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Lamp Part and Pieces Upcycle

Upcycled lamp base

Today on the blog: Upcycling lamp parts in a way you might not have thought of.

You know how we find ugly or broken lamps or even just pieces of lamps at the yard sales, estate sales and thrift stores? Well, thrift stores probably throw out the badly broken ones, but sometimes pieces will show up. I’m always watching for these things, but it’s been a minute since I’ve actually upcycled one.

A few months ago I found these little cherubic guys at a sale. Ignore the work space, please and thank you!

I had no idea what their original use was. I thought it was a candle holder and that was what I intended to use it for. Recently, a friend in a Facebook group I’m a member of shared a floor lamp and there were these little guys at the base, holding a tall porcelain lamp! Mystery solved.

When I got home with them, I saw the broken spot, the hole at the base. I don’t know if it’s my old eyes, excitement – or desperation – to find something or just plain ol’ carelessness, but I miss things like this all the time. Do you?

Hmmmm….. What to do? Oh! I’ll use air dry clay to “repair” the hole and paint the whole thing!

But after I went to the trouble of repairing it, I had an epiphany. I realized that the top opening, the spot I thought would hold a candle, was too big for a candle. Remember, it was originally holding a porcelain lamp base/thingy. I really liked the antiqued look of the metal and didn’t much want to paint it and….. hey! I know! It needs reindeer moss! The moss could cover the repair – it could have covered the hole if I’d thought of it earlier and saved me that trouble. But what could they be holding if not a candle? Why, a ball of moss, of course! I found a small, styrofoam sphere in my stash, covered the parts that would be visible with reindeer moss, shoved it down into their hands, sat it on a bed of moss, and called it done.

But it still needed something – okay, okay. I knew I’d do this all along, but the picture above shows most clearly how the moss was attached – so I added a cloche and then called it done. (Why is it that the pictures like the one in the workspace and the one without the cloche are the better pictures, but the one that kinda counts, the one that should be Pinterest, Instagram and blog worthy is never a good/better picture?)

The cloche is from one of those cheap, plastic anniversary clocks, that have a glass dome, that we can sometimes find for a couple of bucks. I toss the clocks and keep the domes. I have several in my arsenal. I have kept the clock faces, but have never used them, so I don’t anymore.

As a side note, the iron base it’s sitting on is also a lamp part. It’s part of a hanging kerosene lamp. And sometime in my yard sale shopping, I happened to find a round piece of glass that fit perfectly. Friends, you have to hit the sales every weekend and go to every one as early as possible!

It’s all part of this vignette at the moment. The chest was from one of my favorite dealers at Angel’s Antique Mall in Opelika, Alabama, who is, devestatingly to me and many others I’m sure, closing her booth. Everything else is from yard and estate sales over the years. The candlesticks, I learned recently, are a Southern Living product. They and the cloche are the youngest things in the vignette. I might, but probably don’t, have as much as $250 total invested in everything here and that includes the $200 chest and the pictures that go on up the wall that you can’t see here.

So go out and keep an open mind with those parts and pieces if you don’t already!

You might want to check out some of my other fun lamp base transformations:
Curbside find – Floor lamp base turned pedestal
Don’t pass up those lamp bases! – Some Lamp Base Crafts

Reindeer Moss on Amazon (Affiliate link. It costs you nothing more and I’ll get a tiny stipend for my work. If you choose to use it, thanks!)

Pin it…..

Pin it! Cherub Lamp Base Upcycle
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How To Make These Farmhouse Clothespins

Decorated Clothes Pegs Farmhouse Style

I did a thing! I decorated these clothespegs and strapped a camera on my head while doing the last one so I could share with you how to do it. They are great with white ironstone, farmhouse decor or primitive decor. And sooooo quick and easy to do!

All you need is

  • Some clothes pegs – mine came from yard sales, but you can get a bag at any craft store or stores that sell crafts
    And here that is on Amazon
  • A black stamp pad – My preference is StazOn
    And find this on Amazon
  • Stamps – Use numbers or letters or even words. Whatever floats yer boat
    They’re on Amazon too, but good grief! So many choices!
  • A pipe cleaner
  • Rubber gloves

The video is only 3 or 4 minutes long and that’s start to finish one clothes peg. It’s that quick.


