Monday, September 16, 2013

Decorative Lantern Turned Electric

I WAS working on a REALLY big project behind the scenes. So big, that it would have been years before I could finish. Basically, I made a five-year plan and it covers everything in life. You know those plans that you did in high school? “Where do you see yourself in 1, 5, 10 years?” And then at your high school reunion, you check the current status to your goals.

I’m always surprised at my status checks. I found a plan I made back in 2009 that said I wanted to get my Florida house off my books in 2012. That was a goal, but I had forgotten what date I put to it. I then found my goal checklist in March 2013. Pretty cool that we sold the Florida house on December 31, 2012! Barely made that deadline, but we did.

Okay, I’m losing focus. I came to talk about my lanterns. I love lanterns and especially love lanterns that are in working order. People use them on their front porches to flank the front door, and many other locations.

Source: Houzz

I’ve had my lanterns with electric candles in them on the back porch. I pretend that they are working lanterns.


I have a bigger version that I filled with pinecones and set on the stone wall out back.



I had since taken them down. I used a glue to bond them to the wall, but after a few storms, they blew off. Glass broke one time and I had it replaced. Ever since, they have been sitting on the bench on the back porch.


This is where my big project came in. These lanterns were just a small piece of it. I got the idea that I wanted to use a lamp kit to turn them into working outdoor lights. You can turn anything into a light, and a lantern is meant to be a working light, so this wasn’t going to be impossible.

I bought the Hemma lamp cord from Ikea. There are many kits out there, but this one fit my needs. I didn’t need an on/off switch and this model doesn’t have one.



I then proceeded to see how I could connect the cord with minimal damage to the lantern.

The cord fit through the opening of the lantern, but the light did not hang straight down.


I had to put my thinking cap on to come up with a solution. The main goal was minimal damage to the lantern. I saw where someone repined a picture I had on Pinterest, and I noticed it had huge lanterns! I studied it.

Then the idea came. I would use a dowel rod to keep the cord straight.



I was already planning to wrap the cord in black electrical tape, so why not tape it to the dowel rod?

I measured the length the dowel rod needed to be; 7 inches on the tall lanterns and 3 inches on the shorter ones.



I then got out my favorite saw and cut them.




The dowel rod was screwed into the top of the lantern and the cord went out the side.

I spray painted all the lanterns with Oil Rubbed Bronze paint.



I pre-drilled a tiny hole in the dowel rod to get the screw started.




A whole was then drilled into the top of the lantern.




I then screwed into the dowel rod.




I hung them up in the old location near the back door for a test run. The bigger lanterns looked a little too heavy.




I was excited to see them working. The lightbulb was an eye-sore, but I could find another.




Since the big project is no longer a goal, I had to come up with new homes for my working lights! I’m going to put one of the smaller ones back on the back porch where it was.

I only needed a 3 ft long dowel rod that cost me $2.50.



And the cords were only $5 (but add on $5 shipping L)

I know I got the lanterns for less than $10 from Olde Time Pottery. I enjoyed my non-working lanterns and now I’m excited to repurpose them!



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