Thursday, May 1, 2014

Thrifting Thursday (jar to lamp upcycle)

Remember waaaaaay back here when I wrote about the jar I found at the thrift store where M works, and my plans to turn it into a jar lamp? It felt like this project, which I thought would be quick and easy, was moving in s-l-o-w-m-o-t-i-o-n... but now, finally, the lamp is done!

The first hold up was drilling the hole in the jar for the cord to go through. I took it to the glass store in town thinking I'd pay $10. or so and have it drilled by a professional (less chance of breaking the jar that way!). But... they wanted to $30. to do the drilling.

Hmm... the whole point of this project was to NOT spend a lot of money on a new lamp.

So I decided we'd just drill it ourselves.

I liked this jar a lot though, and really didn't want to break it... so I did my research and found that my little Dremel might just be the best tool to do the drilling... with less chance of breaking the jar than using the big drill.

But I needed a special Dremel drill bit that I didn't own, and no place in town carried, and would cost $21.00 plus shipping to buy online.

Hmm... that's not much of a saving over the glass store in town.

So the jar sat while I tried to decide what to do.

I used it as a cookie jar for awhile...

Mostly it just took up space.

Finally decided it was do or die... I couldn't look at the jar just sitting around one more minute. Joe had an old glass drill bit in the garage that he'd offered to try to do the drilling with... We'd either drill the hole with that bit, or break the jar trying.

(Here's the bit he used)

Joe was able to drill the hole with only the tiniest (1/4") little crack along one side.


Because of the tiny crack I decided to coat the hole with super glue, to prevent the crack from spreading... I taped the hole off before putting the super glue on.

Unfortunately, the superglue, which I thought would dry clear, dried cloudy... I left it on for now (you can probably see it in the "after" picture if you look closely enough), but I might end up cleaning it back off with a little polish remover... I'm not crazy about how it looks.

Next, I drilled a hole in the center of the jar lid for the light socket...

... I thought about painting or staining the wooden jar lid but finally decided to leave it as it is. The logo on the lid is hidden by the light socket and the shade, and the finish on the wood is nice.

Next Joe took apart an old broken lamp to use for parts.... This desk lamp was one I bought (used) years ago, and it's green glass shade had broken... making it not usable as it was... but the cord and light socket were still good and able to be used for the new lamp.

I scoured stores for a shade the right size and finally found one at Goodwill.

With the hole drilled and all the parts collected it was just a matter of putting it together.

Joe wired it for me, and I put it together and here's the finished product:

The jar base is empty right now but can easily be filled once I decide what I want to put inside. (Suggestions?)

I will probably keep my eyes open for a different shade.. This one works but I'm not crazy about it.

So... my "new" lamp ended up costing less than $10, the jar was $6. the shade was $2.49, and the electrical parts were free (salvaged from the broken lamp). I really love the chunkiness of the jar, and the bubbles and imperfections in the glass...


And after:


Jackie Dickie said...

I love it! The shade is perfect, IMHO. (The lamp you made me in the old green glass jar is used almost every day. I just love it, too.)

SteveC said...

Looks great!

I need to drill holes in tiles and I've been putting it off as I'm worried about cracking them...maybe I'll try it now.

As for filling it, my first thoughts was something light (to keep the tiny crack from getting any worse) yet transparent in order to disperse the light. Maybe even a small round mirror that would shine even more light up to the ceiling. Maybe even paint a small outline (a happy face for example) on the may shine it on the ceiling(but it may just shine it on the inside of the shade...?)