These crystal lamps were one of my favorite things at my Grandma’s house. I don’t ever remember them being used, but I would see them in a corner of the basement when I was down there playing. Such great memories! They were probably there because of the missing hurricane on one of them. I’m sure she meant to replace it, but I’m also sure it wasn’t a priority as the years went on. But, oh, how I loved to look at them!
I guess I’ve always been drawn to pretty, shiny things. When I was lucky enough to get the lamps after her passing, I wanted to actually use them. But, like many older things, they could use a little facelift. Or restoration.
Isn’t “restore” a beautiful word?
to return (something) to original condition by repairing it, cleaning it, etc.
It’s an act of love. Even “things” are more beautiful when they are loved. That’s a very poignant thought.
The first thing I needed to do was replace the cord so the lamps were safe to use. These cords weren’t scary or burned, but they are still an outdated technology and unsafe with the voltages in our houses today.
I’m not an electrician, so… To the internet I went! There are many great helps on the internet, but if you figure out the parts you need to replace, there are instructions included with them on how to do it.
Here are the basics:
· Unplug the lamp. (very important )
· Remove light socket. Most will pop off - mine screwed off, turning to the left. I also had to remove the switch.
· Unscrew both wires. Notice one screw is brass and one is silver.
· Pull cord through lamp.
· Clean the lamp.
· Thread new cord back through lamp.
· Replace cardboard sleeve and light socket.
· Remove attachment hardware from crystals and add silver plated jump rings. I did this step because I felt the attachment pieces looked flimsy.
· Thread head pin through top of crystal, bend tight against crystal. Cut off excess. Cut off this amount from remaining head pins. (I used a longer head pin than needed, because I needed the “head” to be large enough to not pull through the hole in the crystal)
· Add crystals to lamp. I used a technique called “pinning” because that is how the original crystals were attached. I used glass crystals. I feel they give better, more clear light than acrylic, but are a good compromise on price compared to more expensive crystals.
· Add globe. I had to add the threading socket to the inside of my globe to hold it in place.
Can I tell you how much I love the way the lamp turned out!? I used similar, but smaller crystals to hang in an effort to maintain the original look and feel. The globe is definitely modern and brings the style up to date.
· Lamp that needs updating
· 8 foot cord set (color that matches project)
· Threading socket (medium base)
· 15 mm gauge silver plated jump rings
· 3 inch silver plated head pins
· 63mm glass icicle crystals
Also used: Ruler, flat head screw driver, needle nose pliers, round nose pliers (jewelry making), rag and cleaning spray.
Do you have an old lamp you can renovate? If you don’t know worries! Check out your local thrift store to see what treasures await you!