I've definitely seen things in stores that I couldn't justify purchasing when I knew I could make it myself for less. Mandi over at Vintage Revivals had that moment while gazing at a lamp from Anthropologie. So with the purchase of a special drill bit, she was able to make her own.
Mandi put these vintage dishes to new use as lighting. She picked up a drill bit intended to tackle the project, made holes in each piece and then ran a lighting kit up the center. Although the idea of drilling through breakable items seems scary, Mandi offers great tips over at Vintage Revivals where you can find the full tutorial for this project.
This might be a great way to use pieces past down from relatives that have more of a sentimental value than monetary one. While you might not be using them on your dinner table each night, getting them out of the cabinet and putting them to use in a project like this would put them on permanent display. No matter what china you use, it's bound to be less expensive than the retail alternative!
(Image: Vintage Revivals)