How to Rewire a Lamp Yourself for $2.00 or Less

Let’s say you found the most fabulous lamp at the thrift store, but its cord is a mangled mess destined to set your home on fire. You might pass right on by thinking you don’t have the skills to do it or the big dollars to hire someone to do it for you. Well, I am here to tell you that you CAN do it yourself and for $2 (or less!).

Rewire a Lamp | For $2

Read on to find out how . . .

Gather Your Tools

This super simple project requires just a few tools!

  1. Straight screw driver.
  2. Wire stripper (or a razor blade or sharp pair of scissors)
  3. Wire cutter (or a razor blade or sharp pair of scissors)

You can definitely do this project without a wire stripper, but it does make it quicker and easier. You can pick up one at Home Depot for about $6.

Rewire a Lamp | Tools NeededBuy an Extension Cord ($2 or Less!)

Take a jaunt to your local hardware store and grab yourself the cheapest extension cord they sell. This six-foot extension cord from Home Depot is perfect at only $1.47! Make sure the extension cord you choose is similar in thickness to the cord already installed in your lamp.

Rewire a Lamp | Extension Cord

Bonus: Dig into your junk drawer or closet. I bet you have an unused extension cord just waiting to be used for this exact project. That would be a grand total of $0 spent on this project!

Take the Lamp Apart

On to the business of taking apart your lamp!

Rewire a Lamp | Tools Needed

  1. Make sure you start with the lampshade and light bulb removed.
  2. Lift the socket assembly up out of the lamp.
  3. Remove the metal outer shell.
  4. Remove the cardboard insulating sleeve.

You are left with the socket still attached. Now we are going to remove that.

Rewire a Lamp | Loosen Screws

Take your screwdriver and loosen the screws on the socket. You should be able to unwind the copper wire from the screws and remove the socket entirely.

You will be left with the two wires sticking out of the top of your lamp. Remove the cord from by pulling firmly on the cord from the bottom of the lamp.

Prepping the New Cord

It’s now time to get out your extension cord ready to install in your lamp.

Rewire a Lamp | Prepping the New Cord

  1. Cut the cord close to the length you need. You can use a wire cutter, scissors or a razor blade. The most important point is to leave the plug still attached to the cord. That’s probably obvious, but I could get so excited about this project that I cut the plug off!
  2. Use the wire stripper (or razor blade or sharp scissors) to cut the plastic coating off, while leaving about an inch inch of wire intact.
  3. Here is what your cord should look like after you cut the plastic coating off.
  4. Slice the cord down the middle seam so it looks like the photo.

Put the Lamp Back Together

You’re almost done! Now you just need to reverse the steps that you took in taking apart your lamp.

Push the cord up through your lamp from the bottom. You should be back to this:

Rewire a Lamp | Socket Removed

You will start by reattaching the socket. Wrap the wire CLOCKWISE around the socket screws. You want to wrap it clockwise so the loose wires go in the same direction as the screw. Now tighten the screws.

Rewire a Lamp | Wrap Wire ClockwiseThen, place the cardboard insulating sleeve back over the screws, otherwise you risk getting a short in your wire. Replace the metal outer shell. Lastly, push the socket assembly back down into the lamp.

You should be in business! Put your light bulb back on, plug her in and turn her on!

Rewire a Lamp | Completed Lamp


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