How to Make a Lamp With a Pop Can Base

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When you build a lamp, you buy the cord and socket already assembled. The only thing you need to supply yourself is the base. A pop can base is not heavy enough to hold up a lamp by itself, but if you weight it it will work just fine for a small lamp. To make a larger lamp, make a base out of several pop cans glued together side to side.

Things You'll Need

  • Pop can
  • Epoxy
  • Snips
  • Lamp kit
  • Pliers
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder
  • Electrical tape
  • Permanent marker
  • Purchase a 15-watt lamp kit in a hardware store. 60-watt bulbs are too large for a pop can base to support, so you will have to make a small lamp.

  • Cut a small hole near the bottom of the pop can base, wide enough to pass the cord through. Bend it back with pliers so that it won't cut the cord when you run it through the hole. Widen the hole at the top of the pop can so that you can fit the socket into it.

  • Make a mark on the end of the wire leading from the wider plug. You can use a permanent marker or a small piece of tape.

  • Look at the socket assembly. There should be two screws sticking out, one white or clear and the other darker. These are the attachment points for the wires.

  • Run the cord through the hole at the bottom and out the hole in the top. Twist the wire with the mark on it around the light screw and solder it on. Solder the other wire to the other screw. Wait for the wires to dry, then wrap the connections in electrical tape to insulate them. Screw the socket together.

  • Put in a light bulb and plug in the lamp to test it. It should turn on.

  • Gently pull the wire at the end the socket is almost in the hole at the top. Glue or epoxy the wire in the bottom hole so that it is completely sealed.

  • Pour sand into the hole at the top until the lamp is mostly full. Then, put in the socket and seal it in with epoxy.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't get epoxy on the threads of the light bulb, or it will be stuck in the socket.

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