DIY: How to make a fairy light lamp with photo holder lampshade!


Affordable Home Tips challenge by Keepmoat

There’s no hiding my love of everything upcycled and homemade, so when Keepmoat, who specialise in community regeneration and housebuilding, got in touch asking me to take part in their Affordable Home Tips challenge by creating something upcycled, I of course jumped at the chance – anything to get creative and improve my home!

I thought long and hard about what I could create for this challenge as it was important to me that I made something totally unique! With Pinterest playing such a big role in the popularity of upcycling, it’s hard to think up new ideas nowadays. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s wonderful how inspiring Pinterest is but I like to make sure my home projects are unique and personal to me. Another one of my upcycling golden rules is that a DIY project has to be something you can’t buy in a shop! I think it’s amazing to save those pennies by recreating something you’ve seen on a shopping trip or online but that thrill you get from making something original is priceless – literally!

As someone often short of time, I also wanted to make sure my project was one that you could easily make at home, without the use of power tools or days of drying time – let’s face it, power tools can be a little scary and time is a luxury, which you certainly don’t need to sacrifice in order to save money!

My inspiration

My inspiration for this challenge came in the form of a demijohn – what’s that you ask?! Well it’s a large glass bottle traditionally used for brewing. You’ll be familiar with its appearance but, like me, probably unfamiliar with its unusual name! I had recently bought a selection of demijohn bottles to fill with flowers for our upcoming wedding but they were sitting redundant until the big day and I was dying to upcycle one into something for the home!

The gorgeous shape of this bottle got me thinking of ways I could repurpose it and I came up with the idea of transforming it into a lamp. However without wanting to get too technical with electrics I had a dilemma on my hands as to how I was going to make it light up! Eventually I had a *light bulb* moment and dug out some fairy lights left out after Christmas. I gently pushed these inside the bottle and it lit up like a Christmas tree – they were perfect! The pretty lights created the most gorgeous glow that radiated out across the surface the demijohn bottle was stood on.


Getting personal

My next challenge was to think up a way of adding a lampshade. I’d been toying with the idea of making something out of chicken wire for a long time but never had the right project to suit its rustic appearance. I was unfamiliar with the history of my demijohn bottle but its vintage qualities had me dreaming of apple farms and old English cider production, so to continue this rustic theme out came the chicken wire!

I cut the wire to size and loosely wrapped it around a plain white lampshade which fitted the top of my demijohn bottle perfectly. All that was needed was some pliers to secure the wire at the back. This formed the perfect canvas for clipping travel mementoes and photos! Not something you would usually associate with a lamp but a totally unique way of displaying your favourite snaps. I had some travel tickets and a small watercolour painting tucked away in a box from a recent trip to Italy and this was the perfect solution for displaying them. I also rooted out some old family photos and clipped them all to the lamp using small pegs.


I’m thrilled with my finished lamp – the fairy lights add a subtle glow to the lampshade and it makes me smile thinking of all the happy memories now clipped to the shade! I hope this has inspired you to make one of your own. It really is very simple and I bet you have an old lampshade and some fairy lights tucked away somewhere and some chicken wire in the shed to utilise. I bought my demijohn bottle from ebay so every bit of this project was upcycled in some shape or form – a true bargain!

Next time you want to spruce up your home or add some character to a room, why not have a go at making this DIY lamp – it’s sure to be a talking point when friends come to visit! Plus you can keep updating it with new pictures and keepsakes. Don’t forget, there’s so much inspiration around the house in forms you may have not considered. Dig out those odds and ends and get making!

Make sure to share your affordable home tips in the comment box below.

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Keepmoat offers a complete solution in creating and maintaining better communities – from building new homes and public buildings, to responsive maintenance and repairs. They funded the creation of this project and you can read more about what they do at


4 thoughts on “DIY: How to make a fairy light lamp with photo holder lampshade!

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