Modern Fishbowl Street Lamp

Modern Fishbowl Street Lamp

Transform a simple glass fishbowl into a fun and funky light fixture.

5 col

Difficulty: Intermediate

Glass fishbowl
Light socket kit
Filament light bulb
Drill with 3/8" glass and tile diamond bit (Important – it is used for glass and tile)
Painter’s tape
Water in spray bottle
Marker pen
Safety glasses
Work gloves
Wire stripper
(2) ¾" black rubber washers
(1) 1" black rubber washer
Super glue gel
Dry rag
2" × 12" × 20" Drill block (or scrap lumber)
Ball of decorative twine in color of your choice (optional)


Preparing the Fishbowl

Note: Steps 1 – 5 will create a hole in the glass for the lamp cord to pass through.

1. Place painter’s tape on the bottom of the fishbowl, both inside and out. This will help prevent the glass from cracking. Estimate the center of the base, and mark with a marker pen

2. Put on safety glasses and work gloves. Spray the top of the fishbowl with water so it puddles over the tape and marker pen dot. The water will help keep the drill bit cool and trap the glass dust as the bowl is cut

3. Place the fishbowl on a drill block or scrap lumber. This will help absorb the vibrations from the drill and lower the chance of the glass cracking

4. Use a drill with a 3/8" glass and tile diamond bit and carefully drill through the marker point on the base of the bowl to make a hole. As you cut through, white foam will appear. This is the dust of the glass collecting in the water puddle. Spray more water on the hole for every minute of drilling to keep the bit cool

Expert Tip: Allow the drill bit to do the work. Do not push down hard – it will break the glass. Use slow, circular motions to ease the bit through the glass.

5. Once the bit is through the glass, remove the painter’s tape from both sides. Wipe clean the hole of any leftover glass foam using a dry rag


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Attaching the Light Socket

6. Slide the light cord through the inside of the fishbowl and out through the small hole in the top. Pull it taught until the light socket is flush with the inside of the bowl

7. Stack the 1" washer and two ¾" washers on top of each other. Glue them together with super glue gel. Slide the stack of washers onto the end of the light cord, 1" washer first, and slide them down until the larger washer is touching the top of the fishbowl. Raise the stack up slightly, and then secure the washers to the fishbowl with a small amount of super glue gel. Wrap a piece of painter’s tape around the cord, and stick to the fishbowl to hold the cord and washers in place while the glue sets. Allow 20 – 30 minutes for the glue to dry before moving on to the next step

8. Screw in the light bulb

Attaching the Plug

9. At the end of the cord, separate 2" of entwined wires. Using a wire stripper, remove ¾" of the plastic wire covering to expose the bare wires. Carefully bend the exposed wires to make little hooks. This will make it easier to attach the wires to the plug in the next step

10. Slide the plug shell onto the wire. The exposed wires now need to be attached to the plug. Loosen the screws on each side of the plug with a Phillips head screwdriver. The GOLD side of the plug is POSITIVE and should connect with the BLACK wire that is also POSITIVE. The SILVER side is NEGATIVE and should be connected to the WHITE wire that is also NEGATIVE. If both sides are the same color, the wires are interchangeable and can be attached to either side. Consult an electrician with any wiring questions

11. Slide the plug shell over the plug, and secure in place with the plug’s hardware. This is usually a single Phillips head screw

Wrapping the Cord with Decorative Twine (Optional)

12. Tie one end of the decorative twine in a knot around the cord where it meets the fishbowl. Secure it to the cord with super glue gel. Wrap the twine around the cord all the way to the plug. Tie a second knot in the twine at the plug, and secure in place with super glue gel. Cut two additional 24" lengths of twine, and tie them right above the fishbowl like you would start to tie a shoelace where both ends hang loose. Fray the loose ends of the tied twine to hang freely down the side of the fishbowl

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