Friday, June 23, 2017

Piping Hot Lighting! Or Something. (Vintage Thermos Lamps)

Now that we have new, roomy bedside tables in the guest room, it is finally time for bedside lamps! But not just any bedside lamps purchased from Target or wherever else there is to buy table lamps around here. Vintage thermoses turned into bedside lamps!

House of Hawthornes' images are probably what compelled me to try to throw some other bits into the photo. The sun was bright and it was hard to see my screen. This was the best photo of the bunch... even though there's a dang fly on my mug! But let's face it... that's real life.

I mostly followed this super tutorial that I found on pinterest, but made a few changes to suit my particular thermoses. If you're interested in the how-to, check out the tutorial by Pam at the House of Hawthornes blog, but I'll describe my differences here.

Her yard sale thermos already had a broken glass insert and she broke it up further using a screwdriver then dumped out the shards through the top. Mine were intact AND my thermoses had the screw-off bottoms for replacing broken inserts, so I was able to just take them out.

Mine also had plastic liners that one's hot lunch would actually be poured into. My guess is that is because these are wide-mouthed thermoses, they were probably meant more for having hot soup or chili rather than coffee or tea. This would make it safer to eat directly out of them with a spoon. Anyway, this meant I needed to drill an extra hole and use an extra rubber grommet.

And because my thermoses were wide-mouth and didn't have that cute taper, I decided to keep the lids on. It turns out that was lucky for me, because one of the stoppers cracked and then totally came apart when I was drilling. Turns out there are little bits of cork as insulation in there! Who knew? Not me.

After all the holes were drilled and I had the correct size of rubber grommets, it all came together pretty quickly with the Westinghouse Make-A-Lamp Kit.

I realized after I'd taken this, that I inadvertently copied House of Hawthornes' styling, too, but photographing these on a picnic table! In my case, it was because it was the quickest outdoor surface to make look decent.

And then after this photo was taken I realized I'd forgotten to weight the bases so the lamps wouldn't be tippy. This part is extra fancy...

... it's gravel from the driveway. OooOOooooo!

I picked up a couple of lampshades at a big box home center and tarted them up with some clearance home dec trim from Jo-Ann and glued it on with fabric adhesive. These shades came with clip-on fitters, which means I didn't have to also buy harps.

A couple of 60 watt, warm, LED light bulbs and DONE.

[here is where a photo of them with their shades on was supposed to go, 
but I forgot to take it before...(see below)]

Not Done. The right width lampshade was a too-deep lampshade, at least with those (dang) clip-on fitters. It was awkward looking and physically awkward to get at the switch. I think the best solution would have been adding harps, but that's not really an option with the clip-on fitters. Instead, I bought two longer nipples than come with the Make-a-Lamp Kit. I used 5" nipples, but could've gotten away with 4" very easily. With two extra nuts, four fender washers, and some brass tubing, which I had to cut to fit using a hacksaw and miter box, I was able to extend the space between the top of the thermos and the socket. They are less awkward and ready to serve guests for up to a few dozen nights each year.

[insert that screeching needle on the record sound here]

DO OVER: A couple of 60 watt LED bulbs and DONE.

I do wish I'd been able to get a darker shade and I did look at the options, but they were either way too big or entirely the wrong shape. 

And now we're finally ready for some well-lit house guest bedtime reading action! Er... yeah.

I really need to get on ordering some reflectors for taking photos. This photo was taken the day after the Summer Solstice, so it's not going to be getting any lighter around here! 

I had to close the blinds to avoid the whole back-lighting situation. Even though I still really love that Ikea print, those gotta go!

Next up for the guest room: making new window coverings. I think I even have most or all of the fabric I need! It might be awhile before I tackle that though, because there are still those exterior & outdoor projects to do, but I really, really want to make them instead. Sigh. So, I am going to use making shades for and painting the guest room as a "reward" for doing other projects. What is wrong with me?

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