, you should take your object of choice to a home store or electrical supplier for help. You might have to spend some money (store-bought lamp kits have almost everything you need) — but compared to a new lamp, you'll be shocked (no pun intended) by how much you'll save when you create your own. Great lamp bases can be repurposed out of old:

  • Vases
  • Pitchers
  • Large coffee mugs
  • Overturned ceramic mixing bowls
  • Cup-style trophies
  • Books that have been placed atop each other and glued together
  • Antique wooden boxes
  • Flower pots

Look for these items and others at thrift stores, yard and estate sales and save yourself money on supplies.

It doesn't take much to add something new and special to a room — even when the item is not new, but re-purposed! Light up your life with a unique base for that old lamp that you make yourself — and you:ll earn the bragging rights that go with it!

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