You gotta love when DIY saves you a good chunk of money. This is one of those times. When pulling together a design for our bedroom, I wanted our lamps to be clean and classic and not draw attention to themselves since the room is small and the main focal feature is the wood wall (post coming soon!) and our patterned curtains. When I saw the Zak table lamp at Crate & Barrel, I fell in love. But I was not about to shell out $250 each. I had read some blog posts in the past that have turned pretty much anything into a lamp with a simple lamp kit from your hardware store so I knew we could make these! After some more googling about drilling through glass, I gained enough confidence to try it (disclaimer: this took us more attempts than we thought, but we learned some things that we can share that will hopefully help you avoid our same mistakes!) Without further ado, read on for the tutorial. And sorry these are all iphone pictures, still saving up for my fancy pants camera! First gather your materials: Here’s the story about my vase. The first time we made these, I found 2 perfectly tapered vases that were the same size at HomeGoods for $5 each (score!). BUT turns out one was much thinner glass and after successfully making the first lamp, Calder started drilling into the second one only to have it break in his hands 😦 Oops. And I guess I got super lucky with those first two because after checking Hobby Lobby, HomeGoods several more times, Amazon, and other places I COULD NOT find another matching vase! So we had to order 2 new ones. This turned out to be fine because they are taller and I like the height better. If you are wanting the same look as these, I’ll save you some trouble of hunting high and low. Just order these from Save On Crafts. If you want to find your own, make sure the glass is pretty thick. You’ll also need a lampshade of your choice (mine’s from Target), a drill, a diamond tip drill bit (3/4″), a lamp kit, a clear cord if your kit comes with the ugly brown one mine came with, and a piece they call a nipple. Be sure to drill the TOP hole first. We broke 2 vases and they were both when we drilled the bottom hole first. Calder’s theory is that is weakens the glass. The drilling is a two-person job. Have one person spraying water over the drill spot and the other person drilling. We did ours in the kitchen sink using the sprayer, but you could do it outside with a watering can or hose, or whatever works best for you. The key to drilling through glass is to have the drill at full speed but put little to no pressure on the glass. The friction should be enough to cut through, although don’t be surprised if it takes a while for each hole. You want to be putting as little pressure as possible and try to anticipate the drill going through so you don’t slam the drill into the vase. After you drill the top, drill another hole about 2-3 inches above the opening. Sorry I forgot to load the dishwasher before taking this picture, ha! Keeping it real over here. It’s not a bad idea to put some wash cloths between the vase and the hard surface for a little padding. If you successfully drilled both holes, the hard part is done! There is probably water spots and glass dust all over your vase, so just give it a wipe down to get it looking clean again. From there just follow the instructions on your lamp kit. Thread the clear cord through the bottom hole, then through the nipple and the top hole. Then hook it up to the switch part (technical term).
You may want to add a drop of super glue between the screw nut and the glass to prevent it from spinning around. After this, all you have to do is add your light bulb and lamp shade! Ta-da! You’ve made your own lamp. You should be pretty impressed with yourself.
Good luck! If you create your own, I’d love to see the finished product!
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