Are you looking for fillable glass lamps? I’ve been looking for a large one that you can fill with different things based on the season like leaves in the fall or shells in the summer. The ones I’ve found are really expensive (like this gorgeous lamp from Simon Pearce).
I decided to try making a glass lamp. This is a DIY project is surprisingly simple.
There are only two tricky parts. The first is finding the right glass vase or jar for the lamp base and the second is drilling a hole in glass. I’ve got tips to help you with both.
Supplies You Need for a Glass Lamp
- Large glass vase or jar (mine came from World Market but I’ve listed similar ones below)
- Lamp kit (I like Creative Hobbies kits, they have great instructions)
- Lamp shade
- Carbide tipped drill bit
- Painters tape
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
It’s not easy to find a glass vase or jar that is large enough to be a lamp. If you order one online, be sure to check the dimensions before you click the buy button. My favorite store for this kind of thing is World Market.
Tip: If you use a vase you will need to find something to close up the top that can be lifted off when you want to change what’s inside the lamp. The top of your glass vessel must be flat, which eliminates some of the big glass vases that are weird shaped. These are the best ones I found.
- tall glass vase from World Market – 15.5 inches tall
- wide mouth glass vase from World Market (this is what I used) – 12.4 inches tall
- tall clear glass jar from World Market – 18 inches tall
- 1 gallon glass jar from Amazon – only 9.8 inches tall
If your glass vessel doesn’t have a lid you can use a piece of wood or cork as the top.
Steps to Make a Glass Lamp
Step 1 – Drill A Hole In the Glass. You can run the wire in through the side if you don’t mind how this looks. See photo below.
This is the hardest part of making a glass lamp. To cut a hole in the glass you will need a drill with a carbide tip, which is the same tip that is used for drilling into ceramic tile.
Place a piece of painter’s tape where you want the hole to be. I read that you need to keep the drill bit wet while you drill on glass to keep it cool. I used putty to make a well around the well and filled it with water before I started drilling.
As soon as the glass was pierced all of the water went inside the jar. I don’t know if this step is essential. I kept drilling the rest of the hole without water. I used three different-sized bits until the hole was large enough to fit a cord.
If you are afraid to drill glass (I was really hesitant to do this), you can feed the wire up through the lamp assembly.
Step 2 – Drill a Hole In the Lid
If your jar has a lid, you must drill a hole in the lid. If you are using wood or cork, you will also need to drill a hole for the cord.
Step 3 – Assemble the Lamp kit
This is a series of steps that are also described in your lamp kit. The first step is to feed the cord up through the glass base. Insert the metal neck into your lid or top and secure with nuts. Then feed the cord up through the metal
The next step is to feed the wires up into the socket. The wire that has the ridges on it is the neutral wire. Screw that one to the silver metal. The non-ridged wire goes should be attached to the other side.
The manufacturer (Creative Hobbies) images illustrate the order of steps. They have lamp kits in silver, bronze and brass.
That’s it. Now you are ready to attach the harp and lampshade.
Getting the right sized lampshade can be a little tricky. According to Architectural Digest, “the shade should be twice as wide as the lamp base, and one-third of the total height of the lamp.” I prefer to eyeballed it and kept going until I found a shade I liked.
Another issue that you might need to work around is where the lampshade hits. The harp that came in my lamp kit needed to be a bit longer to lift the shade up. I ordered this one to lift the shade up and here’s how it turned out.