How to Make a Hanging Lamp Almost from Scratch

A couple of months ago, I got really excited about an old hanging lamp I found on Ebay. I had been looking for something to replace the ceiling lamp we had hung above our television, and this seemed like just the thing — a nubby, yellowish-pinkish glass globe suspended by an ornate cast metal holder and a long chain. The cord, I knew, would have to be replaced, but I figured that would be easy. I hemmed and hawed, and finally bid and won.

The lamp arrived exactly as described, except for one major detail. The metal holder was broken. One of the set screws that keeps the globe in the holder had ripped clean through the metal. So the lamp was pretty much useless.  The only salvageable piece was the glass globe. I was heartbroken.

But several frantic googling sessions later, I learned I could order a new holder. I had planned to replace the cord anyway, so why not replace the holder and the cord and the lamp’s guts? You know what else they sell online? Glass globes. So you could totally buy everything you need online to make a lamp almost exactly like this from scratch. I ordered my parts from

Here’s what you need:

This amazing image came on the back of the swag kit I ordered.

The instructions above are decent, but I’ll share a few extra tips. When you go to wire the lamp, you’ll need to shape the exposed wire at the end of the cord into two little hooks. Hook your wires onto the terminals, which look like two little screws, by loosening the screws and wiggling the wire hooks around the base of the screws. If one of the wires on your cord has writing and ridges, that one should go on the silver terminal. Then tighten the screws so that the bare wire is squished underneath the screw heads. If that was confusing (and it probably was), see this (very thorough) tutorial.

Now that I see the two lamps hanging side by side, I don’t really know why I hated the old lamp so much. They’re kind of equally good. Or maybe the old one is a little better, at least in the photo. But I think the new one looks better when it’s turned off.

Our walls are currently a color I like to call “Chainsmoker.” Soon they will be light gray. I’m hoping that will offset some of the warm, warm wood in this room. I also plan to wrangle the cords on either side of the TV into some sort of order. Ugh, cords. The bane of my existence.


Filed under DIY

6 responses to “How to Make a Hanging Lamp Almost from Scratch

  1. Caitlin Selby

    Our bedroom was “Smoker’s Teeth Yellow” until recently when I painted it grey. It made a world of difference!

  2. We just painted the living room gray. SO MUCH BETTER!!!

  3. Pingback: Tutorial: How to Rewire a Lamp | Urban Cholita

  4. VICKY


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  6. Pingback: 112 DIY Lamps | Rilane - We Aspire to Inspire

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