Don’t you hate it when you score a great thrifty find, only to realize that the amount of work you have to put into it to make it usable is more than a new one would cost? This is what I’m always trying to avoid when shopping in thrift stores. But sometimes a plan just doesn’t come together like you think it will. Then you need a hack. As in, to hack in to a system and make it work for you in a way it probably wasn’t originally intended. Today, I’m sharing a cool hack that my husband came up with for retrofitting a lamp with an uno socket.
What’s an uno socket? That’s the term for the bulb socket that has a little flared lip on it so a lamp shade doesn’t need a harp (the metal support thing that looks like a lyre, with a finial on top). Uno sockets are usually found on table lamps or smaller accent lamps, since larger floor lamps require larger shades, with more room for a harp.
Anyway, back at the fun part of the ranch, I found this gorgeous glass lamp base at Goodwill for $3.99, then I scored this beautiful lamp shade on sale, and with a coupon, from World Market, so this was a pretty thrifty pairing. But when I got the lamp shade home, I realized it was the wrong kind for my lamp base. I needed an uno socket to be able to use the lamp shade, but I really didn’t want to rewire the whole lamp.
Not to be deterred, I got online and did a search for “uno socket retrofits” and found that you can buy them, but at almost the same cost of the whole lamp and shade! Now I was discouraged, and complained to my husband. Always one to support me spending less money, he came up with the brilliant plan to use the neck from a gallon milk jug to make a flange around the socket that the shade could sit on. Here’s how it works.
- First, I cut the neck off of a gallon jug.
- Then trimmed it a little, to take off the sharp edges.
- Checked to make sure it fit the lamp and shade.
- Layered the milk jug piece on the socket, then the shade, then the bulb.
Now my lamp shade is sittin’ pretty, with the whole lamp costing less than $11.00!
Sometimes you just need to think out of the box, and into the jug, to solve a problem.