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. And those cups look great in the bedroom, too, if you add a little electricity to the mix and turn them into an enamel cup lantern, as we did with this one.
It looks so beautiful when you switch the lights on and has gorgeous farmhouse decor stamped all over it. The enamel cup lantern was surprisingly easy to make too.
What you need
All you need, besides the cup, is:
- Plaster of Paris
- a plastic tube
- electric wire
- metal epoxy glue
- a light fitting and switch
- a kerosene oil lamp or lantern
You only need the burner bit and the glass chimney that protects the flame. Save the rest of the bits to make these gorgeous lantern planters or even these pallet block lanterns. Just check that the burner bit fits nicely inside the enamel cups. Enamel cups usually come in three standard sizes, small, medium, and large. To make the lantern, we used medium-sized cups with a diameter of 8 cm (3 1/8”).
How to Make an Enamel Cup Lantern
There are two parts to this tutorial:
- Modifying the oil lantern burner for a light fitting
- Wiring up the enamel cups
Modifying the oil lantern burner
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 lift the tabs and then pull the bits apart gently.
Use small pliers or tin snips to cut a hole just big enough for the light fitting in the burner top and burner body. Be careful; the edges are sharp.
Adding the light fitting
File the sharp edges down before gluing the light fitting inside the burner top and reattaching the top to the body.
You should have something that looks like this.
Stuff a small plastic bag inside the light fitting and paint the burner and the light fitting gold. This step is optional, but it does give the light fitting and burner that elegant, cohesive look 😉
Modifying the enamel cups to fit the electrical wires
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 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. Ask me how I know 😀
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 or tube into the hole to protect the wiring.
Thread the electrical cord through the protective plastic pipe or tube.
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, remove all the messy bits, and you’re ready to put the light together.
Wiring Up the Enamel Cup Lantern
The hubby, whose 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!!! Thread the wire 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 lantern chimney, and you’re all done.
Isn’t she pretty? I love the soft glow and farmhouse feel of the enamel cup lantern.
That gorgeous orchid is from our garden. She’s in full bloom right now 😉
And even when the lights are off, I still think the electric enamel cup lantern looks stunning.
What do you think? Have you done something a little different with enamelware? I’d love to hear about it.
If you like the idea of making an electric enamel cup lantern, please don’t forget to pin it for later.
Sharing is caring 😉
And if you’d like to make your own, I’ve added affiliate links below. Disclosure: If you click on the links, we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry, it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us come up with some more crafty ideas to share with you 😉
Or if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, then these beauties may be just what you’re looking for.
And as always, here’s wishing you a beautiful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.