DIY Lamp Update

Cheap and easy improvement on a thrift store lamp! I was able to do this DIY lamp update with a new harp and simple lamp shade.

DIY Lamp UpdateI see outdated upright lamps with the upright cones at second hand stores all the time, but I have always left them there because of concerns that the fitting would be difficult to update. When I found this upright lamp (below) at a second hand store for $9 I decided to take a chance.  I found an electrical outlet in the store and was able to test it.  It worked (yay!) and it was in excellent shape.

How to improve an outdated lampThe styling was outdated, but I used it as it was for a while and looked around Pinterest for inspiration to help me decide how it could be improved. One day I found a picture of the lamp below:

Lamp inspiration

I used this picture twice – first to help me decide the dimensions of the shade and second to help decide on the styling of the shade.

I took a picture of my lamp and scaled it to the inspiration picture.  Then I used the dimensions of the inspiration lamp and the height of my lamp to help me select the ideal dimensions of the new lampshade.

DIY lamp update - selecting shade

This simple check confirmed that even though the lamp is very thin, it would still look good with a relatively large lamp shade.  I easily found a shade that was close to those dimensions, and it looks so much better than the original frosted cone shade.

This DIY lamp update was made much easier by finding an inspiration picture of a similar lamp and using that picture to define the dimensions of my updated lampshade. I am undecided whether I should go all the way and add black piping to match the inspiration picture more closely, but it currently matches a number of other lampshades in the house so I will live with it as it is for a while and then decide.

A couple of weeks before, I was also lucky enough to find this pair of lamps at a thrift store.  I tested them before buying, and checked them for damage (none!) and it was a very easy decision to pick them up for only $9 each.  They are quite large (32″ with the shade) so it was a great deal, even after paying for new shades.  They cost next to nothing, look brand new, suit the room perfectly, and re-using them is good for the environment – wins all around!

Recycled lamp

Another couple of other simple DIY lighting updates: removing the shades from a chandelier, and replacing frosted pendant light with a clear glass sphere.

Ideas for easy and inexpensive lighting updates to modernize your pendants and chandeliers

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