Imagine paying your bills by the light of a duck decoy lamp or sipping a cup o’ joe next to a classic plaid Thermos lamp. All you need is a lamp kit (also called a bottle adapter kit), a lampshade, and a unique showpiece. But before you bring home that garden gnome, follow these guidelines to find the light of your life.
#1: Check for a hole.
Not every eye-catching objet d’art would make a great lamp. In order to use the bottle adapter kit, look for an item that has a hole in the top, like a moonshine jug. If it doesn’t have a hole already, look for something you can easily drill, like a wooden birdhouse.
#2: Check for stability.
A bowling pin would make a striking lamp, but the base isn’t wide enough to support the adapter, lightbulb, shade, and cord. And even though a bowling ball already has a hole in it, its penchant for rolling makes it an unstable lamp! Spare yourself a lot of trouble and find something with a wide base.
#3: Check for scale.
A cool old apothecary bottle may have a proper hole and be stable, but it’s too small visually for a lampshade. Likewise, a cigar store Indian would make an outstanding lamp, but where would you find a shade big enough? To make sure your item won’t look silly as a lamp, take a lampshade with you to the flea market and try it on for size.
This Lamp is a Champ!
When it comes to lamp potential, this hand-carved wooden candleholder has it all. We can easily drill a hole for the bottle adapter, it has a wide and stable base, and the size is perfect for an end table. Plus, its architectural style makes it look like a designer showpiece. A brilliant find for only $10!
Lamp Making 101
To see a step-by-step explanation with photos, click here.
1. Assemble the bottle adapter lamp kit according to the directions on the package.
2. Insert the assembled lamp fixture into the hole of your future lamp. If your item doesn’t already have a hole, drill one to fit the rubber adapter.
3. Screw in a lightbulb, put on the lampshade, and plug it in. Then flip the switch for a conversation piece that’ll literally light up the room.
To run a cord all the way through your future lamp, you’ll need to buy a long threaded metal tube called a “nipple.” It not only provides a channel for the cord, it lends stability to objects like a stack of cigar boxes.