Glass Lamps (from Glass Vases)



Hello! Today I want to show you one of my favorite projects. I really like glass. I can not have too many glass products at home because of the kids but I managed to make and add a few of my lamps around the house. Because this tutorial may be a little long I’ll try to get to the point soon. Before we start, I’ll add some of the resources I use to buy material at the end and I will also limit the tutorial to the glass base. For the shade I’ll recommend checking the lamp shade tutorial at Design Sponge here. She has a great tutorial that I have use to make all my lamp shades.


Glass Base.

5/16 inch diamond bit

A good drill

Masking tape

Safety glasses

Rubber gloves

Standard quality cork stopper (the size of the vase opening)

1/4 IPS Internal pipe hole bushing

8 Ft. 18/2 SPT-2cord set with molded plug (the color you prefer)

2 1/2 Inch X 1/8 IPS nipple steel

1/8 IPS star lock washer (X2)

1/8F Hex head nut-steel (X2)

1 1/2 Inch 1/8 SL Checkring (The color you prefer) (X2)

3-Way lamp socket (the color you prefer)

Regular duty harp. it may be 8 inches or 10 inches depending on how big it is your vase (the color you prefer)

Lamp finial (the color you prefer)

To start you will need a sink or a water source to keep the vase wet while drilling the hole. Put some masking tape in the place where you want the hole to be drill. As with a lot of power tolls, you will need to start it before placing it on the vase (this will give you an idea of the best speed and how much control you will need over the drill to keep it in place while drilling). Start with the bit in a 45 degrees angle until you get some control over the drill and you notice it won’t move out of place. If the drill move out of place it may scratch the surface of the vase. slowly move the bit, while drilling, in a 90 degrees angle. it will take sometime, usually about 10 minutes. Do NOT push the drill, do NOT wiggle the drill while opening the hole. This may break the glass and you won’t get a clean cut. Because it is glass you will note some of the mistakes. Wear your glasses and gloves while drilling and keep the water running so the glass won’t get to hot and break.



After opening the hole, you will get some little pieces of glass inside the vase. Add a little bit of dish soap and rinse until you get all the soap out. This way you will minimize water marks. Turn upside-down until it dries.


Now that the vase is ready to become a lamp, lets start installing the electrical. Take the cork stopper and drill a hole in the middle big enough to be able to pass the nipple through but not too big that the nipple will be loose in it (I usually open the hole with a smaller drill bit so the nipple will fit tight). pass the nipple leaving almost equal parts out of both sides. In the smaller end of the cork add FIRST, one checkring, one star lock washer and then one hex head nut.


On the widest end of the cork add FIRST, one star lock washer, one hex head nut and one checkering. Also, add the bottom part of the harp. Now, separate the lamp socket (bottom and top) and screw the bottom part to the nipple on this same side of the cork (don’t forget the ring that keep both half of the socket together). Note: you may need to loose a little the screw at the bottom part of the socket. remember to tight that little screw at the end.





Put the pipe hole bushing in the hole you drilled in the vase. take the wire and pass it through the hole and also through the nipple until you have enough wire to connect the electrical. (I did this before putting together the hardware on the top part but, I have done that as I instructed here before and there is no difference that I have noticed)



Connect each way of the wire to the screws on the socket (one end to one screw and the other end to the other screw). slide the socket top part to the internal part where you connected the wires and then screw to the bottom part attached to the cork.



Press the cork down until it gets real tight to the vase (I usually try lifting the vase by the socket to get sure it is tight enough and won’t come off the vase). Be sure that the cork and the electrical are leveled and then add the top part of the harp, lamp shade and finial.




It may seem like a lot of work but it is not. after you get the hole drilled in the vase it may take about 5 minutes to put the electrical together. you can even buy a lamp shade and have the whole thing done pretty quickly.

As always, any question I’ll be more than happy to answer 😉

Almost forget! I am sure there may be more places to buy the materials. I’ll share with you the ones I have been using. (for electrical parts) (for corks) (for lamp shade supplies)

If you decide to tackle this project, please send pictures 🙂


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