Materials Used for Lamps


With a little instruction and knowledge -- and an inexpensive lamp kit from a local home improvement store -- you can turn just about anything you find into a decorative lamp. Creating a lamp fixture is an easy project. Once you have a plug, electrical cord and light socket kit, you're quickly on your way. It is extremely satisfying to make the perfect accessory for your room by incorporating decorative items into your lighting scheme.


  • If you can drill a hole through a piece of wood and create a sturdy base, you have the beginning of a beautiful lamp. Wood is one of easiest materials for a lamp base, because it's easy to drill.

    You can use driftwood, wood spindles, wood boxes, wood bowls or wood vases to make a lamp. Just be sure to create a flat, stable surface for the base, or attach the piece to a flat surface so it won't tip over.

Ceramic or Glass

  • Ceramic -- whether it's raw clay pottery or a finished glazed piece -- is one of the most common lamp bases. You can use a pot, vase or sculpture for a ceramic base. Anything of interest that can be weighed down and stabilized at the base can be turned into a lighting fixture.

    Similar to ceramics, glass vessels also offer a creative assortment for lamp bases. The added fun of a glass base is that you can paint it any color inside or outside, as well as fill it with decorative treasures. The only word of caution is to work carefully and make sure you have a glass or ceramic bit to drill the piece for the lamp kit.


  • Creating a lamp out of a basket is probably the easiest lamp project you can attempt. Since it is not difficult to make a hole in the basket, you can quickly turn a basket into a hanging lamp; you won't even need a lampshade.

    The extra bonus of using a basket for a lamp is that when the light peeks through different basket weaves, it casts interesting patterns on walls and ceilings.


  • You can use just about any metal container into a lamp -- again, remember to weigh it down and give the piece a solid base, so the fixture won't tip over.

    Some of the metal items that make interesting lamps are buckets, old lanterns, metal canteens, brass urns, vases or plumbing fixtures. When it comes to making a metal lamp, you're only limited to your imagination.

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