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REPURPOSE | Trash into Treasures

A dishy lamp lights things up

By Wendy Becktold

Lori Eanes

My kitchen cupboard is cluttered with dishware I don't use: a souvenir North Dakota dinner plate, duck saltshakers, retro surfer-girl coffee mugs, and more. I hold on to these relics for sentimental reasons, so I was happy to learn that kitchenware can be transformed into beautiful, one-of-a-kind lamps. Phoebe Palmer, an artist in Central California, has made hundreds.

My favorites are a desk lamp made of meat grinders and a floor lamp fabricated from 27 Jell-O molds. Inspired, I drilled holes through a measuring cup and some bowls and inserted a lamp rod. I attached the harp and electric hardware, used a colander for the shade, and cemented it all with silicone glue. Now my dishware really lights up the place.


Drilling through glass and metal requires caution, know-how, and special drill bits. Wiring can also be tricky.

Wendy Becktold

  • An assortment of dishware
  • Lamp harp (6 to 8 inches)
  • Threaded Lamp Rod (about the length of your stacked dishware or longer)
  • 3 to 6 nuts to fit on the lamp rod (optional)
  • Socket, cord, plug, and switch
  • CFL bulb
  • Silicone glue
  • Dremel and/or drill with proper bits to cut through ceramic and metal
  • Hacksaw
  • Goggles and gloves

Inspired by the designs of Phoebe Palmer at

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