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Handmade Flowers From Christmas Tree Candle Clips Tutorial

Fantasy flowers made from Christmas tree candle clips

 Fantasy flowers made from Christmas tree candle clips

April showers bring May flowers. But if you’re like me and have a brown thumb, you might, like me again, need to create your own flowers that won’t die.

Here’s how to make fun, handmade flowers from Christmas tree candle clips! 

But first, an intro. I’ve been wanting to blog about these flowers for several years. Yes, years. I’m guessing around 2009 or so, I made one, then lost my bag of candle clips. It turned up a year ago and I started making another. Thought I’d do a video tutorial for you. Um… no. It just didn’t work out and the whole project was tabled – It literally sat on my work table! – until two days ago. I decided the video idea was a really bad one and tried to take pictures of every step. There are a few pictures missing because of the blurries, but I believe there are enough to get the job done. So, without further adieu……….

Here’s what you need:

How to make flowers from Christmas tree candle clips

*Christmas tree candle clips. This can be the hardest part of the whole project. Finding them. If you just can’t find any anywhere, there is usually a plethora of them on eBay.

Try to get the ones that are put together like this:

Christmas tree candle clips for fantasy flowers

This picture is worth showing twice. See how there’s a hole with tiny metal bent over holding it together? These snap apart quite easily. If there’s a solid stem thingy instead of an opening, you’ll need to grind it away with a Dremel. That takes a long, annoying time, puts out more than a few sparks and you’d need safety glasses. I speak from experience.

*Shank buttons for the centers. You may want a variety to choose from.

*Paint. I just use regular craft paint that you can pick up anywhere and probably have a stash of anyway.

*Small, needle nose pliers.

*Not pictured is thin wire and glue.

Now that you have everything assembled, you’re ready for the fun!

  1. Snap those babies apart

Christmas tree candle clips for fantasy flowers

Unlike in the picture, wait until you’ve painted to curl the center. 

2. Now start painting. I don’t do any prep. Just slap the paint on there.
I do backs first, but either way, back or front is fine.

Painting metal flowers made from Christmas tree candle clips.

I chose to paint them white then………..

Painting metal flowers made from Christmas tree candle clips.

Put some green on the white. I later added some of the main flower color on the back, but the backs aren’t terribly important.
Paint the centers yellow.

3. Flip ’em over and decide on your flower color. Remember these are fantasy flowers, so use whatever color you want! I painted the main color then brushed a little white in there. 

Painting metal flowers made from Christmas tree candle clips. 

4. With your small, needle nose pliers, curl each of the center petal things. That picture was an unidentifiable blur and is not shown here. You should be able to figure that one out.

5. Now choose your button for the center and thread the long, thin wire through, bending at the center. Go ahead and give it a couple of twists. Next comes the yellow center, then the round flower part. Glue liberally between the three components. You’ll probably doubt they will stay together, but two steps from now, it will be clear that the glue really will work.

 Button and center threaded with wire for metal flowers

How to make fantasy flowers from Christmas tree candle clips

6. You’re ready to twist the stem. Here’s a tip. Use your drill. (I use a Ryobi ONE+ like this one on Amazon. It’s a little heavy, but lighter than many. I love it!) Make the drill opening as small as you can and still be able to get the two wire ends to go in. Hold the top of the wire next to the flower with your needle nose pliers. Pull the trigger, forward or reverse doesn’t matter, and twist away!


 Wire placed in drill to twist for flower stem


Drill twisted wire for flower stems

Beautiful, huh? Quick too!

7. Using a clothespin or good clamp style paper clip or whatever kind of clamp you have, clamp it as close to the base as possible.

Clamped metal flowers

8. Let dry and you have a flower! Repeat and you have a bouquet of flowers. 

Fantasy flowers made from Christmas tree candle clips

Hope you make some of your own. If I can make it, you can make it! And probably better. 🙂


Fantasy flowers made from Christmas tree candle clips