How to give Vintage Lamps a Chic Makeover

Replace old, outdated or dangerous cords, update with new shades and some clear glass crystals. Like many old things, they need a facelift.


  • Lamp that needs updating 8 foot cord set (color that matches project)
  • Threading socket (medium base)
  • Globe
  • 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


  • Unplug the lamp.
  • Remove light socket.
  • Most will pop off - mine screwed off, turning to the left.
  • I also had to remove the switch.
  • Remove the protective cardboard sleeve to expose the wires.
  • Clean the lamp.
  • Unscrew both wires.
  • Notice one screw is brass and one is silver.
  • Pull cord through lamp.
  • Thread new cord back through lamp.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instruction to rewire, making sure you attach the proper wire to the brass and silver screws. (Grooved wire goes with silver, smooth wire goes with brass)
  • 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.
  • Add crystals to lamp. I used a technique called “pinning” because that is how the original crystals were attached.
  • Add globe, I had to add the threading socket to the inside of my globe to keep it in place.

Follow Amber Packer on Facebook.

More Stories

Latest News

Video Center