Published on February 5, 2020

Is your favorite vase bringing everything it’s got to the table? Next time you think about buying a new light fixture for a nightstand or credenza, grab that vessel (or a bottle or jar) and transform it into a lamp instead. “Any shape will work, and I love to use quirky vases that make a statement,” writes Brisbane, Australia–based stylist and maker Geneva Vanderzeil in her first book, Home Is Where You Make It, on shelves March 3. 

Don’t panic: There’s no major electrical work involved. All you really need is a basic lamp kit. “The only potentially difficult part is assembling the hardware, but there are lots of places online where you can buy packs that are already assembled,” she continues. (Vanderzeil snagged hers on Etsy, but you can find a similar one with all the fittings for $14 at The Home Depot.) Whether you’re reusing a piece you’ve owned forever or upcycling a thrift-store find, this hack is all-around less expensive than purchasing a ready-made option. In this three-step excerpt from her new book, Vanderzeil shows us how it’s done at lightning speed. 

The Supplies

woman holding lamp kitPin It
Photography by Geneva Vanderzeil
  • Lamp kit with side access
  • Vase
  • Lampshade
  • Light bulb
  • Superglue

The How-To

Step 1: Assemble the lamp kit and attach it to the vase cap that’s included in the kit. I used a lamp kit with a side entry so that I didn’t have to drill a hole in the ceramic vase. I just positioned the finished lamp with the cord to the back. If your lamp kit has a bottom cord entry, you’ll need to drill a hole for the cord to come out.

Step 2: Glue the vase cap to the top of the vase using superglue.

woman putting on a lamp shadePin It
Photography by Geneva Vanderzeil

Step 3: Once you’ve finished putting the lamp together, attach the lampshade to the socket fitting, and then attach the light bulb.

And you thought that vase was the light of your life before.

From Home Is Where You Make It by Geneva Vanderzeil, published by Tiller Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. Copyright © 2020 by Geneva Vanderzeil. All rights reserved.

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