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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.


Sunday 20th of August 2023

Brilliant and just what I needed! Thanks


Tuesday 15th of August 2023

I love these little things that make bargains a true bargain…… retrofitting! I love the word!

S. Stone

Tuesday 11th of July 2023

Shade appears to large for lamp. There’s no room for hand to turn on lamp


Monday 20th of February 2023

Using this hack now! Thanks for posting! I bought all these World Market lamp shades which don't fit average lamp bases (that I buy at thrift stores), so this will allow me to proceed with using them!


Friday 24th of February 2023

Yes that was my problem exactly, so glad this helped you too!


Saturday 28th of January 2023

I faced the same problem! My husband doesn't think like yours does so thanks for sharing your hack.


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