Spending a lot of money on expensive lighting fixtures is not only financially irresponsible, but it is also quite unjustifiable in terms of sustainability. These upcycling ideas will help you save money and get rid of the junk lying around your house by turning it into new lamps, pendants and chandeliers.
Beer Bottle Chandelier
Beer bottle collectors can display their precious collection in the form of this whimsical chandelier and make it more visible. Take a metal hoop and make small holes in it for the wire hangers. Now make the hangers for the bottles by wrapping the wire around the bottle necks. Use pliers to make sure it is tightly wrapped. Twist one end of the wire into a hanger. Assemble the light socket and cord, making sure to add a strain relief. Fix the hanging chain to the hoop with the nuts and washers and hang the chandelier from the ceiling hook. Twist the cord around the chain and let the end with the bulb hang in the middle of the lamp. Place the bottles and you’re done.
A really cool way to repurpose ugly old lampshades. Take the lampshades you wish to upcycle, and remove the old fabric off of them to get the wire skeleton. Spray paint the skeleton in any color you desire, but note that copper and bronze hues are really trendy right now. Do not give it too much thought, since you can quickly repaint them later if you change your mind. Feed the cord through the lampshade skeleton (you will already have a designated hole) and connect the bulb socket to the side that will dangle. Make a few of these pendants and group them together in the middle of your room to create a focal point.
Egg Carton Flowers
This project requires only a string of Christmas lights, a few egg cartons and some paint, but creates such a powerful effect. Take only the bottom part of the egg cartons. Take scissors and separate each egg pocket, then cut the pockets into four-petal flowers. Layer three or more cut pockets on top of each other to create beautiful full flowers. Now paint one side of the flowers, allow it to dry, flip them over, and paint the other side. If you are up to the task of applying an ombre effect, it would look even better. Finally, take nail scissors to cut the holes through which you will push the bulbs.
Cardboard Cube Lamp
This ambient lighting idea is really simple to make and all you need for it is some corrugated cardboard. First, take a cardboard box and cut it into strips, preferably 5mm x 8cm. Next, align the strips, placing them so that the wavy pattern is on the outside, and start gluing them together into a square. Stop when you get a 8x8cm square. You are making a 5 sided cube and you will need 4 squares for each side. A total of 20. Glue 4 of the squares together into a bigger square, repeat five times, and finally glue the five large squares into a cube. Just place the cube over any old lamp that you do not like.
Mason Jar Lanterns
Inspired by a Superlight project did for Australian playspace Jungle Buddies, this is a simplified DIY version. Wrap wire under the lower screw thread of the jar twice. Leave one end longer, and wrap the shorter end around the jar several times. Take the longer loose end of the wire and wrap it around the two wires on the opposite side of the jar mouth. Now you have a handle to hang your lantern on a hook. Add a candle or colorful string lights into the jar.
Now you can sing along: It’s all about that junk, ‘bout that junk! Upcycling projects are more than just a trend that can give you unique and creative house accessories. They can also save you a lot of money. And most of all, they make a good hobby. Tell us in the comments, which idea do you like the most?
Derek Lotts strives to find a perfect home. In his pursuit, he has gained the knowledge he is eager to share. Find more of his work at Smooth Decorator.