Remember that long list of projects I’ve started but not completed? Well, the good news is that I actually got one thing done. DONE, done. Nothing to touch up, nothing to add, finito! The sad news is that I thought I had another one almost completed when tragedy struck. We’ll go with the nice story, first.
So I had this bottle I bought at a garage sale…
…and I thought it’d make a nice lamp, so I bought a lamp wiring kit from Lowe’s and had our local glass shop drill a hole at the base.
I was able to follow the instructions for wiring the lamp myself and was quite pleased with little ol’ me when I flipped the switch and it actually worked. The only problem I encountered was that the adapter the kit provided for fitting into the neck of the bottle wasn’t at all the right size. So I MacGyvered a way to make it fit with pipe insulation. (Ahhhh, the many ways working at a hardware store through college has paid off!)
I was, again, congratulating myself on my ingenuity when I walked into the room and saw the shade tilted dangerously with the bulb almost resting on it. I could’ve caused a fire! Luckily, my husband is even more clever than I so he rescued my project by wrapping the foam pipe insulation with electrical tape until the whole thing was big enough to fit snugly. He also bought a cable clamp to fit around the cord where it exits the bottle at the base to create more tension on the whole apparatus. So here’s the finished product:
Now for the sad story. Once again, I bought a lamp at a flea market (for 2 bucks!) to fix up and thought it would be such an easy project with big pay-off. And once again, I underestimated the time involved and overestimated my skill level. But such is the life of a DIYer, and we forge ahead, right? Anyway, here is the before picture of my lamp…
And here is the work in progress.
Hmmmm…what’s wrong with this picture? It doesn’t have a harp, that’s clear, but there’s way more wrong with this lamp than meets the eye. Here’s what happened:
There was a wing nut at the base of this lamp, making me believe that the whole thing would disassemble in seconds so I could spray paint the brass parts, screw the whole thing together again, add a new shade and voila! Unfortunately, due to the way the whole thing was wired together, I couldn’t get the cord completely out of the lamp so I just loosened and separated everything as best I could, wrapped painters tape around the electrical cord and sprayed away. (The irony of this is, had I done the green bottle lamp first, I would’ve known that wiring the lamp is no big deal and just taken it fully apart so I could’ve sprayed willy nilly without the cord in the way. But alas…)
Just as I began to spray paint, the nozzle on the spray paint can went haywire and exploded paint out in all directions, and all over the glass base of the lamp. So I trudged back to the hardware store on another day, got a new can with a nozzle that wasn’t defective, and finished painting. But now I had a clear glass base that had paint spatters ALL over it. So I spent the better part of one naptime scrubbing the glass with Goo-Gone and nail polish remover. Ok, now I had clean glass, no brass in sight, and it was time to reassemble. This, too, took forever but I finally got it figured out and plugged the lamp in…
Unwittingly, I had gotten spray paint all over the metal prongs of the plug, which, as I’m sure you can figure out, was disaster.
So now I have a nicely sprayed, clean lamp that’s all ready to go…except it probably doesn’t work. Oh, and it still needs a harp. I cleaned off the plug with more Goo Gone but I’m too scared to try plugging it in again. I’ll probably just take it to a lamp shop at this point and end up paying way more than my initial $2. If I ever get this done, I’ll let you know. Until then, please share your disasters with me so I know I’m not alone!
P.S. The Nester has a linky party for all projects that are imperfectly beautiful. Check it out!