Pressed for lighting around your home and don't want to spend major cash to elevate your space? Here are 21 ways to upcycle everyday items and create more light in your home.
01 of 21
Laundry Detergent Bottle Lamp
Put those big empty detergent containers to use with this laundry detergent bottle lamp! No need to throw it away when you can transform it into this adorable lamp, perfect for a child's room. It's easier to put together than it looks and it's a great (and fun) way to go green at home.Continue to 2 of 21 below.
02 of 21
Vintage Camera Lamp With Slide Shade
Stacie from Stars for Streetlights dipped into her vintage camera stash to make this stunning vintage camera lamp with slide shade from old projector slides.
Though this lamp features a vertical trio of vintage cameras, you could also make something similar using a single antique accordion-style camera or crank-winding TLR at the base.Continue to 3 of 21 below.
03 of 21
POM Bottle Table Lamp
POM Wonderful juice is wonderful for more than just drinking! Don't throw away your bottle when you're done–use it to make this POM bottle table lamp. This DIY is part of a project series–of ways you can transform a POM bottle into a creative lamp for your space including a midcentury modern lamp and a pendant lamp.Continue to 4 of 21 below.
04 of 21
Paint Can Chandelier
The folks at HomeSpot HQ featured this wacky upcycled paint can chandelier. We're not sure we'd want it in our formal dining room, but we can just see it hanging in a high-ceilinged artist's loft. It would also make a fun addition to a home studio, craft room, or child's bedroom.
This paint can chandelier shouldn't cost much to make. You'll have to buy the cord-and-socket sets, but one of your neighbors will probably pay you to haul his dried-up old paint cans away.Continue to 5 of 21 below.
05 of 21
Salvaged Object Lamps
If you'd rather buy an upcycled lamp than making it yourself, there are plenty of sellers happy to oblige. You'll spot them for sale at craft shows, flea markets―especially the artisan-focused markets such as Treasure Island Flea―and antique malls.
The maker of these salvaged object lamps sells at interior-design-oriented Market Central in Midtown Memphis. They're made from architectural artifacts, vintage machinery, old farm implements, and repurposed musical instruments. we're especially enamored with the water pump and parking meter lamp bases.Continue to 6 of 21 below.
06 of 21
Summer Fireplace Cover and Barn Pulley Lamps
Who'd have thought the bits and pieces are forefathers scrapped when they updated would be so in demand today?
Rustic barn pulleys have been hot items in the repurposed lighting world for a number of years now. If you find one cheap at a rural flea market or yard sale, buy it fast. Even if it's not to your taste, you can resell it for a profit.
The arched-top, cast-iron lamp base on the left is made from an antique summer fireplace cover. The Victorians used to disguise and decorate their fireplace openings during warm weather. If you don't want to turn yours into a table lamp, This Old House has a tutorial for repurposing fireplace covers as log racks.Continue to 7 of 21 below.
07 of 21
Architectural Fragment and Musical Instrument Lamps
The lamp on the right appears to be made from an architectural fragment. The amber-colored facing has a lovely luster, and we particularly like the stylized tulip relief.
The repurposed lamp on the left―we think that's an old trombone without a slide―shows just how sculptural a musical instrument can look. Just to name a few alternatives, you could also use a trumpet, French horn, clarinet, violin, or even a tambourine.Continue to 8 of 21 below.
08 of 21
Repurposed Pulley Wheel and Fan Blade Lamps
If you live a rustic or industrial-inspired space, these upcycled pulley wheel and fan blade lamps from Memphis-based Market Central should appeal.
A repurposed piece is always more meaningful if you know its history. If you look closely at the photo, you'll see that the pulley wheel has PAT. NO. 316789 embossed on its cast-iron surface. Out of curiosity, we looked it up. It was manufactured by the Champion Blower & Forge Co., and it's recorded as a "device for converting motion." The patent was issued to Henry B. Keiper in 1885.Continue to 9 of 21 below.
09 of 21
Vintage Tea Tin Pendant Light
Vintage tea tins are so pretty–you can usually find them at flea markets and thrift shops. For a project that costs next to nothing and is quick to do, you'll end up with a unique upcycled vintage tea tin pendant light that will add interest to any room in your home.Continue to 10 of 21 below.
10 of 21
Junk Shop Pottery Lamp
This is the table lamp that inspired the entire DIY Lighting Ideas series.
The team from Carpenter & Carpenter Design bought the pottery piece used for the base for $10 at a junk shop in Memphis. It was a cone-shaped vessel covered with any number of painted-and-glazed clay masks.
Considering the final result, this quirky lamp ended up being a real bargain―even with the cost of professional wiring and a good shade. Had they wired the lamp themselves, the cost would have been even less.Continue to 11 of 21 below.
