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Lamp Shade Hack

A nifty little lamp shade hack for getting the wrong kind of lamp shade to fit on an Uno socket lamp base.

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.

Lamp Shade Hack

Not all Lamp Shades are Created Equal

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.

How to Hack your Lamp Shade

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.

  1. First, I cut the neck off of a gallon jug.
  2. Then trimmed it a little, to take off the sharp edges.
  3. I checked to make sure it fit the lamp and shade.
  4. I 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!

Lamp shade retrofitted to thrift store lamp base

Sometimes you just need to think out of the box, and into the jug, to solve a problem.


Thursday 24th of February 2022

Oh. My. God. Thank you for this! I just spent the most frustrating hour trying to come up with a hack for this exact problem!


Tuesday 22nd of March 2022

Ha! I know that feeling. So glad this helped!


Saturday 22nd of January 2022

There is a world market lamp I want. But the website says only use world market lampshade on this lamp but it can be an uno shade. You mention you for a world market shade one a regular lamp. How would that work the other way? It the world market lamp too small or too big for an uno shade? Any ideas about how to fix this?


Tuesday 22nd of March 2022

Hi Gina, without seeing the lamp, I'm not sure if I can give you a good answer. The problem is probably with the attachment, more than the size. Uno lamps have two prongs that need the correct base to sit on. This hack works better for non-uno lamp shades.


Saturday 30th of January 2021

I'm here after searching for such a hack. I actually was proud of myself for thinking to use a dvd to hold the shade in place but then I thought about the flammability piece that could bring danger. So, I think I'm just going to have to go to a hardware store and find a metal ring. Hope yours was safe and sound!


Monday 1st of February 2021

Hi Karen, thanks for commenting! Yes, mine has been safe and sound with never any problem. Another way to make it safer is to get a new energy efficient LED bulb since they don't get warm at all.

Karen Jacques

Saturday 14th of November 2020

You solved my problem! And at no cost! Yay you


Wednesday 18th of November 2020

Yay! I'm so glad to hear that, thanks for sharing!

Jody B Chapel

Wednesday 17th of July 2019

You saved me from buying a new shade and ripping it apart to try to reconstruct a solution. I haven't tried it yet, I have to buy a gallon jug of something, but I'm hopeful!


Wednesday 17th of July 2019

I'm so glad - I hope it works for you!


Creating a color-filled life. Conquering my little world one DIY project at a time. With lots of coffee and chocolate. Albuquerque NM. Pinterest ~ Instagram ~ Facebook