I love a good upcycle! And when you consider that Earth Day is right around the corner, it’s fitting to spend some time crafting with re-use in mind. I found this globe at the thrift store about a month ago and picked it up on a whim. It was a little wobbly on its axis and Asia has a scratch on it, but overall, it was in good shape. It was certainly worth $2.50. I was thinking on what kinds of Earth Day projects would be fun to make this year and it occurred to me, why not upcycle the Earth? Right? So I’m going to show you an Earth Day craft project in a very literal sense, and also show you how you can turn anything (not just a globe – anything can upcycle to become a lamp base, so get creative!) into a lamp with a simple lamp adapter kit.
- Lamp Adapter Kit (if you are using a bottle as a base, there is also a bottle-specific adapter kit that will make it easy)
- Drill and Screwdriver
- Your base of choice – I’ll be showing you how I adapted this globe. I also used some heavy-gauge aluminum wire to make the process easier.
- E-6000 Heavy-Duty Adhesive
First – you’ll need to drill a hole (or two) to run your cord. Because the globe has holes at the axis points, I needed to drill at the top for the adapter, and near the bottom toward the back for the cord to run to the outlet. To help me run the cord, I fed a 20-inch length of aluminum wire through the holes. (It’s much easier to feed a stiff wire through than the electrical cord on its own – I’ll show you exactly how it came in handy when you read on.) Bend the wire on each end to make sure it stays put.
Next, assemble the adapter. You may not need the harp (the wire that goes up over the top to hold certain kinds of lampshades) – the lampshade you choose will determine if it’s necessary. Since I wasn’t sure yet at this stage if the shade I had in storage would be suitable, I attached the harp base just in case. There are directions on the back of the kit to help you with this part as well – but seeing the photo below may be more helpful than the drawing on the back of the kit.
Then, I carefully fed the adapter over one end of my wire, and screwed in into the top of the globe. I know it looks like the bottom in this photo, but I was working on it upside-down. 🙂
Now here is where the wire came in so handy. I wrapped it tightly around the connection-end of the electrical wire, and then gently pulled up from the adapter until the wire ran all the way through the center of the globe.
Then, I got the wiring ready for electricity! The switch portion has a protective sleeve on it that slides right off, revealing the screws. Run the copper wire around each screw, and tighten the screws. Then slide the protective sleeve back on. This can now attach to the adapter screwed onto the top of the globe.
Finally, I secured the wobbly axis points and the adapter with E-6000. Because the globe is hollow, this needed to be done. Depending on what kind of base you’re using, this may or may not be necessary for you.
All that was left to do was to add the bulb and shade. As it turned out, I did not need the harp with the shade I had in storage, so I didn’t put it on. If you need to use the harp, it slides on (and removes) really easily.
And there is my Earth-inspired Earth Day upcycled lamp. You could use a wine bottle, or really – anything you can imagine! You will need to be able to drill a hole in whatever you choose, though, so keep that in mind. But search your (or someone else’s) cast-offs for this project, and bring light to something old!
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Adrianne is a writer, artist, designer, wife, and mom of 2 kids. She blogs at happyhourprojects.com where the theme is tutorials and recipes that can be made in an hour or less. Her favorite projects are jewelry-making, paper crafts, and recycled crafts. She participates annually in ArtPrize, an international art competition, and she’s the author of the book DIY T-Shirt Crafts: 50 Ways to Recycle a T-Shirt (August 2015).