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Cordless DIY Mini Lamp Using a Thrifted Terracotta Vase

How to turn a thrifted vase into a battery operated cordless DIY mini lamp in less than 5 minutes + the best mini lamps for kitchen countertops.

cordless diy lamp using a thrifted vase

Whenever I pop into the thrift store, there are certain sections always on my hit list first: furniture, art, and vases!

Almost any time I go thrifting, I can almost guarantee I’ll find one thrift store decor item in one of those three sections that is worth taking home to use for some kind of decorating project.

terracotta vase from the thrift store

How to Make a Cordless DIY Mini Lamp Using a Vase

Last year, I found this cute $5 terracotta vase that was actually great without needing any sort of paint job on it. But it was destined for something more…

It made the perfect cordless DIY lamp! And it took literally 1 minute to put together. It’s so absolutely perfect when you want to cozy up your kitchen to put a mini lamp on a kitchen countertop.

Honestly, this one hardly even merits the need for a tutorial, but I’ll walk you through the “light bulb moment” (pun absolutely intended).

battery operated mini lamp on a kitchen countertop with pleated shade, black tray, and plant

Supplies Needed

  • Vase of your choice (a vase with a skinny neck approximately the diameter of a light bulb socket works best)
  • Mini lamp shade of your choice (I see small lamp shades at thrift stores all the time so keep an eye out next time you go) I found this shade on Etsy last year and stole it from a different lamp in my office.
  • Battery powered puck light in soft white or warm white (and AA batteries)

I totally cracked my vase by accident just before deciding to do this project and had to super glue the neck back on. Yay me.

But turning it into a cordless DIY mini lamp actually makes the crack a little less noticeable. It’s supposed to look rustic anyway, right?

terracotta vase, pleated lamp shade, and puck light

Steps

Step 1 – Place Puck Light Inside Shade

Balance the battery powered puck light inside of the lamp shade cage. If you are using a larger lamp shade, this battery powered light bulb could also work.

(The bulb is even better since you can recharge it without needing to purchase batteries. It’s best to use rechargeable batteries in puck lights.) You can also set them on a timer and/or operate them with a remote to control dimming.

These lights are best used for adding coziness to a room as this lamp by itself isn’t bright enough to use as a main light source. The mini lamp is nice to turn on for ambience in the kitchen while cooking and eating dinner in the evenings.

I usually can use a puck light for about 2 hours per day (using higher quality rechargeable batteries like Energizer or Duracell), and it lasts about a month.

placing a battery light inside of a lamp shade

Step 2 – Balance Shade on Top of Vase

Place the lamp shade on top of the vase’s neck to balance it. You could also use a few glue dots or double sided mounting tape to keep it in place.

That’s it! So quick and easy!

placing a pleated lamp shade on top of a terracotta vase

How to Turn a Vase into a Real Electrical DIY Lamp

You could still turn a thrifted vase into a real plug-in DIY lamp using this lamp kit, if you preferred.

You can follow this tutorial to turn a vase into a plug-in DIY lamp.

I do like that since this lamp is on our kitchen countertop though, I don’t have to worry about unsightly cords adding clutter. So the cordless lamp route is perfect when using it in a kitchen for a couple hours in the evenings at dinner.

cordless DIY mini lamp on a kitchen countertop with bowl of apples, kitchen art, and planter

Isn’t it to so cute in this corner of our kitchen?

As if I needed another reason to buy more vases from the thrift store. πŸ˜‰

If you love the look of kitchen lamps but don’t want to go through the DIY lamp route though, I rounded up a bunch of cute mini lamps for kitchen countertops from budget to high-end and in between.

cordless DIY mini lamp on a kitchen countertop with bowl of apples, kitchen art, and planter

Think you’ll jump on board the kitchen lamp trend? Or try out a cordless DIY lamp yourself using a vase around the house?

Any time cozy lighting is involved, I am here for it!

More Thrifted Vase Ideas

More Lighting Ideas

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9 Comments

  1. Lauren, that looks awesome – love how you styled it in that sweet corner in your awesome kitchen.

    What a clever idea. I love mini lamps but hate cords more so never use them in those dark corners.
    Love the idea and will have to scour secondhand stores now for the perfect “vase.” Yours is perfect.
    SOOOO sorry it cracked – don’t you just loathe that? BOO! That stuff happens to me all the time. πŸ™

  2. This is my second attempt to leave a comment. Just asking if every time you use the lamp, do you need to readjust the shade and puck light? Every time you turn it off/on? Great idea, and I will be using it.

  3. Great idea! I like not having the cord. But a question? Do you just rebalance the shade base and puck light each time you turn it off/on? Are there maybe remote controlled puck lights on the market? I am like Calamity Jane and just looking at a balanced lamp like this it would topple over. Many thanks!

  4. WOOT!!!! I am guilty as charged with thrifting and then letting things sit for ages. Outlets are at a premium in our house and this is a wonderful idea for those areas where I’d like a little extra light for tasks, decor, guest bathroom, etc. Thank you so much for this great idea! I’m new to your blog and really enjoying the posts.

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