I absolutely LOVE going to thrift stores! When I go it's like a treasure hunt. While many people go in the hopes of finding hidden gems in usable shape, I go to find old castoffs that I can give new life. Recently I found a lamp in a Charleston, SC thrift store just begging for my love. It was priced at $10 but on the day I went all lamps were half off so I snagged it for only $5!
Looks pretty good, right? However, upon closer inspection, I knew the lampshade would have to be replaced. Not only was it really warped, it was dingy, brittle and horribly cracked. Here it is once I got it home turned it on in a dark room.
However what I did not notice (until I got home) was the REAL reason why someone gave up on it. When I tried to unscrew the finial from the top, I noticed it would not move. The shade and finial was permanently attached and "irreplaceable!"
What kind of evil sorcery is this??
I scoured the internet to see if I could find a replacement shade with finial and came up empty. At first I just tore the lampshade from the frame with the intention of making a new shade for the permanently fixed frame. Then I got to thinking, what if one of my kids or cats knocks it off and destroys it? In my crazy house, I could easily find myself in the same boat once again. I decided the best route would be to see if I can convert it to a (more sane) replaceable-shade, lamp. So off to the hardware store I went and snagged just what I needed to attach a new shade.
I picked up pack of 6" threaded pipe nipples and couplings. I found both in the lamp section of the hardware store.
Next I had to figure out what I needed for a new finial. When browsing standard finials to see if I could possibly convert one to use with it, I found myself disappointed with the limited selection of designs. However I did see this really cool drawer pull (with a completely removable screw) that I really liked for half off in a craft store. I decided to repurpose it into a finial instead.
To get started on the conversion, I spray painted one the pipes and both the couplings to better match the inside of the lamp. I didn't want you to be able to look inside of it and see what was obviously replacement parts.
After the paint dried, I screwed the replacement pipe into the base. I added one of the couplings and screwed it into the position where I wanted the shade to stop. I then added a standard lampshade.
To make the finial I replaced the original drawer pull (or knob) screw with a flat head machine screw to hold it together. I do not know if drawer pulls come with a standard sized screw but a size #10-24, 1/4 inch screw did the trick for mine. I then glued the other painted coupling to the bottom using "Amazing Goop" according to manufacturer directions. I'm not affiliated with this product. I just LOVE it. It's inexpensive and my go-to glue for a permanent fix. I picked it up at the hardware store too and highly recommend it.
I allowed the glue to cure overnight, screwed it on the top and I was all done. I used a shade that I already had on hand for a picture. I liked the size and shape of the original better but this looks way better than the cracks! The great part is now I have the opportunity to buy whatever shade I choose!
The bowl vase in the pic is also another diy of mine. See: For The Love of Kate Spade! A DIY Rose Bowl Tutorial.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and until next time, happy upcycling!