I’ve wanted a pair of mother of pearl lamps for a long time but they can cost anywhere from 70-300$ each! I figured it wouldn’t be difficult to make them myself if I could find lamp bases to tile. I was able to find two rectangular bases at a thrift store. Unfortunately, the most cost effective tiles wouldn’t ship to me in Alaska and tile was the most expensive part of this project. In the end I was able to make two custom, tiled lamps for the cost of one inexpensive mother of pearl lamp. So, I was still happy! I have a feeling these will be moving to the master bedroom soon.
COST AND MATERIALS
Total Cost: $84
Materials + Cost breakdown:
- Lamps: 10$
- Tile: $74
- Gesso, grout, tile float, and lampsades: already had
- If needed prime the lamp bases before applying grout – I used gesso for this to give the tile a less slippery substance to adhere to. The original lamps were covered in suede…lovely
2. Next cut the tile to size – I used a knife to cut around the tile back meshing. Unfortunately this leaves gaps and you have to cut pieces of tile in half to fill the gaps.
3. To cut the half pieces I took single pieces of tile and then broke them in half using a chisel and a hammer. I ran the broken edge of the half pieces against a sander to smooth the edges.
4. Spread grout on the lamp base and affix the tile. A non-sanded grout works best for this because the shell scratches very easily. 5. Use a grout float to fill the spaces between the tiles. Wipe down gently with a damp rag or sponge.Enjoy!