21 Upcycled Lighting DIY Ideas

  • 01 of 21

    Laundry Detergent Bottle Lamp

    The Spruce

    Put those big empty detergent containers to use! 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.

    Project by The Spruce

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  • 02 of 21

    Vintage Camera Lamp with Slide Shade

    DIY lamp and shade made from vintage cameras and negatives
    DIY Camera Lamp with Photo Negative Shade. Stacie Stacie Stacie/CC BY-SA 2.0/Flickr

    Stacie from Stars for Streetlights dipped into her vintage camera stash to make this stunning lamp. She even crafted a complementary 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.

    How to Make a Camera Lamp by Stacie Stacie Stacie

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  • 03 of 21

    POM Bottle Table Lamp

    Deidre Sullivan / The Spruce

    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 lamp. This DIY is part of a project series–there are 3 ways you can transform a POM bottle into a creative lamp for your space.

    Project by The Spruce

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  • 04 of 21

    Junk Shop Pottery Lamp

    DIY lamp made from junk shop pottery
    Upcycled junk shop pottery vase. Gwen Lausterer Carpenter

    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.

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  • 05 of 21

    Paint Can Chandelier

    Old paint cans upcycled as a chandelier.
    Old paint cans upcycled as a chandelier. HomeSpot HQ/CC BY 2.0/Flickr

    The folks at HomeSpot HQ featured this wacky upcycled paint can chandelier. I'm not sure I'd want it in my formal dining room, but I 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.

    A 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.

    Paint can chandelier by HomeSpot HQ

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  • 06 of 21

    Salvaged Object Lamps

    lamp bases made from salvaged objects
    Salvaged Object Lamps. Gwen Lausterer Carpenter

    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....MORE I'm especially enamored with the water pump and parking meter lamp bases.

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  • 07 of 21

    Summer Fireplace Cover and Barn Pulley Lamps

    Victorian fireplace cover and rustic barn pulley lamp bases at Market Central, Memphis
    Victorian Fireplace Cover and Barn Pulley Lamps. Gwen Lausterer Carpenter

    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...MORE 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.

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  • 08 of 21

    Architectural Fragment and Musical Instrument Lamps

    lamps made from architectural artifacts and musical instruments
    Architectural Fragment and Musical Instrument Lamps. Gwen Lausterer Carpenter

    The lamp on the right appears to be made from an architectural fragment. The amber-colored facing has a lovely luster, and I particularly like the stylized tulip relief.

    The repurposed lamp on the left -- I 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.

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  • 09 of 21

    Repurposed Pulley Wheel and Fan Blade Lamps

    old cranks wheel and fan blades upcycled as lamp bases
    Lamps made from old crank wheel and fan blades. Gwen Lausterer Carpenter

    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, I looked it up. It was manufactured by the Champion Blower & Forge Co., and it's recorded as a "device for converting...MORE motion." The patent was issued to Henry B. Keiper in 1885.

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  • 10 of 21

    Vintage Tea Tin Pendant Light

    " Tea Tins" by tilling-67/ CC BY-ND 2.0/ Flickr

    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 pendant light that will add interest to any room in your home.

    Project by The Spruce

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  • 11 of 21

    Pepper Grinder Lamp with Salvaged Wood Veneer Shade

    DIY table lamp upcycled from pepper grinder and salvaged wood veneer.
    DIY table lamp upcycled from pepper grinder and salvaged wood veneer. doyland/CC BY-ND 2.0/Flickr

    This do-it-yourself table lamp 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 I see for sale in gallery-style stores.

    Jan 7/12 Repurposed Wood light" by doyland

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  • 12 of 21

    Repurposed Barn Pulleys as Pendant Lights

    Barn pulleys repurposed as pendant lights with exposed filament bulbs
    Barn Pulleys Repurposed as Pendant Lights. Stacie Stacie Stacie/CC BY 2.0/Flickr

    Stars for Streetlights blogger Stacie's repurposed barn pulley pendant light is just as gorgeous as her vintage camera lamp. I especially like the exposed filament bulbs. And, we get a tiny peek at her kitchen. 

    If such as thing existed, I'd nominate Stacie as today's DIY lighting queen. I'd even make her a DIY crown to go with the title, but I know she could make a much better one for herself. 

