Making electrified lamps and light fittings out of old parafin or candle lamps is one way to both repurpose old things, and add ambience, charm and character to your home! In this article I’ll show you how I did it.

The first one I made was made from an old parafin lamp picked up for around thirty bucks from an antique store. I had this idea from the outset and wanted an old lamp to electrify and use in a particular space, and I also didn’t want to destroy a valuable antique at the same time! Anyway, so this old parafin lamp base made a good start. All I needed to do was to clean it up and repurpose it.

Once I’d cleaned it and removed unnecessary gauze and other materials from the bowl, I drilled the base to facilitate mounting – in this case on a piece of brass pipe. I also had to fit the brass electric bulb socket to the top, which fitted perfectly into the decorative collar. The electric wire was fed through the hole into the brass pipe and connected to the socket, and once mounted to the wall in place, connected to the switch and viola! Light!

The next example I can show you is the kitchen light we use when we don’t need the really bright florescent light! It’s the one suspended from the decorative “kitchen tree” I described in the article “Easy DIY Rustic Kitchen Tree & Lamp” – and that was an old brass candle lamp I picked up on a holiday trip through Sedgefield in 2015. As you can see from the photos, the electric wire passes through the top of the lamp body into the lamp socket – a brass unit you can get at most hardware stores. In this case I used a decorative LED lamp that gives a beautiful warm color while still providing enough light to see and do useful things in the kitchen by 😉 !

I’d like to add that when doing things like this, you need to take into consideration that you need to occasionally change bulbs, so you will need to allow for this – no use having to dismantle an entire lamp just to get access to the bulb each time you need to change it! Luckily this one had a handy little door in the glass frame!

That’s all for this time, have a DIY day!

Pictures below – enjoy!


If you’d like to send Christina Engela a question about anything on this site, or her life as a writer or transactivist, please send an email to or use the Contact form on her author website.

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