A while ago, I bought a glass vase table lamp at a flea market.  I didn't want it but it was the end of the day and the lady just wanted to get rid of it so she wouldn't have to pack it up and take it back home.   It was priced for $20 but she offered it to me for $2.  it has a dark tinted glass vase body with dark bronze metal base and top.  It didn't have a harp or a shade but those are easy things to add.  When I first got the lamp I had no idea what to do with it so it sat in my basement for a while until my daughter asked me to redo her bedroom.   As we talked about what she wanted to do, I thought i could incorporate the lamp into the new scheme.  The shape of the glass reminded me of a Genie bottle so that is the inspiration for this makeover.   My daughters a pre-teen so didn't want anything "girly" so no pink and no flowers (I miss those days).  She also still likes to use a night light so I thought that I could somehow light up the glass for this.  The glass is dark tinted so the nightlight is hidden during the day when it's not turned on.

As I'm writing this intro, the lamp isn't anywhere close to complete so I hope it turns out ok.....fingers crossed.

Materials Needed:
For those wanting to repeat this, the items needed will vary depending on what your starting with.   This is what I needed for this project.

Replacement socket
3 pole rotary turn switch
Christmas Lights
6-12 foot extension cord ($2 from Lowes) or lamp cord with plug.
glass enamel paints of various colors.  I started out using these but the design changed so I ended up using a white paint pen.  
white paint pen or colors of your choice.   originally i was using the pen only for rough layout but then used it exclusively

Tools needed:
regular screw driver
needle nose pliers
wire cutters
wire stripper
electrical tape
wire nuts
drill / bits
metal primer / spray paint
artists brush's as needed

I knew right away that I wanted to somehow light up the base so that it could be used as a night light.   I originally wanted to use led's but that's beyond my limited electrical ability so I went with Christmas lights instead. 

As is typical for me, this project ended up taking me several months to complete.  I just don't ever seem to have the luxury to really being able to spend a day on a project so I end up doing little steps here and there as time allows.  

One of the main reasons that I really like refurbishing garbage & flea market finds is that you have the freedom to be wild and take chances that you wouldn't do with a priceless family heirloom.  If you screw up and destroy it so what?


After my last lamp project, my new rule is to ALWAYS rewire old lamps.   A replacement socket and a extension chord to use for the chord are cheap and easy to install that it's good peace-of-mind to replace them.  I will keep the existing wiring with newer lamps, where there a reasonable confidence in the quality level.   
this is my last lamp project

Before doing any dissasembly make sure to take a bunch of pictures so that you can tell how things go back together.   Even a fairly simple project like this can have a bunch of washers and screws that you wont remember where they go when you finally get around to putting it all back together.

This should be fairly obvious but make sure that the lamp is unplugged before doing ouching any of the wiring. To disasemble a lamp start by gently preying the socket loose and then unscewing the existing wiring.   pull the existing wire out.  With the wire pulled out, unscrew the bottom nut and take the lamp apart. 

Save all your pieces, even the things that you don't think that you'll need again.    Keep all your pieces in a covered container like a tupperware bowel so that you don't look all those little screws.  

With the lamp taken apart, take the time to clean all the non-electrical pieces.   I start with simple soap and water.  this will get rid of the dust and crud that has built up over the years.    let everything dry completely before moving on.    For the glass use rubbing alcohol to clean it.    Over the years, I've rescued many lamps from the garbage that all they needed was a good cleaning.

thanks. it was a fun project. <br>
Nice job!<br>

About This Instructable


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Bio: I'm an architect by day. I love doing projects by night, both on my own and with my kids
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