    DIY Pendant Light with Barn Pulley by Stacie Stacie Stacie

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  • 13 of 21

    Dining Area DIY Barn Pulley Pendant Lights

    DIY barn pulley pendant lights in the eat-in kitchen
    DIY Barn Pulley Pendant Lights. Stacie Stacie Stacie/CC BY 2.0/Flickr

    Here's another set of Stacie's DIY 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.

    DIY Barn Pulley Pendant Lights by Stacie Stacie Stacie

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  • 14 of 21

    Repurposed Globe Lamp

    Old globe repurposed as a table lamp
    Repurposed Globe Lamp. whatshername/CC BY-SA 2.0/Flickr

    Vintage globes are hot, low-cost collectibles. I'm 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.

    Some like to display their old globe collections en masse. Others use them for DIY projects such as globe lamps. Dishfunctional Designs compiled a great collection...MORE of upcycled globe ideas.

    Globe by whatshername

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  • 15 of 21

    DIY Globe Pendant Light

    Pendant light made from a globe
    DIY Globe Pendant Light. doyland/CC BY-ND 2.0/Flickr

    Old globes also make striking pendant lights. They're large and colorful -- and they add a playful vintage touch to your space. The process is pretty simple too. If you buy a bunch of old globes, you can hang an entire solar system above your head.

    March 9/12 Globe as pendant light by doyland

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  • 16 of 21

    Coffee Percolator Lamp

    Lamp upcycled from coffeepot and shade made from recipe cards.
    Coffee Percolator Lamp and Recipe Card Lampshade. faircompanies/CC BY 2.0/Flickr

    This charming lamp looks like it was made out of an old coffee percolator instead of a plain coffeepot. I 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 lamp lives in a...MORE vintage Airstream travel trailer.

    lamp "designed by a friend" (quoting stavropoulos) by faircompanies

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  • 17 of 21

    Stacked Rock Lamps

    Stacked rock lamps at by Philip Eberheim
    Rock Lamps by Philip Eberheim. DIYthing/CC BY-SA 2.0/Flickr

    I love these stacked rock lamps made by Philip Eberheim. Those are lamps my cat could not knock over. I hope so, anyway, since he usually topples the bedside lamp onto my head to wake me up.

    If you decide to try a DIY version, you'll need some lapidary tools to drill through the rocks.

    Rock Lamps by DIYthing

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  • 18 of 21

    Feathered Ceiling Fixture

    A plain ceiling light gets a glamorous feathered makeover.
    A boring flush-mounted ceiling fixture gets a glamorous feathered makeover. lovemaegan/CC BY 2.0/Flickr

    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

    Dining room+table with bench+bar+feather ceiling light diy by lovemaeganBlack feathers DIY dining room lighitng fixture by lovemaegan

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  • 19 of 21

    Cold Cathode Stick Lamp

    cold cathode lamp from a scanner upcycled as an industrial-style light.
    Repurposed Cold Cathode Lamp. alx_chief/CC BY-SA 2.0/Flickr

    The creator of this piece scavenged a cold cathode lamp from a scanner. I won't pretend to understand how he made it, but I do like the way it looks.

    This light would work well in a contemporary or industrial space. I can even see it adding atmosphere to a cozy corner in a cool coffee shop or bar.

    Personally, I'd probably work it 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...MORE of modern art, antiquities, artifacts, and found objects.

    CCFLamp20080811 by alx_chief

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  • 20 of 21

    Wine Bottle Pendant Lights

    Wine Bottle Pendant Lights
    Wine Bottle Pendant Lights. heroiclife/CC BY-SA 2.0/Flickr

    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.

    Upcycled...MORE lamps by heroiclife

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  • 21 of 21

    Stirrup Lamp

    stirrup repurposed as a lamp base
    Stirrup Lamp. portland_mike/CC BY 2.0/Flickr

    That lampshade is ghastly and I'm not in love with the tree-trunk-slice base, but I 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. I'm envisioning oversized silver nailhead trim on the upholstery and throw pillows made from vintage cowboy fabric meant for use in a little...MORE boy's room long ago.

    As for the shade, it needs an 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.

    Project by portland_mike