Tuesday, July 24, 2012


In which there is light are lamps

Clan trek moved from a two bedroom, one bath house to a four bedroom, 2½ bath house. Even if we could ignore minor issues like having a mortgage and having to pay for a variety of repairs and painting, this was a major life event.

Since we didn't have nearly enough furniture and lamps to, well, furnish the place, after we closed on the new house, I started scoping out the Freecycle offer posts, shopping garage sales, and cruising diy blogs for ideas.

One of the diy projects I loved was the idea of creating a lamp from a mason jar. I think the first place I saw it was over on Color Me Glamorous. A plea to the local Freecyclers scored me the pair of quart-sized mason jars I needed to construct bedside lamps and even a few extras in case I botched the drilling. Two dollars at a garage sale yielded a pair of lampshades which are nearly a perfect match for the bedroom paint.

So far, so good with the thrifty do it yourself project, right?

Well, that is exactly how far the thrifty went.

Unlike Monica at Color Me Glamorous, I did not already own a ¼" diamond drill bit. Add $19 to the thrifty project investment.

I needed to buy a pair of lamp kits. Add $11 for each lamp.

I forgot that I needed harps to support the lampshades so that meant another trip to Orange to the tune of $4 each plus another $4 each for the finials.

Mason jars are all clear and see-through and I didn't want to see the white cord floating around inside the jars. I needed some sort of filler that wouldn't dribble out the hole I drilled for the cord. Thank goodness for sales at the craft store. I got two bags of mixed glass stones at 40% off so they came in at just under $5 each.

I didn't count the cost of the spray paint I used since I had that leftover from some other projects. Yes, it really was leftover and, therefore, free.

All right, free-ish.

Okay, so now I shall tot up the total cost of my thrifty bedroom lamps:

Mason jarsfree
Shades$2
Drill bit$19
Lamp kits $22
Harps$8
Finials$8
Filler$10
Total investment:$69

Yikes! I hadn't added that up before just now. I may faint.

Can you stand my thriftiness?!

Here is a picture of one of the completed lamps.

The Navajo wedding vase doesn't normally live on the nightstand
but I was using it to try to convince my camera to render
the green wall and matching lamp shade honestly.
To be entirely fair, I suppose I should amortize the cost of the drill bit over all projects on which I use it. Of course, as of right now, it is: 100% amortized to this project :o)

I have some additional quart-sized mason jars and even one or two pint-sized ones so I am considering making more lamps. Is anyone else thinking "Christmas presents"?

Linking to The Thrifty Home

3 yarns:

katrynka said...

The lamp looks great! Realistically, you prob would have paid more than that for a pair of cool lamps at T@rget.

I think the filler also serves an important purpose of stabilizing the lamp by giving it weight at the bottom. I have a good number of seashells in a container in my basement for lamps such as these!

Chris said...

Can you drill rocks with those bits? You might be able to turn some cool stones into candleholders or the like (more gift ideas).

mrspao said...

That is such a neat idea. It looks great!