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Now and then we come across items in catalogs or vintage/antique objects that make the perfect lamps.  We were looking at new things offered by a line we used to carry quite often and we just loved these metal tea canisters!  Instantly we knew that they would make absolutely perfect lamps because of their height and uniqueness.  The antique tole finish has great character and variation to it.  Also, the lids come off and they don’t need a base, so it will be an easy job for our lamp maker!  He’s the best and what we love most is his huge selection of fabric covered cords.  They are essential to a really good custom lamp.  At 14″ tall and 9″ in diameter, these canisters are a great size that would work in a variety of applications:  a console, entry table, buffet, bedside tables, etc.

When having custom lamps made, our important tips are:

  • Look for objects or vases that are unique and one of a kind.  It can be expensive to have a lamp made, so you want to be sure that it’s an object worthy of the cost.  They don’t have to be expensive, but they should be special.
  • Measure to make sure they are the right size for where you are going to use them.
  • If you can, try a few lampshades before you have it made.  Sometimes a lamp needs a much bigger shade than you anticipate and this can take it to a size that doesn’t really work for you anymore.
  • Pick out a cord color that will work with either the table you are putting it on, the wall color, or the flooring.  You want the cord to fade away as much as possible, so be really thoughtful about this when you are making your decision.
  • Look at all sides of the objects and pick fronts.  Mark it with a piece of masking tape labeled “FRONT” so there is no confusion when the lamp is being made.  Chances are the person will have to drill through the back at the bottom to get the cord out, so you won’t be able to change it once you get them home.
  • Think about adding a wood or lucite base to the bottom – this can take it to the next level in terms of style and finish.

This is a really fun process and we love having one of a kind lamps in the shop.  Now it’s time to pick a shade style and color for the canisters and get them to the lamp maker!  Check back in about a month to see the finished product.