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Furniture Rehab and Repair

How to Make a Wall Lamp Out of a Metal Vase

A wall sconce is constructed from an old metal vase, a swag light kit and a bracket that is normally used for hanging plants.

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Courtesy of Susan Teare and Lindsay Raymondjack

Plug-in bedside lamps have become very popular because they look good, and they are convenient because you don't have to hard-wire into a wall. This is an accent light — use a low-wattage bulb so heat does not build up inside the vase.

Materials and Tools

- drill and 3/8" drill bit
- wire strippers
- pliers
- screwdriver
- knife
- swag light kit (should include electrical wire with plug at one end, inline switch, metal chain, socket)
- black electrical tape
- 25 watt light bulb
- plant hanger
- vase

Drill Bottom of Vase

We used a silver-plated vase. Drill a hole in the center to accommodate the wire, then drill smaller holes around the center for heat venting. Make a minimum of three venting holes.

Cut the Wire

Cut wire to the length you need — it is going to be plugged into a wall, so a little longer is better.

Attach the wire to the plant hanger using twist ties or electrical tape that is the same color as hanger. Leave enough wire to go through the vase and some extra to work with.

Attach Chains and Wiring

Determine the number of chain links you need to connect the plant hanger to the vase. Use one chain as the anchor inside the vase by bending it with the pliers (Image 1). Attach the wire to the socket. Strip both ends of the socket wires. Connect the neutral wire — the one with the ridge in its insulation — to the silver socket terminal and the other wire to the brass socket terminal. Place the socket in the lamp, feeding the wire through the socket cap (Image 3). Reinstall the socket's insulating sleeve and shell, pushing on the shell until it snaps in place. Once the socket is in, place the switch near the edge of the bed on the wire. Follow instructions on the switch package to install.

Joanne Palmisano is the author of Salvage Secrets (W.W. Norton, September 2011). Visit her blog, also called Salvage Secrets.