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So, a while back, I scored several lamps for under $15 at a local thrift shop.

Aesthetically, they needed a little help, but were in working condition & had potential, so I scooped them up, promising myself (and Dan… and you guys) that I’d work my magic on them.

Then I got busy with something else & months passed. And the sun began setting earlier… and earlier… and earlier. Now it’s dark by 4:30. So I’ve decided to get started on the lamps. I guess necessity really is the mother of invention.

But how to go about turning these uglies into beauties? It would take some thinking outside the box. Or rather, inside the box.

This awesome tin once contained scrumptious amaretto cookies from Italy.

I love it SOOOO much. I want to buy it a mink stole.

So, obviously, I had to turn it into a lamp.

But how to accomplish such a Herculean task?!?

Enter ugly lamp #1. The glass on this lamp base is actually pretty nice — thick, bevel cut, unblemished — but I just can’t figure out how to make it un-grandma-y.

So, I decided to simply remove the glass & find a way to use the “guts” of the lamp to create something entirely new.

So I clipped off the plug & pulled out the guts.


All I needed to do now was to make a couple of holes in the tin: One for the neck of the lamp, and one for its cord.

So I had Dan break out the old cordless drill. He used a bit that was just slightly larger than the lamp’s rod.

Then I just dropped the lamp guts in and filled the bottom of the cookie tin with sandwich baggies full of sand to weigh it down — so it won’t be top-heavy & tip over all the time.

I added a small platform made of scrap wood & cardboard to set the lamp base on, which gave me more height than if I’d set it directly in the bottom of the tin. Then I replaced the lid & covered the hole with the original lamp’s vase cap.

Of course, since I’d had to clip the plug off the original lamp’s cord (to be able to fit it through the “exit” hole on the back of the cookie tin), I had to replace it.

Enter Dan, who is much braver than I when it comes to all things electrical.

He stripped the end of the existing wire — which he admitted would have been much easier if he’d had some linesman pliers… sorry, Honey! — and connected them to this prefab plug.

Then I added a bulb and shade.

And… viola! A new lamp!!!

In all, it was a 20 minute project. The hardest part was finding a shade that 1) I liked; and 2) had the correct mounting hardware.

*More on the hardware later — I forgot to take a pic before we left for our vacay & we won’t be home for a few more days yet. Oops, sorry!!

It was a fun, easy way to make use of a lamp I didn’t like, while also repurposing a cookie tin that I really do. The same effect could be achieved with any sort of tin — crackers, coffee, tea… anything. You just need to make sure that 1) the tin has a lid; and 2) the base is bigger & heavier than the shade.

So… one ugly lamp down, 4 to go. Stay tuned!

How about you? What’s your favorite repurposing project? Made any lamps out of weird stuff? Do you have a favorite tin? Or maybe a grandma-lamp you don’t know what to do with? We’d love to hear from you!

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2 thoughts on “Lamp-tastic!

  1. Totally love the lamp, and the step-by-step instructions – good choice of shade for the rectangular tin! Nice job, Amy and Dan!!

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