This DIY Lamp Hack Looks Like a Million Bucks (But Is Made with Materials You Already Have)

published Jun 15, 2022
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a variety of used paint brushes in glass jars. a pair of gloves sits on the table next to them
Credit: New Africa/Shutterstock

If you’re saddled with a plain lamp you’re growing tired of, you already know some of the more obvious upgrade solutions, like swapping its shade or painting its base. But that’s not where the lamp makeover possibilities end. With a little creativity and a few supplies, you can turn your standard-issue light fixture into a piece with designer style.

Take this lamp redo from DIYer Geneva Vanderzeil (@genevavanderzeil on TikTok). The lamp Vanderzeil started with was nothing to write home about — just a thin black base and a plain lampshade. But she was able to give it a totally new look with an unexpected material: old plastic bottles.

Vanderzeil started by gathering a number of large bottles in the same size and shape — hers were Sprite bottles gathered from a party that all had a conical shape on top. Then, she cut off the top section to use only this cone part. Cutting off the mouth of the bottle and making a slit on the side allowed her to slip the cones onto her lamp’s base.

Vanderzeil paired the cones up so that their wider sections connected, making a series of oblong shapes that she taped together to secure. (If you’re following along, you’ll want your lamp base to look almost bubble-like.)

Once she was satisfied with the shape, Vanderzeil applied joint compound onto the entire surface; after allowing it to dry, she sanded lightly and followed with white paint. The result is a lamp that looks like a designer find, thanks to its sculptural style and on-trend plaster-like finish.

The best part of a project like this is that it doesn’t matter what the lamp’s base looks like, since it will be completely covered. That opens up a range of options for makeover candidates, from dorm room leftover lamps to hand-me-downs that aren’t quite your style. And, of course, the materials are cheap — the bottles are leftovers, and the joint compound and paint won’t run you more than $10 apiece — which makes it all the more attractive as a DIY. Make it all the more fun by hosting friends to drink up the contents of your chosen bottles the night before, then complete this project in the span of a lazy weekend afternoon. I’ll cheers to that!