I'm no stranger to DIY projects of all shapes and sizes, but for some reason the idea of tackling a lamp has always felt like a daunting task. I'm thinking it has something to do with the electrical aspect (yep, I'm 27 years of age and still fear electrocuting myself)... But honestly, it's surprisingly easy with just a little know-how. And if you follow our step-by-step guidelines, you too could get yourself a wood and gold lamp for virtually pennies.
Wood vase (we got ours at TJ Maxx)
Lamp kit (can be found at Home Depot)
Drill bit larger than the size of the lamp cord
Wood circle, same size or larger than the vase opening (found in arts & crafts store)
Medium grit sandpaper
Drill a hole near the base of the vase, straight through the wood. Drill a hole in the center of the wood circle, all the way through the wood. If the wood circle is larger than the mouth of the vase, use the sandpaper to grind it down to match the size of the vase opening.
Paint the top & sides of the wood circle with a light coat of adhesive sizing. Let dry 15 mins or until tacky. Lay a sheet of gold leaf on top and use the paintbrush to gently press into place, and brush off any excess leaf.
Thread the electrical cord through the vase (leaving the end with the wall plug out), from the outside of the drilled hole up through the mouth of the vase. Then thread it through the wood circle, from the bottom side up through the top. Place a thin line of wood glue on the rim of the vase, press the wood circle on firmly, and let dry.
Assemble the rest of the lamp base pieces in order according to the instructions on the lamp kit. Thread the cord through the bottom of the bulb base, and tie a knot where the cord splits. Use the screwdriver to loosen the two screws on the base. Use the pliers to wind the exposed wires around each screw, then tighten the screws to keep them in place. Be sure that the two exposed wires are not touching each other- that would cause the system to short-circuit. The goal is to get the exposed wires are completely wrapped around the screws and not loose inside the chamber. Place the top cover on the base and screw in a lightbulb. Plug in the wall plug and turn on the lamp. If it will not light, you may have to remove the cover and switch the exposed wires to the opposite screws.
Paint a thin coat of adhesive sizing on the inside of the lampshade. Let dry 15 mins or until tacky. Lay sheets of gold leaf on the shade until the entire interior is covered. Use the paintbrush to press into place and remove excess leaf. Place the shade on the lamp, and enjoy!
*Safety tips: make sure everything is unplugged when you are working on this project. You can safely plug it in to test it (if you have the wires in the wrong place, they will just not light the lightbulb, not start sparking), but if you forget to unplug the cord and start working on it again, you can shock yourself.
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