The Affordable DIY Vintage Lighting Feature That Doubles As Secret Storage

Want to hear some tea about your empty tea tins? They can actually be repurposed to illuminate and decorate your home! Rather than throwing these away, look at them as something other than just a tin and transform them into a crafty homemade lamp that also hides small items you don't have a home for. Yes, in this era of DIYs where pool noodles can become jewelry organizers and wood pallets transformed into a storage shelf and desk, your old and unused tea tins can become a kitschy lamp that illuminates your space and acts as storage. All you need are, obviously, your preferred tins, a light socket, and a rechargeable lightbulb to create this faux-vintage craft.

Even if you don't consider yourself a master DIYer, this project is simple and really pays off when you're finished. It also makes for a great gift, and if you happen to have several tins lying around, you're already halfway finished gathering supplies! You can get super clever when picking your lamp shade for the final touch, too, so keep it in mind while shopping, thrifting, or browsing online.

Turn your tea tins into illuminated storage

If you don't have any tea tins, you can find these at local grocery stores, specialty markets, and even online. Keep color and design in mind when purchasing new ones so you can match to your existing aesthetic, but even vintage patterns fit in with a variety of decor schemes and add an eclectic flair. Clean out the tin thoroughly, then drill a hole through the lid where you can fit a light socket like these Amazon finds. Your drill bit size will depend on this piece, so always measure it ahead of time. Once you've inserted your socket, grab your rechargeable bulb and attach it. 

Remember, warm lighting always fits with a vintage theme, so an Edison bulb or other warmer light could be a good choice for this DIY. It'll provide ambient lighting for rooms where you like to relax and spend time just hanging out. The reason you want a rechargeable lightbulb over a standard one is so you don't have to worry about wiring and complicated electric projects. Rechargeable bulbs are great, because whenever it's time to give them some juice, you simply charge them as you would any other electronic and you should be good to go for a while.

Pick a shade that matches your new lamp

The finishing touch is a lamp shade, and this will depend on personal preference. Because of the smaller nature of the tins, you want to find shades that won't overpower them, but that still cover the light enough to produce a warm, cozy effect. Depending on the color of your tin, opt for a shade that has similar hues or patterns, or you can just go for white, cream, or beige, which will flow with any theme. You can also upgrade thrifted shades with ribbon, tassels, or other decor and some glue.

The shade can be attached to the holder and is easy to pop off when you need to recharge your lightbulb. Once you've made your lamp, remove the lid to store smaller trinkets, tools, keys, and other miscellaneous items to clear up surfaces, but also keep them safe and handy! Next time you finish a tin of tea, consider turning it into a lamp that rivals even the most stylish fixtures on the market — for a faction of the cost.