Weekend Project: Turn a Globe into a Lamp

World Globe, basis for the Globe Light

Photographs by Eric Cator

This weekend I was out exploring with my husband and I had just finished telling him that I could never be a minimalist because I can’t resist a good find when I spotted a garage sale sign. Cut to ten minutes later and I am walking home with a vintage globe. I almost passed it up because it was sans base, but it was free and I loved the pastel colours.  So home with me it went and here is what it became.

Globe Light Finished Product!It was just the thing for my son’s room, and overall I’m pleased with how it turned out.  In case you want to try making one of your own I made up a small tutorial.

What you’ll need:

Light fixture with cord
low wattage or LED bulb
white paint
paint brush
exacto knife

Cut the bottom of the globeStep 1: Decide Where to Cut

First, take your globe and decide where you want to cut your hole. For simplicities sake I chose a latitude line that was already there but if you want a larger or smaller hole you can draw one using a compass.

Remove the bottom of the globe
Step 2: Cut Bottom off Globe

Next, cut the bottom off your globe. I found that making a series of shallow cuts using an exacto knife worked best for getting the cleanest edge, as the globe was too thick to cut through in one pass.  My apologies to those living in southern New Zealand or the South Pole, they couldn’t be spared.

measure and cut opening for cordStep 3: Measure and Cut Hole for Cord

Measure the width of your plug and draw a circle with the same diameter on the top of the globe. Using the same shallow cutting method as before, cut out the hole. I encountered a small metal ring at this stage, but was able to pull it out with pliers.

a coat of white paint on the inside of the globeStep 4: Paint Inside White

Paint the interior of the globe white. You could try painting it a different colour, but I chose white because it offers the most light reflection. Let the paint dry for at least a couple of hours.

finish by installing the cord and hangingStep 5: Install cord and hang.

Enjoy your new light and brush up on your geography at the same time.

That’s it! The trickiest thing might be finding a globe that you’re willing to repurpose. I’ve found they often turn up at antique stores and flea markets, but there are a few places online that you can also purchase them from.

Happy Friday Everyone!

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