Turning a Glass Vase Into a Lamp Tutorial

Turning a Glass Vase Into a Lamp Tutorial by Aaron

Hey y’all!  I’m Aaron and I blog at The Thrifty Abode.  I’m a wife, mother, and teacher and I blog about my attempts at creating a beautiful home on a small budget.  I’m pretty much a newbie blogger so I’m super excited to be guesting on such a popular and established blog!  Thanks for having me Cassity!

Turn a vase into a lamp #tutorial


I absolutely love finding a bargain or a knock-off that looks exactly like an item from Pottery Barn, West Elm, or ______________(fill in your favorite inspiring, but out of budget store here).   What’s even better is creating the item from things I already own and a couple things I found at a hardware store.

That’s exactly what I did with my glass jug and $18 I spent at Lowe’s.

I turned this:

 Into this:

I’d been working on refreshing my living room and looking for a cheaper version of one of these lamps.

In all of my searching I never found one.  I’d had the glass jug pictured above for years and I started wondering how difficult it could be to turn it into a lamp.  The only difference between my $15 jug and the $100 + lamps was a hole and some wiring.

I knew that bottle lamp kits were sold at Lowe’s so all I had to do was figure out how to put a hole in my jug.  With a little research I found out that I needed a ceramic cutting drill bit.  I made a trip to Lowe’s and picked up the kit and bit (I got the 5/16″) for $18.

I got my supplies home and got drilling!  I put some tape on the jug because I was nervous about it cracking.  Thank goodness it didn’t crack, but it did take about five minutes of drilling to make a hole big enough for the cord to fit.
After the hole was made, all I had to do was follow the instructions on the lamp kit packaging (it’s surprisingly easy).  I only had to make one adjustment.  The stoppers that are included in the kit were all too small for the opening of my jug, so I used a little hot glue to create a seal so the stopper would fit.  The hot glue worked great and you can’t even tell it’s there.
Here’s the finished product again:

And here’s what it cost me:

New money spent:

  • drill bit: $8
  • lamp kit:  $10

$18 is pretty good for a solid PB or West Elm knock-off.

Here’s what it would cost if all the parts had to be bought new:

  • bit and kit:  $18
  • jug:  $10-$15  (The shelves of HomeGoods, T.J. Maxx, and Marshall’s are littered with glass jug thingies.  Mine was $15, but I’ve seen ones the same size for $10.)
  • drum shade:  $15 from Wal-Mart’s Canopy line
  • lamp harp and prongs:  $4 (you may need these depending on what kind of shade you have.  These are also sold at Lowe’s)

$47-$52 is still about half of what it would cost to buy the Pottery Barn Eva lamp.

I hope you’ll hop over to The Thrifty Abode and check out my other thrifty adventures in decorating.

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  1. Thank you, this is the best tutorial on turning a vase into a lamp that I could find!

    I know that unfortunately here in Switzerland the bit will be more expensive and I am not even sure I can find the kit here, but you sure made me want to try 🙂

  2. I fell I love with this lamp in a magazine, that was $109. We just bought a new house, new furniture etc, and I can’t spend that kind of money. Plus, I need two of them! So I, like you, took to the Google…and found this tutorial. I didn’t write down that you used a 5/16 drill bit. I should’ve because it probably would’ve saved me trouble. I had asked an employee to help me. He gave me a 3/8. I cracked my first vase, even though I used masking and duct tape. It looks like a bullet hole. I’m going to try again but I wanted to post this so that anyone reading would buy the bit that you did!