I’ve been wanting to make a unique table lamp out of repurposed jeans for a while. It wasn’t until I started upcycling denim hems and seams did I work out exactly how I was going to make the lampshade.
If I’d known how easy it was going to be to drill a hole in the glass I would have made a lamp base out of an old pickle jar earlier.
Now that I know what to do I’m eyeing up all my old gin bottles as potential lamp bases. I don’t know what I was scared of before. As long as you have the right drill bit cutting holes in glass is very simple.
Repurposed Denim and Pickle Jar Farmhouse style Unique Table Lamp
Originally this unique table lamp was going to be for the living room. However, once I made it I decided it would look great on my bedside table as the repurposed denim lampshade matches the patchwork jeans quilt on the bed.
Also, I just made a denim and vintage map lampshade for the living room and didn’t really need to go for the double denim look. Even though the ’80s are in!
This was a very affordable upcycle, I used an existing damaged lampshade to upcycle, a pickle jar and old jeans for this DIY table lamp. The only expense was for the coloured flex.
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What you need to make a farmhouse style unique table lamp
- Lampshade wire rings from an old drum lampshade, or a drum lampshade kit. This DIY lampshade tutorial would work just as well with a scallop-shaped shade.
- Extra large pickle jar or mason jar. The jar I used was a 5 liter one I already had.
- Blue spray paint – if you want to change the colour of the DIY lampshade wireframe and the pickle jar lid.
- Denim hems and seams – I save these from all my other repurposing denim projects. I cut the hems off the jeans as close to the stitching as possible. The double-stitched hems usually run on the up the inside leg of a pair of jeans.
It is possible to get a very long seam by cutting the seam up one leg and then down the other in one piece. Also on many pairs of jeans double stitched seams are used as decoration below the waistbands, I also cut these out.
How much denim you need will depend on the size of your denim lampshade.
- 3 Wooden skewers at least the height of your DIY lampshade
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks
- Coloured lamp flex
- Variable speed drill with a diamond hole drill bit big enough for the lamp flex.
How to make the woven denim lampshade
If using an existing lampshade, remove the fabric. Spray paint the wireframe blue.
1.. Next, you will need to create a solid frame for the DIY lampshade. Do this by cutting three lengths of denim hem/seams one inch longer than the height you would like the denim drum shade.
At the same time cut 3 wooden skewers to the exact height you would like the shade. Thread the wooden skewers into the hems.
2. Then, glue these hems to the bottom wireframe (the one with the light fitting). Glue the hems at each of the points where the crosswire meets the outer ring. Fold over the loose bit of the hems (about 1/2 inch) around the wireframe.
Now attach the top lampshade ring to the other end of the denim hems the same way. If your frame still seems a bit wobbly you can add some more stiffened hems.
3. Then, glue denim hems and seams to the rest of the wireframe until it is all covered.
4. For the next bit, you will need longer jeans seams from the inside leg. If you don’t have long seams you can glue or sew smaller ones together.
Weave the longer seams in and out of the upright hems. Carry on adding horizontal woven seams until the whole lamp is covered. Start and finish off each woven round with a dab of hot glue.
How to make the Unique table lamp base
5. Next, to make a lamp base from the pickle jar you will need to drill a hole in the lid and the glass jar for the flex to pass through. Drill a hole in the glass using a diamond hole bit large enough for the flex to pass through.
6. Place some masking or washi tape where you would like the hole to be. This helps stop slippage. Make sure the drill is on the lowest speed setting. Place the drill bit at 45 degrees to the glass.
The glass will need to be cooled as you drill, this can be done by frequently spraying it with cold water as you drill. As the hole gets bigger change the angle of the drill bit to 60 degrees and then to 90 degrees.
7. To finish off remove the washi tape and thread the lamp flex through the jar. Put on a plug and then the denim lampshade.
Now all I have to decide is where I should put this unique table lamp. By the way, the denim lampshade can be hung as a pendant lamp also. If you have any denim seams left-over you can use them to make matching denim coasters.
There are some cool ideas for IKEA lamp hacks here too, including a cool tropical DIY felt lampshade. This lamp featured under L in the alphabet of denim crafts and the A to Z of clever upcycling ideas.