Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dining Room Reno Part 3: How to Make a Teapot Lamp

A few weekends ago, I was looking through the Anthropologie website and stumbled upon this amazing lamp:

It was love at first sight. But for $200, I wasn't willing to pay the price. Instead, I decided it would be a fun DIY project to make a lamp like this to go in our new dining room.

First, I hit up a local thrift store to score some amazing low-cost dishes to fashion into this vintage-inspired lamp. I decided I didn't want all white dishes. These pretty blue and white ones were perfect. A few bucks later, I came home and washed my new dishes.


Then, what you need to do is figure out how you want your lamp to look. It's a good idea to get something heavier for the bottom so that the lamp will be stable. I looked for a small mixing bowl, but I found a sturdy candy dish instead. I also found two cup-and-saucer sets, a little espresso cup in case I wanted to do the finial detail on top of the shade (I decided later not to), and a beautiful blue teapot with no lid. Once I arranged my dishes, I started gluing them together. You will want to leave out the dish at the top to work with separately.


Once my dishes were secure, I left them alone for a while before moving on to the next step. I know Krazy glue bonds instantly, but I wanted to be sure it would be sturdy.

Next, I started working on the top part of the lamp. As I said before, I left the top mug off the glued tower of dishes, er, lamp base. I wanted it to be easy to work with, without the possibility of ruining the base. I nabbed one of these from Amazon:

It's a wine bottle lamp kit (hence the cork). I didn't want to worry about wiring the lamp myself. This way, all of the cords were already connected. I screwed in a light bulb and plugged it in before I started working with it. I wanted to make sure my lamp would work!

Here are the tools you need for the next step:

That's a tub of Crayola air-dry craft clay and another bottle of Krazy glue (if you're like me and overkill on gluing just to make sure it will stick, you will need two of these). I filled the top mug with the clay and set the lamp kit very close to the top. Then I added more clay in on the sides to secure it. After that, I let it dry for about two days. The clay is still somewhat flexible, so I would give it at least a week to dry before using your lamp. After your clay is dry enough to satisfy you, glue your mug onto the top of your lamp base. Here's what that step looks like:


This is where I decided I really didn't need a teacup finial on top. The price difference between a lamp shade that fits around the socket and one that would need a lamp harp and finial was about $15. Since I'm cheap and I didn't really want to pay even an extra $15, I decided to go with a small lampshade from Target. I put the lamp shade around the socket and plugged in a light bulb. Here's the view from the top of the lamp:



Here's the price breakdown:
Thrift store dishes = $12.50
2 bottles of Krazy Craft Glue = $4.94
1 2.5-lb tub of Crayola air-dry craft clay = $4.99
cork lamp kit from Amazon = $8.97
lamp shade from Target = $7.99
Total project cost = $39.39

Not bad for a DIY of a designer lamp, especially when you consider the original $200 price tag!

Here's the final product:


Not a bad replica, eh?

Have you ever attempted to make a lamp? What's your best DIY of a designer good?

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