Rewiring a lamp

I found a cheap lamp at Goodwill last weekend and spray painted it a fun color.  Then I plugged it in and realized that it didn’t work.


Thankfully it was cheap, but since I’d already put a fair amount of effort into painting it, I decided to just buy a rewiring kit from Home Depot and fix it.

Here’s what you need:

  • Lamp wiring kit (my shade doesn’t use a harp, so I didn’t buy the kit with one)
  • Wire cutters
  • Phillips screwdriver

Here’s what to do:

1. Take out the light bulb (if any) and unplug from the wall.

2. Unscrew the socket from the top of the lamp.  You may need to remove the on/off switch to do this.

3. Use your wire cutters to cut the wire next to the bottom of the socket.

4. If you think it’s going to be difficult to thread the wire through the lamp, do this:

  • Cut the wire at the base (near the plug) as well as under the socket.
  • Use electrical tape to tape the new wire to the old wire (near base)
  • Thread the wire through by pulling the old wire through the top of the lamp.

5. If it’s not difficult to wire by hand, just thread it through with your hands.

  • Mine also included making a knot inside the fixture so there was less chance of the cord being pulled from the socket.

6. Thread the base of the socket through the wires.

7. Secure the base socket to the lamp by screwing it on tightly.

8. Tie an underwriters knot:

  • Loop one side of the wire around.


  • Loop the other side of the wire around.


  • Thread one end of the wire through the opposite side’s loop.


  • Thread the other end of the wire through the opposite side’s loop.


  • Pull tight.

9. Pull the cord so the underwriters knot sits at the bottom of the base socket.

10. Identify the hot (smooth cord) and neutral (ribbed cord) in the wires and grab the inside socket.

11. Read the instructions that came with your socket, but mine connected the neutral to the silver and the hot to the gold.

12. Wrap the exposed wiring (not the white insulation part) around the screw and then tighten.

13. Put the inside socket covering back on.

14. Push all the wiring down into the base socket and push the inside socket/cover into it until it feels secure or clicks.

15. Put your light bulb & shade back on and plug in your light!

This is such an easy and quick (less than 15 minute) project.

Have you been wiring anything lately?  Or buying things from Goodwill without trying them out first?


DIY Glass Bubble Chandelier

Here is the inspiration picture that I came across online one day.  My immediate reaction was, “I MUST MAKE THIS!”  It’s unique and an immediate conversation starter.  I absolutely love how mine turned out.

My inspiration picture is from the Frou Frou Fashionista.  I based a lot of my supplies from her list too, but I knew mine was going to be smaller.

Here are the supplies:

  • A grilling grate (mine is about 12″ in diameter, I got it at Goodwill) COST: $1.99

  • Chain to attach the grill (I bought about 4′ from Home Depot) COST: $2.28

  • Canopy Kit to attach everything to the ceiling COST: $4.99

  • Fishing line (I borrowed some from my dad, but pick something that can handle some weight) COST: FREE
  • Craft (or floral) wire (18-22 gauge, something strong enough to hold the glass, but not too tough to bend) COST: about $4.00

  • Pliers, wire cutter, a large nail, and scissors

TOTAL COST: $75.98

Here’s what I did:

1. I laid out the light kits from Ikea and decided how long the needed to be from the ceiling.  I cut cords shorter (and cut off the plug) and stripped some of the plastic off the end to expose the wires.  We then wound all 3 of the white wires together and all 3 of the black wires together.

2. I measured the distance from the ceiling that I wanted the grilling grate to hang down.  I decided on about 13″.  I cut the chain accordingly and attached the chain to the grill in 3 even spots.  I joined all the wires into one chain at the top.

3. I strung the light kits through the grate and attached the top of the chains to the canopy kit hook.

4. We turned off the power and then we held everything up to the ceiling and wired the light kits into the ceiling and attached the canopy kit completely.  Make sure to flip the power back on and check that the lights work before you move forward.

5. I cut about 3″ sections of wire, folded them in half tightly, and then wrapped the wire around a large nail to create a loop in the middle.

6. Tie the end of the fishing line to the loop. (Use several knots to make sure it’s secure.)

7. Push the wire through the hole in a glass ball. **Once you string the wire into the ball it’s really hard to get it back out.

8. Hold the string (with the glass ball on the end) up to the grate and decide how long you want it to be.  I hung all the larger ones first and then filled in spaces with the smaller balls.

9. Cut the fishing line and tie securely to the grate.

10. Continue tying the glass balls on.  And you’re done!

I LOVE the pattern this light creates on the ceiling!

Everyone loves this light–and I’ll admit, i like being able to tell people that I made it myself!

I’m linking up to Home Stories A to Z Tutorials & Tips Link Party today.  Check out all the other tutorial posted there!