Chevron lamp shade on thrift store lamp

Creative Lighting on a Thrift Store Budget

If an entire home lighting renovation isn’t feasible right now, a simple and affordable way to update your style is by getting creative with what you already have and combining it with what others have left behind.

Thrift Shops

There is nothing quite as rewarding to me as a good ol’ thrift shop gem. When my family moved into a new home last year, the builder-grade light fixtures didn’t do much for the decor, but upgrading them just wasn’t in the budget. I was faced with the challenge of incorporating my style into the house without spending a fortune — a perfect excuse to pay a visit to my favorite local resale shops. Check out what I came home with…

Chevron lamp shade on thrift store lamp
I spray painted the wooden base on this old $1.00 lamp navy blue and topped it with a lime green chevron shade – perfect for a kid’s playroom. Total cost ~$10
Blue Ball jar lamp
I always had big plans to DIY a Ball Jar lamp but when I came across one for $5 at the consignment shop, I jumped on it.

QUICK TIP: Don’t forget about Ebay, consignment stores, flea markets, Craigslist, Freecycle, local yard sales, or non-profit donation centers like Goodwill, The Salvation Army, or Habitat for Humanity ReStores.   

Work with What You’ve Got

I always loved the height and elegant shape of this lamp. When the shade was damaged in our move, it was a perfect opportunity for me to get creative. A new lamp shade ($9.95 on consignment), a decorative finial (taken from another old lamp), and some leftover twine gave this light new life!

Burlap lamp shade on a table lamp.
A $10 lamp shade, decorative finial and some twine gave this old lamp new life.

Maybe you already have a gorgeous lamp or family heirloom that you just can’t part with but haven’t found a way to make it work in your home. Consider updating the base with a new lamp shade, get out the spray paint, or switch out a dated bulb with the warm light from a trendy vintage-style antique light bulb. Even small changes can have a dramatic effect and completely change the look of the light.

Renee Carlson

Renee Carlson

Renee specializes in digital marketing & content development for Pegasus Lighting. When she’s not blogging about all-things-light, you’ll find her nestled in the ‘burbs of Raleigh with her husband & three active boys, getting lost in her Kindle, tackling a long list of home improvement projects, or cheering on the Carolina Panthers.