I found these outdoor oil lanterns at a yard sale several years ago. “They are replicas of lanterns used during the Civil War” – That is what I was told by the seller. I thought, hmm that’s cool. They also looked great and they were $3 each. Sold. Although, I never used them outdoors as lanterns. I did use them as decorative accents inside the house. Then I ended up storing (hoarding) them with my other home decor things for a few years after. Finally, I made over my son’s room and added an antique trunk as his side table. I brought the lanterns back out and thought they would be a nice addition to the “old world” look I wanted for the room.

When I found this electric candle lamp at Michael’s , I thought it would be fun to turn the outdoor lanterns into functional lamps.

My friend helped me with this project as he is knowledgeable in rewiring and electrical things. I am not.

Tools Needed

wire cutters

splice grips

electric tape


Remove light bulb.

Remove faux candle stick from base.

Cut wires with wire cutter.

Loop bottom part of cut wire through bottom of lantern.

Cut and remove the rubber wire and leave a slack of electric wire.

Repeat on all cut ends of the wires.

Loop bottom wires through candlelight stand/base, from bottom to top.

Connect and wrap electric wires around each other.

Press down and in on the wires with splice grips. Cover wires by wrapping them with electric tape.

Place candle back on top of stand.

Screw candle light/light bulb back onto candle stick.

Place light in the lantern. 

Plug in to make sure it works…and…Voila! Let there be light.

Repeat the same steps for the second lamp. 

Here is a picture of the lamp in my son’s bedroom when were at our previous house.

Here is a picture of the lamp in my son’s bedroom in our current house.

I love love these lamp! They add so much character. They are now functional in the space that they’re in, instead of just being decorative. This is what started my obsession of wanting to turn everything into lighting fixtures. So…heads up, there will be more DIY lighting posts in the future. If you are up for a diy lighting project, I bet there are things that you already have in your home that you can turn into a lighting fixture. If you want more ideas on diy lighting, I will have more posts for you soon. Be sure to sign up to get posts emailed to you if you don’t want to miss any posts.


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