Tag Archives: tutorial

DIY Custom Pillowcases

Urban Cholita: PillowcasesA few years ago, my mom bought me a pair of down pillows from the Hutterites. The pillows are great, but they’re an odd size. As a result, our standard pillowcases don’t quite fit. The end of the pillow pokes out like a chubby man’s midriff in a too-small T-shirt. This sliver of exposed pillow shouldn’t matter. After all, other people have Real Problems. But it bothers me. It seems . . . unseemly.

Here’s one solution that didn’t occur to me over the many months that naked wedge of pillow tormented me: DIY. Yes, that’s right. You can sew pillowcases. It’s super simple. I’ll show you how. Continue reading

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Tutorial: How to Rewire a Lamp

Note: This is a very basic tutorial that worked for these lamps. The exact steps can vary depending on the type of lamp you have and the type of socket you’re using.

1. Buy your supplies. You can do this at a big box store, your local hardware store, or you can order supplies online. You’ll need a cord kit (or you can order wire and put your own plug on the end), a socket (I ordered one with a push through switch), and some parts to assemble the lamp. Typically the socket will screw onto a hollow piece of threaded pipe called a nipple. And you’ll need a washer and nut to hold the nipple in place and keep everything snug. If you’re using a shade with a spider attachment, you’ll need a harp. There’s a great cartoon of most of these parts here. Many of the parts — the nipple, washer, nut, and harp, for example — you should be able to salvage when you take your lamp apart. But replace anything that’s rusty or corroded.

Lamp cords come in SPT-1 or SPT-2. The designation has to do with the thickness of the insulation on the wire. For these small table lamps, I ordered SPT-1, which has thinner insulation. For this big hanging lamp, I ordered SPT-2.

2. Unplug the lamp. Very important. Continue reading

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