I'm super excited about this project! It was a pretty spur of the moment thing, but I'm so glad I decided to give it shot.
It all starts with this rusty tomato cage from our yard. My mom isn't keeping a big garden this year and when I saw this in the yard I asked if I could have it. I wasn't sure what I'd do with it, but I liked it and thought I could make something out of it.
I've been looking around for a lamp for my new place and haven't found anything I love. It doesn't help that even the cheapest lamps are $40! So I figured I could somehow turn this into an industrial-esque lamp.
I remembered I had been hoarding an old brass lamp so I brought that up from the basement. At first I thought it would be really easy to take the socket and cord out and re-use it. Then as I started taking the lamp apart I thought it was going to be really hard...then I did a little research and found out it really wasn't very hard at all!
I only needed the socket and cord for my lamp, but I ended up using that long metal tube as well.
First, I pulled apart the socket by squeezing really hard where it said "press".
Next you'll see that the cord is split, stripped and wrapped around two screws. Carefully loosen the screws and remove the wires. Now you'll be able to pull the cord out of the lamp.
I did not like the shiny brassy color of the socket and thought about spray painting it black but didn't know if that was a good idea. So I tried rubbing it off with nail polish remover. A few cotton balls later and I was left with this:
After running the cord back through the metal tube thing (I know there's a real name for it but I don't remember it at the moment) I was ready to reattach the socket.
Feel your cord. One side will be smooth and the other will be ribbed. The smooth wire is the hot or live wire and the ribbed is the neutral wire. The live wire (smooth) wraps around the brass screw. Remember this and you'll be fine. When I had both wires connected and the socket reassembled I crossed my fingers and plugged it in...
and it worked!
Now, we'll talk about the tomato cage. It was already cool and chippy and rusty, but it had been purple at one point and I wasn't feeling that. So I used a trio of spray paint to give it a little facelift. All of these my mom already had so I didn't have to pay anything :)
I used a textured stone paint, a rusty metal primer (that is rust colored) and a flat black.
I didn't take pictures of this process, but I'll describe it. If anyone would like a more indepth tutorial I'd be happy to do one :)
First, lightly spray the stone spray paint all over, concentrating on the joints where rust is most likely to be. Then alternate spraying the primer and the black. You get to use your creative license because you don't want to solidly coat it with either color.
I started with the primer, then hit spots with the black, went over some more spots with the primer and so on and so forth until I liked the finish.
|Not too shabby, eh?|
You could use this technique on so many things. I'm sure I'll be using it in the future.
I strung up the bulb and plugged it in...
I love it! I thought about shortening it, but I kind of like the dramatic impact it makes.
I'm swooning over the silver socket. To think that was hiding under that terrible brassy finish!
So, what do you think? Be honest! Love it? Hate it?
I was thinking about wrapping the cord in twine. What do you think? It's brown right now so it blends in. But twine would add some texture. I don't know! Opinions please!
Estimated cost: $0
How cool is that?!
Thanks for reading. Feel free to ask questions!