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  • Writer's pictureThe Rural Legend

How To Make a Lamp Out of a Vase

With this simple step by step tutorial you can transform any vase or vessel into a lamp for your home! In this post you will also learn how to easily replace the plug on a lamp if you'd prefer not to use a battery lightbulb! I promise it's really simple! Read on to see how we turned a $3 yard sale vase into a statement lamp that rivals the $300 one sold at high end stores!

A white cabinet decorated with various items including a lamp made from a vase.

Last fall, I found this gorgeous and HUGE vase at a yard sale in my neighborhood for $3. Score! I knew it has so much potential and would be a fantastic lookalike for some of the high end pottery I have seen. Even though painting it would have been such a simple project, I put it off for nearly a year waiting for the right inspiration to strike!

A vase with the body of a lamp sticking out of it.

A few weeks ago I scored this beautiful pleated shade at Goodwill for $2, but didn't have a lamp to go with it - inspiration struck!

A white cabinet holding dishware and a lamp made from a vase.

Want more upcycling ideas? Don't miss these posts!

I'm sharing how exactly I turned a few thrifted pieces into a high end lamp for only $12! You read that right! Read on for the full tutorial!

How to Make A Lamp out of a Vase Tutorial

What you need


How to Make it

Top view of a vase with a lamp body sticking out of it.

1. I started by painting my vase with acrylic craft paint. I layered several neutral colors - black, brown, cream, and a little blush. Start with your darkest color, let that dry, and then continue with lighter tones. With every coat, I wiped away excess paint with a damp rag for a worn pottery look. My vase already had some beautiful texture to it, but you can always add a little baking soda or flour to your paint for texture! There's no wrong way to do this, Just continue painting until you like the color! I absolutely love the look!

A DIY vase lamp sitting on a white cabinet with several other home decor items.

2. I looked at several options for how to convert this lamp into a working lamp. A light kit from your hardware store is definitely an option, but would have cost me $25. Instead, I scoured my local thrift shop for a lamp with a small enough base to fit inside my vase. I found this slender silver lamp for $5!

A vase with the body of a lamp sticking out of it for a DIY vase lamp tutorial.

3. At this point, it is completely up to you if you want to move ahead with drilling a hole for the cord. This is the most inexpensive option and we already had the materials (and a handy husband!) to drill and add a new plug to my lamp. You CAN use a battery lightbulb (these are our favorite!) that works on a remote so there's nothing to plug in. They will need to be recharged so if you'd rather opt for a plug in version, replacing a plug is actually very simple and I'm going to take your through it step by easy step!

Replacing a Plug

Close-up shot of a slightly dusty lamp plug.

1. The most inexpensive way to make this DIY lamp is to drill a hole in the vase using a ceramic drill bit.

2. Once you have drilled your hole, cut off the plug from your lamp and thread your cord through the hole.

A vase being turned into a lamp, with a lamp cord running out of it.

3. Take the end of your cord and separate the 2 wires.

4. Strip both of them with wire strippers/cutters.

Close-up of some lamp cord wires.

Lamp wires being stripped using a wire stripper.

Close-up of partially stripped wires being shown.

5. Open up your new plug using a screw driver and insert each exposed wire into a terminal and turn the screws to tighten and hold the wires in place.

Partially exposed wires being inserted into the terminal of a new plug.

Wires inserted in the terminal of a new plug.

6. Gather the 2 wires together so that they come out of the hole in the plug when the plug is closed. Close the plug by tightening the screw(s).

Wires being closed into a new plug.

A screwdriver being used to screw a new plug closed.

You just replaced a plug, baby!!!

Close-up of a lamp plug.

For more Secondhand Inspiration, START HERE

Similar lamps cost $300-$400! I'm so thrilled with how this lamp turned out and it provides gorgeous mood lighting on top of our dining room credenza!

A dining room with a white cabinet that is holding home decor, including a vase lamp.

Make sure to follow along on Instagram for more simple DIY inspiration, affordable home styling, and a peek inside our every day life! And don't miss a single thing by subscribing to our weekly newsletter! Just scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up for The Rural Letter!

xoxo, L

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1 Comment

Sep 29, 2023

Can’t find anything on how you anchored the lamp part in the vase. May have missed it.

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