The window behind the couch cranked open, letting cool air rush in. Sweet relief, since the house was still warm from yesterday’s heat. My husband poked his head around the kitchen doorway to ask me if I’d planned anything for breakfast just as I started around the edge of the couch. Distracted, I didn’t notice the lamp cord had caught around my leg. This was the result:
The disappointment wasn’t as crushing as it might have been, considering that this particular lamp had always been tippy. The shade, although fringed and beautiful, had never really set right and the lightbulb had even burned it in one place. This made me a little nervous to use it, and I was forever watching to make sure that it didn’t start a fire.
Being of the mindset that you can repurpose belongings, I put the lamp downstairs in THE ROOM. I’m convinced everyone but maybe Martha Stewart has a version of THE ROOM. It’s, you know, where you shove things in no particular order until you figure out what to do with them. I’d been trying to remove, rather than add to, this inventory, but in the broken lamp went to be forgotten for several months.
Now that I’ve renewed my dedication to weeding and generally putting the yard in order, I wanted a focal feature in a dark corner of dry shade where nothing much wanted to grow. A gazing ball seemed just the thing, and I already had a polished marble orb that needed a purpose. Why not marry the two?
It was the work of a few minutes to cut the cord near the top so I can return it to THE ROOM to await another use. I pulled the cord out and unscrewed the all-thread attached to the lightbulb base from the lamp. I removed the foam circle on the bottom of the lamp so I could get the nut that had been holding the all-thread out.
There was a gold decorative collar I considered resting my new gazing ball on, but it sits better on the lamp stand alone. I could have spray painted the stand a different shade, but the simple white stand is the perfect foil for the marble ball balanced at its top. To prevent the stand from becoming a home for spiders, I plugged the cord hole with cork. Of course, I turned that part toward the back so it doesn’t show.
I love the price of my new gazing ball (nothing) and the fact that it repurposed two items that were cluttering up my house.
Make a Do-it-Yourself Gazing Ball and Stand
If you don’t have a broken lamp, either repurpose one you’re tired of or browse thrift shops for a likely candidate. You never know. An ugly lamp you might not otherwise consider might make a beautiful gazing ball stand. I’d avoid using woods, since the finish would get ruined outdoors, but ceramic lamp bases are perfect.
Some people paint an old bowling ball (check at thrift stores) with silver metallic spray paint to create a gazing ball. However, if you want to replicate my marble one, you can easily purchase marble balls online. You’ll want to check the diameter of the marble ball you purchase as some are small. Mine is not very big, so I used a smaller lamp for its stand. I think it’s cute.
A gazing ball lightens a dark corner. To display one to advantage, it should be located where people will take time to look at it. Mine is by my front door, where visitors will wait for the door to open. Another good spot is near a bench.
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©2014 by Janalyn Voigt