Want to turn your favorite table lamp into a stylish floor lamp? With no power tools or woodworking skills, you can make this stunning DIY lamp that will gracefully illuminate any room.
-A table lamp. Find a lamp that you love!
-All Purpose Super Strength Glue
-3 small, patterned garbage cans – I’m talking about the cheap $5-6 ones from Ross that are made of that faux-copper aluminum. Find 3 that match and have some nice texture to them.
-Spray paint that matches your lamp. If you’re going to be spraying your entire lamp, just find colors that you like (a base color and an accent color). I adored my lamp just the way it was, as far as the colors, so I went with spray paints that matched it almost exactly so that I could match the garbage cans to it.
-Steel wire (strong, but flexible)
Flip over one of your garbage cans and pound a nail through the tin/aluminum bottom. We need a place to start with our wire cutters, and the nail hole will provide a place to insert the tip of the sheers to begin cutting a big swatch out of the bottom of the garbage can.
Using your wire cutters to snip, rip, and sheer away at the aluminum, create a nice big hole (it doesn’t matter if it’s absolutely hideous!) You want to be able to safe get your entire arm in and out of the hole without scraping yourself up – you’ll see why in a moment.
Using that same handy little nail from step 1, pound holes around the rim of the top of the garbage can, about one finger’s width apart. Make sure that your holes are wide enough for your steel wire to slide all the way through (test it out after you pound your first hole, to make sure you’re using a wide enough nail).
Once you’ve done that to one of your garbage can’s, repeat this step with one of your other garbage cans.
Pick a starting spot, and insert your steel wire through one of the holes that you’ve spaced out around the garbage can’s upper rim. We are going to begin “stitching” the two garbage cans together using the wire and a criss-cross pattern.
Tie a knot (nothing special, just a little tight knot of wire) on the inside of the garbage can, using the end of the wire that you’ve just inserted through the hole. Now, with the two hole-pierced garbage cans pressed rim-to-rim, begin weaving them together with the wire. This is where that big hole comes in that we created in steps 1 and 2. You’ve got to get your hand down into one of the garbage cans to weave the wire in and out of the holes. Really pull it tight and keep the rims lined up as you go around. This part will take a little while, so be patient with yourself!
Phew, you’re done with that weaving step, and we’re only doing it to one seem, hurray! When you get to the end, simply tie off the wire on the inside, and move on to this next part of the process. Now that we’ve got our lovely center-seam all “stitched” together, we can use our super-strength, all purpose glue to adhere the other two rims together. Take a look at the picture for step six. Notice that I have my growing lamp base upside down. How can you tell? Well, I want the widest part of the garbage can (that is, the top part) to be pressed into the carpet with this thing is upright. That will give it a much bigger area to really stabilize on the floor and be a nice, sturdy base. I have it upside down in this step so that there won’t be any pressure on the seem that I’m gluing.
Okay, all of that being said: using your super-strength adhesive along the rim of the two garbage cans, adhere those rims together, as in the picture for this step 6. Let it dry for the prescribed amount of time on the glue tube (mine took 24 hours).
Once your glue has dried, we get to move on to painting! Using your base paint color, spray a nice coat of paint (your color may take two coats, depending on the shade). Let that dry.
Once your base color has dried, spray your top color. You have two options for giving it a nice, shabby chic look. I did kind of an uneven, mottled top coat spray to create an almost cloud-like feel. You can also use a rag to rub away some of the wet top coat right after it’s applied, or wait until it’s dry and use a light sandpaper to rub the top-coat off of some of the raised pattern textures on the garbage can. Play around with it until you get a look that you like.
You’re almost done! Once again using your super-strength glue, put a generous amount on the bottom of your lamp, and press your lamp firmly down onto the matching pedestal that you’ve crafted. You can see why we only ripped the bottom out of one of the garbage cans, because the top of our pedestal has a nice, solid, untouched area for us to glue our lamp onto at this point.
Let the paint dry, the glue set in for a firm hold, and then hook your gorgeous new lamp up in any room of your house for warm, luxurious illumination.