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This is one of those ideas that really materialized over time. I remember seeing Christmas lights encased in different sorts of bottles thinking that the idea could be taken much further. Then it struck me one day in Target while looking at a vase that I thought would make a beautiful lamp base – why not?

This project literally took two steps, drilling two holes into the vase and installing the lamp kit.  Drilling the holes was much easier than you’d imagine, it just took a special diamond drill bit made for marble, tile, and glass.  You have to use water on the surface to keep it from overheating, put the drill on full speed, but go slowly (don’t push).

The lamp kit was all together in a little package at Lowes with everything I needed and instructions on how to assemble it.

What I love most about this project is that it was super low-cost ($12 for the vase at Home Goods and $9 for the lamp parts) and the possibilities are really endless. You could use any vessel of your choosing as long as it had a wide enough base to support the weight. I think I’m going to make my simple hurricane lamp a little partner for a chic pair.

Keep reading below for the full ‘how-to’ !


Step One: Drill the holes you need to fit the lamp adapter kit onto the vase.  I used a 1/2″ bit where the light socket was to go, and a 1/4″ bit at the side of the vase for the cord to exit.

Put the drill on high speed and slowly grind away a hole.  It will take a little bit of time, but don’t push into the glass.  Keep the area you’re drilling fully covered in water for the entire time you’re drilling. The water keeps the surface friction from overheating and cracking the glass.

Slow and steady wins the race here.

2. To put together the lamp kit, start with bolting the socket into the top hole.

Secure the socket with the locking washer and bolt that comes in the lamp kit.

3. String the lamp corn through the small hole on the bottom/side of the vase and up through the top of the socket.  You’ll have to remove the top barrel of the socket.

4. Wire the lamp  **disclaimer** I am not an electrical professional and am only sharing the way I personally handled this project.  If you do not have experience with electrical work, hire a professional or proceed at your own risk.  I also used this article for help.

There is one side of the cord which has a couple of ribs that run the entire length of the cord.  This is the neutral wire and it should connect to the neutral screw which is usually silver.  loosen the silver screw and curl the copper wire around the screw, then tighten the screw into place sandwiching the copper wire. Repeat this process with the other wire and the brass colored screw.  Replace the cardboard and brass casing and snuggle the socket barrel back into the base attached to the glass.

5. Screw in your bulb and attach your bulb adapter

**you can use a harp adapter too – you would need to add this in step 2, however.


The rest is up to you!  Whatever lamp shade and finial you choose will just make your lamp customized even further!  Have fun!


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Latest comments
  • What a lovely idea. I would have never thought to do something like this, but the outcome is so stylish and chic! xo

  • This is a really great idea! It looks fabulous!

  • This is great! I’ve been thinking about trying this for a while since I need a matching pair of small lamps on my TV console. I do have a great glass lamp from IKEA that was not too pricey, but I can’t switch the lampshade on that one, so maybe I’ll have to hack it?
    I’ve also seen people use vases to make hanging lamps with light kits.

  • Oh wow, very stylish! Looking forward to your tutorial x

  • well aren’t you clever!
    It’s BEAUTIFUL! I have some plans for a homemade light but I’m not sure it will turn out. If not, I WILL be taking your advice!

  • Awesome idea! Looking forward to the full tutorial – especially the cutting into the glass part!

  • Why do I feel like Home Goods is going to have a run on vases this weekend? You clever, clever girl! I’m working on some updates over at my Sister’s place and think this project might work in nicely to lighten up some of the browntown she has going on there now.

  • I love it! This is definitely a must-try project!

  • Gosh girl, you’re incredible! LOVE this easy (and affordable) DIY…so well done! :)

  • Erin, you wow me!!! This is amazing. Can’t ‘wait to see the full tutorial.

  • OK…ummmm…WOW! That is amazing and so simple. I would have been scared to death to drill glass. Genius to flip it over and turn a vase into a lamp. So awesome! ~caryl

  • This is genius! Am definitely stealing this idea! Fantastic work Erin!

  • So clean + pretty…I love this. And I have to say I love that wishbone by the way!
    xo . trina

  • Love your blog! and what a fabulous idea!!

  • This is absolutely gorgeous! You’re so creative :)

  • I cannot WAIT to try this!! Such a great idea! Thanks so much for the tutorial. :)

  • fantastic idea!!!

  • Hi Erin, very creative. We love unique for less! It’s a beautiful composition with the mercury glass and wall art too. Thanks for the shout out. Your friends at HomeGoods

  • Absolutely love this Erin! Simple and super chic. I’m actually not a big one for DIY’s but I just might try this!!

  • Great tutorial! Pinned it.

  • Hello, just wanted to tell you, I enjoyed this post. It was inspiring. Keep on posting!