How to Create a Chic Teacup Lamp

How to Create a Chic Teacup LampIf you’ve seen examples of those chic teacup lamps that have appeared on Etsy and other sites, sometimes for hundreds of dollars, and you think they're as cute as we do, here's a special treat! Nothing compares to seeing a unique fixture in your home and having the satisfaction that you made it yourself while saving money in the process. By following these simple steps, you'll create your own custom piece of functional art that will drive your friends crazy, and that you'll enjoy forever.



Supplies Needed

Drill

Diamond Drill Bits

Cups and Teapots

Lamp Kit

Lamp Halo

Lampshade

Finial

E6000 Glue


Step by Step Instructions

It’s shopping time!

We love making things, and if you do too, then this project will be a lot of fun. One of the most exciting parts of creating your own chic teacup lamp is choosing the cups and teapots that you'll use. We don’t need an excuse to visit our favorite stores, but it sure is nice to have one! Your favorite re-sellers, kitchen supply shops or antique stores are right places to start. The budget is up to you: You can spend as little or as much as you like. Don’t buy anything that you’re afraid to modify or accidental damage. If you follow these instructions, you'll be fine, but accidents happen. Experiment with different shapes, colors and designs before you buy. Make sure that all the parts can be stacked and glued together. Using the largest piece as a base might give you the most stability, but you can make any arrangement functional with the creative use of a saucer on the bottom.

Collect odds and ends.

Next, collect a few additional items: a lamp kit, a ceramics-friendly permanent-craft adhesive (E6000, Gorilla Clear Grip Contact Adhesive or Aleene’s All Purpose Glue are three great choices), a diamond-coated hole-saw drill bit, a light bulb, a wax pencil, a drill, and an optional glass of wine. You can find all of these, except the wine, at your local hardware store. When you're choosing a lamp kit, be sure that you know which type of lamp shade you want. A lamp kit with a harp saddle will allow you to use clip-on, slip UNO and harp fitter lampshades. A three-eighths diameter drill bit should be perfect, but a slightly bigger or smaller size will work as well. If you don’t have a drill, and you don’t want to buy one, borrow one from a friend. Be warned, making lamps can be addictive, and you might want to buy your own!

Find your center.

You’ll need to prepare your teacups, pots, and saucers buy drilling holes for the lamp’s wiring to pass from the base to the bulb, but the first step is to measure the center points by following these steps. Turn the first teacup upside down so that you can see the base. Align your ruler from one point on the circumference of the plate to a position on the opposite side. If the base is round, you will know you found the diameter when you have the longest possible measurement. Draw a line using your ruler and wax pencil along that line. Repeat this process with two new points along the circumference, and the point where the paths cross will be the base's center point. Repeat this process for each object until you have all the center points marked from the bottom. If you don’t have a wax pencil and use a marker, be sure not to use permanent marker on any parts that will be visible after you have your chic teacup lamp assembled.

Drill baby, drill.

This will be the most challenging part of the process, and it may take a bit of time, but I promise you, you won’t believe how easy it will be. Take your first object, for example, a teacup, and put it upside down into a small open container. Fill the pot with water until the cup is under water. If you don’t have a bowl that will work well, you can use your sink, but it’s a good idea to put a thin board of wood under the cup to protect your sink from being scratched by your drill. Make sure that the tip of the drill bit is submerged. Most diamond drill bits will specify not to use them dry, because water will help control the heat and act as a lubricant. Be careful to submerge the drill bit only, and never any part of the drill. Water and electricity don't mix! As you drill, apply gentle pressure. Let the weight of the drill and the drill bit do the work. Your job will only be to control the drill and make sure it stays where you want it to be. Patience is the name of the game; it may take a bit of time, but it will work. If you apply too much pressure on the drill, your drill bit might slip off course, or you could potentially break your teacup. Dill your hole. It is that easy! Repeat that process with the rest of the objects making up your chic teacup lamp. Congratulations, you have the hardest part out of the way!

Assemble your masterpiece.

Now that your teacups, pots, and saucers are dry and prepared, practice arranging them before you use adhesive. Once you have a good idea about the shape that you like, you can begin the final assembly. Starting from the base and working your way up, and following the instructions of the adhesive that you have selected, glue your lamp together. After fixing each piece, run your wire up to the next section: This will be much easier than trying to run the wire through all of the parts at once. After you have it assembled, merely follow the instructions on your lamp kit to wire the socket, making sure to test that it’s working before you glue the harp saddle base or socket in place.




It’s Alive!

Congratulations, you’ve created a unique piece of functional art that you’ll enjoy whenever you see it. Replace your dull lamps, show them off to your friends and build more to give away as gifts that people will treasure for life. Be proud that you created something that could cost hundreds of dollars if you bought it at a boutique. Your teacup lamp will start conversations whenever people see it. Enjoy the shocked expressions of admiration on your friend's faces when you tell them that you made it yourself!
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