Last night, we broke a lamp. It was a fairly hideous, second hand ceramic lamp (sorry, whoever we got it from!). It fell off the table and got chipped, and then a few hours later, it got knocked off the table again and smashed. I took that as a sign that finally, this lamp's time in our collection of second and third hand furniture, was over. Yesss!
There are two pretty embarrassing qualities about me (actually there are a lot more, but hey, let's start with two), and they are: 1) I am extremely cheap, as in, I would much rather get something for free or cheap from someone else than buy a totally new one, and 2) I am really, really, really bad at math and putting things together. For the daughter of a family of engineers, I clearly missed a gene somewhere.
Anyway. These two qualities are good background info because they set you up for tonight's project: I made a new lamp! Out of the old one that I broke!
Since the actual lighting and cord part of the lamp still worked, I wanted to make another lamp out of it. I've seen lamps and chandeliers made out of mason jars lately, and I think they look really cool, in a hipster and kind of cheap-o way. But there was a long metal rod that housed the light cord up through the ceramic parts of the lamp, and that thing wasn't coming off, nor did I know of a gigantic mason jar that would hold it.
Luckily for me (and unluckily for my partner), I have kept a cool-looking bottle since November, in case I needed to use it one day. And with a little bit of fiddling, I made:
Just to prove that it actually works
The bottle is pretty sturdy, which is why I chose it instead of a wine bottle. The metal rod was really long, so to cover up the empty space at the top, I cut a plastic cork in half and stuck it in. I just happened to have a cork...it's one of the other projects that I'm planning, which hopefully you will one day see if it's not too embarrassing. I swear, I'm not a hoarder.
Not bad for someone who can't figure out how to build IKEA furniture or put up new curtains, eh?
A theme that I've been thinking about in the past year is using waste materials to create something new and better. Recycling, but better. Some people call it upcycling. When my girlfriend had a pair of pants that were too ragged to wear, I decided to turn them into a hand bag.
I'm definitely not an expert seamstress, but I learned a few things in girl scouts. Normally, you use the top half of the jeans to make a bag, like this. However, these jeans were too ripped up to do that, so I had to think of something else.
First, I cut off the waistband to make the strap.
Next, I cut off part of the leg, from a little below the knee and flipped it inside out.
I sewed the more narrow section closed. It would have been better if I had a sewing machine, but it was okay to do it by hand. Then I turned it right-side out.
Lastly, I sewed the strap on and attached two little snaps. You could also use a zipper if you have one.
It was a bit time consuming, but not bad for a free little bag.
Instead of using wrapping paper for presents this year, you can try using old magazines, posters, or newspaper. You could also re-use gift bags and tissue paper instead of throwing them out. Try it!
I'm an eco-conscious girl from Montreal, Quebec. I'm currently an adjunct science professor at Champlain College of Vermont (Montreal Campus). I'm interested in any opportunities to expand my experience with grassroots activism, climate change legislation, or environmental education.