Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Can you recycle your old lamps?


Repurposing a Lamp

If your lamp just isn't going to fit into your décor any longer, regardless of a quick makeover, then consider a creative way to repurpose it. For instance, many lamp bases are heavy enough to work as bookends while more slender bases can double as candlesticks. In fact, you can turn an old lamp into all kinds of new items:

  • Vase
  • Doorstop
  • Patio citronella holder
  • Plant basket
  • Table leg

If you're crafty and like home décor projects, the shape and size of your old lamp can inspire you to think of it as a totally different item. Most repurposing projects for old lamps are simple and only take a day or so to complete. This is a particularly good option if you want to keep the lamp around for sentimental reasons but are tired of storing it out of sight somewhere, taking up closet or attic space.

Many lamp bases are ceramic, so if you don't mind getting rid of the pieces, you can always smash it to bits and use the resulting shards for mosaic work. Mosaic pieces can make a lovely border in a garden or for decorating other craft projects. People even add them as accent points in tiling. If the pieces are going to be exposed to moisture or other elements, treat them with a bathroom-quality sealant. Be careful about the breakage, keeping a towel around your workspace to catch any shards that might fly astray. It's a good idea to wear gardening gloves while gathering up the pieces so you can avoid nicks and cuts.

If you're not feeling up to the task of building a project around the old lamp but still don't want to get rid of it, think about ways you can just use it in another part of your home. For instance, would the lamp work in the garage or basement? A lamp plugged into a corner socket is a cheap way to brighten attics and other storage spaces. Since your root cellar or garage isn't likely going to be on any home tours that you give, the lamp's style won't need to match your overall décor.


More to Explore