July 28, 2014

Yard Sale Makeover No. 2 - How To Turn A Thermos Into A Lamp

DIY tutorial for turning a thermos into a lamp

The second of my yard sale finds that I'm repurposing/redoing/using/whatever is my blue thermos.

I had seen something similar to this in a magazine a while back and thought "I can do that!"

And I did. It was really quite easy.

Supplies needed:

  • Thermos - vintage is good, new is just as good (did I just say that?)
  • Make-A-Lamp Kit by Westinghouse
  • Drill with 3/8" drill bit
  • 3/8" rubber grommet
  • Safety glasses - Be safe. Keep your eyeballs.

I found this Make-A-Lamp kit at Home Depot. I'm sure most hardware stores carry them along with good old Amazon.

Westinghouse Make-A-Lamp kit used in DIY tutorial for turning a thermos into a lamp

Warning - you will suddenly want to make every last thing in your house into a lamp after seeing how easy it is to do this. Hide the wine bottles. Hide Aunt Edith's heirloom china teapot. Hide the dog for that matter.

In case you're not sure what a grommet is, it is a rubber thingie you insert through a hole to protect your electrical cord from sharp edges.

Grommets used in DIY tutorial for turning a thermos into a lamp

Yes, I have a whole box of them. Never know when you're going to need a rubber grommet (like twice in the last five years).

Before I get all Bob Vila on you and go through the steps, we have to discuss thermoses.

The thermos I had found at the yard sale was broken. When you picked it up, you could hear glass rattling around. That's why I used it for this project.

Some older thermoses are lined with glass on the inside like mine was. Some thermoses are lined with stainless steel or plastic.

DIY tutorial for turning a thermos into a lamp

Since mine was lined with glass, I needed to get rid of the glass before drilling into it or I'd have a real mess (and safety hazard) when my drill hit the glass section.

So I just broke the rest of the glass with a screwdriver, put the lid back on, shook it up to break the glass bits into even smaller pieces and then poured out the glass shards.

Please be very very careful when breaking the glass and removing the glass from the thermos. Very, very careful.

If you do not have a glass lined thermos, this step is, of course, not needed.

OK, so on to the real tutorial:

Step 1 - drill a hole for the electrical cord

I marked the spot I wanted to drill with masking tape just in case the bit slipped. I didn't want to gouge Mr. Blue's gorgeous body.

Drilling into thermos - DIY tutorial for turning a thermos into a lamp

A 3/8" drill bit was used for the hole.

Drilling into thermos - DIY tutorial for turning a thermos into a lamp

Yes, I have ugly thumbs.

Megan Fox and I both have these abnormally short thumbs. We have soooo much in common!

Step 2 - drill hole into the top screw on cap with the same drill bit

Drilling into thermos lid - DIY tutorial for turning a thermos into a lamp

You'll notice I sliced off the rest of the red stopper before I drilled the cap. Not necessary, but I thought it would be easier to drill if it didn't have the red part on it.

But really, it's plastic. Plastic is pretty darn easy to drill anyhow, so feel free to leave the red stopper on it.

Step 3 - insert grommet into hole to protect the cord.

DIY tutorial for turning a thermos into a lamp

Step 4 - Run the cord up through the hole you made

DIY tutorial for turning a thermos into a lamp

and out the top.

DIY tutorial for turning a thermos into a lamp

At this point, the cord and the socket are not attached to each other.

Step 5 - Tie a knot for strain relief approximately where the cord is going to be sitting at the bottom of the container.

This is just an added safety thingie, so if the lamp cord gets accidentally yanked on one day, by let's say your dog, it won't come undone from the socket.

DIY tutorial for turning a thermos into a lamp

Step 6 - Add some stones to the bottom of the thermos to give it added weight.

It's not super tippy on its own, but still could use a little bit of poundage to it. I grabbed a pack of stones at the dollar store, before realizing my driveway is full of gravel that would have done the same thing.

Step 7 - Grab your Make-A-Lamp kit and read the instructions.

Really. Read them.

They do a much better job of describing how to attach the socket to the bare wires and then onto the top of the screw on thermos cap than I ever could here. It is a very simple process though. I promise.

So after you screw a couple things on and tightening it to the cap and yada yada yada, you're ready to put a light bulb in it and plug 'er in.

DIY tutorial for turning a thermos into a lamp

Wait, no. I'm sorry, you can't plug it in.

DIY tutorial for turning a thermos into a lamp

Because I took the lamp out to the PARK to take photos of it :) You'll have to wait until you get back to civilization to light it up.

I did think the picnic idea was a cute idea. But after I got there and set it up, I thought "This doesn't make sense - who has a lamp at a picnic?"

DIY tutorial for turning a thermos into a lamp

And BTW, the park ranger WILL stop and look at you strangely if you bring a whole set up out to the park to take photos.

I have no idea what he thought I was doing (photographing naked squirrels???), but it was probably a whole lot more exciting then what I was actually doing.

DIY tutorial for turning a thermos into a lamp

My other yard sale finds that I am repurposing/using/sprucing up over the next week or so can be found HERE

The first of these yard sale makeovers was my Vintage Ekko Tomato Slicer

Super easy DIY tutorial for turning a thermos into a lamp


Follow along with me:
Find Me On Facebook My Pinterest Boards My Instagrams Follow Me On Bloglovin

Enter your email address to have updates delivered straight to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

July 24, 2014

Yard Sale Makeover No. 1 - Vintage Ekko Tomato Slicer

The first thing on my list of yard sale finds to redo or repurpose or upcycle or whatever we call it nowadays is . . .

the vintage tomato slicer.

Vintage Ekko tomato slicer repurposed into postcard or photo holder

July 22, 2014

Some Thrifty Finds And An Announcement

I finally got to get out of the house last Friday and get out to some sales.

Real life activities this summer have really been putting a kink in my yard sale shopping.

Not that I mind that much though. I'd rather hang out at my son's ball game than hang out at an estate sale with people I don't even know and don't even tuck in at night :)

When I saw the red handle of this cool vintage kitchen thingie sticking out of a box of cheap silverware, I grabbed it. Red is great to decorate in the kitchen with for the 4th of July, Christmas, Valentine's or just a plain old Tuesday.

Vintage Ekko tomato slicer along with other vintage yard sale finds at houseofhawthornes.com

July 18, 2014

Let's Go Camping

I've sort of been in a vintage camping mood lately.

A cross between let's rough it, eat s'mores and sleep in a tent. And let's buy one of those cute little vintage campers, drink wine coolers and glam it up.

Believe it or not, I may just be leaning toward the tent route.

I think it's coming from packing my son off to summer camp last week. It got me all nostalgic for Coleman lanterns and archery and all things plaid.

Here are some of what's been inspiring me on Pinterest. I pinned these and a few more on my Vintage Camping Pinterest board.

Vintage camping gear
Source: The Beehive Cottage

ShareThis

nRelate Posts Only