Hands up who doesn’t love enamelware? I can’t see any hands 😉 To me nothing says farmhouse quite like a few enamel urns, plates and cups displayed on an open shelf in the kitchen. But, an enamel cup looks great in the bedroom too if you turn it into an electric lantern, like we did with this one.
And they were surprisingly easy to make too. All you need, besides the enamel cup, is plaster of Paris, a plastic tube, electric wire, a light fitting and switch and a kerosene oil lamp. You only need the burner bit and the glass chimney that protects the flame. Just check that the burner bit fits nicely inside the enamel cups. Enamel cups usually come in three standard size, small, medium and large. To make the lantern we used the medium sized cups with a diameter of 8 cm (3 1/8”).
Making the Enamel Cup Lanterns
Start by taking the burner bit of the oil lantern apart. The burner consists of three parts, the top, the body and the wick channel. The burner top and wick channel are held together with small tabs that are crimped into slots on the burner body. You should be able to use your fingers to gently lift the tabs and then pull the bits apart.
Use small pliers or tin snips to cut a hole just big enough for the light fitting in the burner top and burner body. Careful, the edges are sharp. File the sharp edges down, before gluing the light fitting inside the burner top and reattaching the top to the body.
Okay, now for those enamel cups. You’ll need to drill a hole in the side of the cup towards the bottom for the electric wire to fit through. Enamel is
a bitch tough to try drill into. Putting masking tape over the cup helps a little and gives the drill bit something to grip onto. Plus, if the drill slips you won’t end up with awful scratches all over your enamel cup.
The drilled holes will probably be a bit jagged and those sharp edges could be dangerous if they come into contact with the electrical wire. So to avoid a potential DIY catastrophe, insert a plastic pipe into the hole to protect the wiring.
Enamel cups aren’t very heavy, so we filled them with a little bit of plaster of Paris to add some weight.
Once the plaster of Paris sets, you’re ready to put the light together. The hubby, who’s idea this was BTW 😉 knows about wiring things up. If you’re not sure how to do it, please, please get a qualified electrician to do this bit for you. Electricity is dangerous!!! I wasn’t allowed to take any pictures of him wiring the lanterns up, because he said I might get the instructions all wrong. Or something like that 😀 So here’s a pretty picture of the lantern bits and the plaster of Paris filled enamel cup before the wiring happened. Just a small hint – the wire goes up through the plastic pipe and then into the light fitting. The light switch goes on the outside of the enamel cup.
Use steel epoxy to glue the burner onto the rim of the enamel cup, before adding a bulb and the chimney. Ta da, all done.
Isn’t she pretty? I love the soft glow and farmhouse feel of the enamel cup lantern. P.S. That orchid is from our garden. She’s in full bloom right now 😉
And even when the lights are off, I still think she looks stunning.
What do you think? Have you done something a little different with enamel cups? I’d love to hear about it.
Sending love as always xoxoxox