How To Make a Lamp From Scratch

If you’re here for the Craft hop from B4 and Afters, welcome. Be sure to see the links to other crafts below and head to My Family Thyme next.

Have you ever had a vase or something that you thought would make a great lamp? I am a huge fan of Harney & Sons teas and I love their tins. I hate to throw them away when I finish the tea because they are so cute. I’ve been wanting to try using one of them to make a small DIY table lamp.

I’ve never made a lamp before, so I hope you enjoy these step by step instructions and a few lessons I learned about about lamps after I finished making it.

What do you need to make a lamp?

To make a lamp all you need is the vessel and a lamp kit. The vessel can be any vase, tin, wood box or even a pitcher. Basically you can make a lamp out of anything that you can get a cord into. The basic lamp kits you can buy for $12 includes the wiring, the harp and all of the hardware.

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Steps to Make a Lamp

The first step to making a lamp is to make sure you can get the cord up through the bottom or the side of your vessel. I drilled a hole in the side of the tin toward the bottom. The second step is to decide how the top will fasten in. If you are using something with a top, it’s easy to drill a hole in the and feed the lamp wiring through that.

Once you have these two things, it’s just a matter of assembling the lamp kit. Start by threading the socket through the hole in the top. Secure the socket with nuts on both sides. Then feed the wires up through the socket and into the base.

Tie a loop in the wire to use up any excess. My kit had the wires pre-stripped and ready to be used. Identify the hot wire (with the words on it) and the neutral wire. Screw the hot wire into the gold screw and the neutral wire into the silver screw. Push the wiring kit down into the base until it snaps in place.

Now all that’s left to do is attach the lamps harp, screw in a light bulb and put on a shade. This is where I found things were getting a little bit tricky.

I figured out what I thought would be the hard part, but it doesn’t look quite right. The lamp was working correctly but it needs a longer neck. And when I got the shade on it was too big.😂 Since we are still recovering from a week with nothing being delivered in Dallas I wasn’t able to get what I needed to make these changes today. I will have to save that for an update.

My key take away from this project is that proportion is very important when it comes to making lamps. The base and the lamp shade need to be sized correctly and you might not know they aren’t until you step back from your project.

learn more lamps and lighting, check out these posts that cover all the details to make sure you get the right lamp for your space.

Now it’s time to see the other crafts.

Birdz of a Feather | The Painted Apron | Chas Crazy Creations

My Hubbard Home | My Thrift Store Addiction | Debbees Buzz

Decorate and More with Tip | Bluesky at Home | Purple Hues and Me

Home is Where the Boat Is | Celebrate And Decorate | B4andAfters

Design Morsels | My Family Thyme | Zucchini Sisters

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  1. Oh my goodness Andrea, I would have never thought to use a tin as a lamp base — genius! It turned out great. My son needs lots of lamps for his 3-story, 100 year old row house now that he’s a home owner. You’ve got me thinking now of things to use as bases. Pinned!

  2. Andrea, I’ve never made a lamp, but a dear friend years ago had a business making lamps from antique silver and other containers and I have two. They have such personality. I commend you for doing this with the tin. I think I might try it with the right container yes, the lamp shade makes all the difference. I received my first package yesterday so I think we are getting back to normal.

  3. You make creating a handmade lamp so easy, Andrea! I like how you used one of your favorite items like a tea tin to make a lamp that is suited to your likes and decor! That is quite unusual, very creative and unique!

  4. This is so cute, Andrea! My mind is swimming with all of the ideas of things I could use to make a cute lamp! Mostly I am thinking kid’s room things which could be so fun! You make this look so easy! Thanks so much for hosting!

  5. I love repurposed lamps, Andrea and yours turned out great–pinned! Thanks for hosting! Blessings, Cecilia @My Thrift Store Addiction

  6. I love how the lamp turned out Andrea! Given that you are a first-time lamp maker, the only thing I would suggest is to add a rubber wire grommet where you drilled the hole in the side of the tin. With time, the sharp metal can eventually wear away at the cord, exposing the wire, so it’s a good safety habit to learn when making a lamp :). They’re easy to find on Amazon.

  7. This is a great way to have a custom lamp for your home. It is so hard to find smaller lamps for under the counter in the kitchen with style. I have been looking for one with character. You inspired me to find a cute item and make me one myself since I can’t find one.

    Thanks for hosting Andrea!

  8. Yes, I can definitely see how the proportions would need to be adjusted. I like the tin! I have some tins that I have been thinking about using for some sort of project.

  9. Andrea, I like how you turned a little tea can into something pretty and functional. And, I look forward to the additional tweaks.

  10. It turned out so cute Andrea! What a unique idea to make the tin into a lamp, how clever! Infinite possibilities for lamp creations! Thanks so much for hosting our monthly hops, so much fun…

  11. I love the idea of repurposing a tea tin as a lamp base Andrea! The possibilities are endless! Thanks so much for your organizing efforts! I’m happy to be hopping with you again. ❤️

  12. This is really quite awesome Andrea! I would totally want one of these in my house. I also love that you reused and upcycled something. Amazing friend!

  13. Andrea, what a great idea to turn your favorite tea tin into a lamp! Now you have a unique piece of home decor that’s personalized to your taste. I’d love to give this a try…the possibilities are endless! Thanks for the great tutorial and for organizing our fun monthly hops. Pinned!

  14. Wow! What an amazing project! I would have never thought to try to make a lamp, but now I am thinking of all of the different things that can be used as a base. The tea tin you used is so pretty and unique. Thank you so much for organizing this hop. I am so happy to be hopping with you. Happy Spring, Andrea! Pinned!

  15. I’m thinking about lamps out of Greg’s ski boots. Would need to fill the boots with plaster of paris or something.

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