11 of 21
Pepper Grinder Lamp with Salvaged Wood Veneer Shade
This do-it-yourself pepper grinder lamp with salvaged wood veneer shade is just fantastic. The creator made the base from a broken pepper grinder. That stripey-looking stuff covering the shade is salvaged wood veneer. Even the socket, wiring, and other internal bits were scavenged from discarded lighting the owners found at the dump.
This concept is pure DIY, but the execution is amazing. The work quality looks better than most of the uber-expensive lamps we see for sale in gallery-style stores.Continue to 12 of 21 below.
12 of 21
Repurposed Barn Pulley Pendant Light
Stars for Streetlights blogger Stacie's repurposed barn pulley pendant light is just as gorgeous as her vintage camera lamp. We especially like the exposed filament bulbs. And, we get a tiny peek at her kitchen.
If such as thing existed, we'd nominate Stacie as today's DIY lighting queen. We'd even make her a DIY crown to go with the title, but we know she could make a much better one for herself.Continue to 13 of 21 below.
13 of 21
Dining Area DIY Barn Pulley Pendant Lights
Here's another set of Stacie's dining area DIY pulley pendant lights. This cluster of three hangs over the eat-in area of her kitchen.
Stacie got her pulleys from her grandfathers' barns, but you can also find them on occasion at flea markets, antique malls, and salvage shops. If you get tired of hunting locally, check eBay; they've usually got some listed.Continue to 14 of 21 below.
14 of 21
Repurposed Globe Lamps
Vintage globes are hot, low-cost collectibles. We're not referring to fine, floor-standing antique globes you might find in the studies of old manor houses, but the mass-produced tabletop version produced for schoolroom and middle-class home use. You'll frequently find them for sale at yard sales, flea markets, and thrift stores.Continue to 15 of 21 below.
15 of 21
DIY Globe Pendant LightContinue to 16 of 21 below.
16 of 21
Coffee Percolator Lamp
This charming lamp looks like it was made out of an old coffee percolator instead of a plain coffeepot. We think so because the piece the maker used as a final look like a see-through dome that sits on a percolator lid's top. Regardless, if you decide to make your own, either will work, percolator or coffeepot.
The lampshade is intriguing too. It's made from a bunch of old, yellowed recipe cards.
Did you notice the rounded, riveted walls in the background? This lucky coffee percolator lamp lives in a vintage Airstream travel trailer.Continue to 17 of 21 below.
17 of 21
Stacked Rock Lamps
We love these stacked rock lamps made by Philip Eberheim. Those are lamps our cat could not knock over or it appears so anyway.
If you decide to try a DIY version, you'll need some lapidary tools to drill through the rocks.Continue to 18 of 21 below.
18 of 21
Feathered Ceiling Fixture
Being a glamorous gal is tough when your builder installs boring basic light fixtures. If you're not ready to replace yours, glam them up.
The DIY diva at Love Maegan dressed up hers with a dramatic wreath made of bold, black feathers. To adorn your own, read Maegan's full tutorial.Continue to 19 of 21 below.
19 of 21
Cold Cathode Stick Lamp
The creator of this piece scavenged a cold cathode lamp from a scanner. We won't pretend to understand how he made it, but we do like the way it looks.
This light would work well in a contemporary or industrial space. We can even see it adding atmosphere to a cozy corner in a cool coffee shop or bar.
Personally, we'd probably work the cold cathode stick lamp into a transitional bookcase or console-top vignette. That slender stick of bright light would add another visual layer―an unexpected one―to a luscious mix of modern art, antiquities, artifacts, and found objects.Continue to 20 of 21 below.
20 of 21
Wine Bottle Pendant Lights
Upcycling wine bottles as pendant lights isn't a new idea, but there's a reason people keep doing it. They do it because it's an inexpensive project and a fun look. This colorful mix of wine bottle pendant lights is especially pleasing―and the exposed filament bulbs are an unexpected touch.
Cutting the bottom off of the bottles is usually the most tedious part of the process, but there's a tutorial on Spilled Glitter that explains the best way to complete that step.Continue to 21 of 21 below.
21 of 21
That lampshade is ghastly and we're not in love with the tree-trunk-slice base, but we kind of like the idea of this tiny repurposed stirrup lamp.
It's too cheesy to use in an authentic western interior or with truly rustic decor. But, it's just kitschy enough to be cool with a vintage cowgirl theme or tongue-in-cheek urban-country look. We're envisioning oversized silver nailhead trim on the upholstery and throw pillows made from vintage cowboy fabric meant for use in a little boy's room long ago.
As for the shade, it needs a properly scaled oval shade―one that's straight up and town and doesn't taper at the top―covered with nubby, unbleached linen or coarse, tobacco-colored burlap. A 1950's two-tiered fiberglass shade with leather-like lacing would also work.