I've always really, really wanted one of those little blow-mold plastic lamps - a rabbit, maybe, or a pair of glowing red mushrooms. These lamps, sold here, and here (and often spotted in beautiful French children's rooms) are a little bit pricey and also hard to come by in the U.S., so I'm still without one.
But when I spotted this swan at the antique mall last week (with a very small price tag) a little flash went off in my brain. I could have my own blow-mold lamp. A big one! A swan!
And you can have one, too! These swans are just planters, and they are still being manufactured by Union Products.
You only really need two things to make it:
- The planter, which you can order via Amazon or elsewhere online (you might also check your local home and garden store - they might carry this kind of novelty planter.) There is also a goose, a penguin, and other things, if one of those is more your speed. Or maybe search Ebay for old blow-mold curiosities?
- A cord kit, the kind used for those hanging paper lanterns. There are lots of them here (again) or maybe you have one already? Just pay attention to what kind of light bulb it takes - some take candelabra bulbs, some take 40 w bulbs.
Since these are planters, they will probably have a hole (for drainage) somewhere near the backside. If the hole isn't large enough to pass the pronged end of the cord through, I found it was easy to enlarge it with a long lighter and a screwdriver. I warmed up the plastic, and it was easy to make the hole as large as necessary (although I did feel a little bit horrible brutalizing the poor swan with the screwdriver.)
I nestled the light in a glass jam jar, so the bulb wouldn't rest against (and likely melt) the plastic. You could also just pile a string of white fairy lights in there. That's what I did at first, and it looked lovely - I just wanted a bit more light.
So happy to finally have a little glowing animal for company in my studio.
A swan is not a rabbit, but I love them just as much!
*** Updated: There was some concern raised in the comments about my ramshackle lamp-making, and I want to encourage everyone to tinker with their own lighting particulars (for instance, in V.2 of my own lamp, I think I'll use a wooden block secured to the light's base to suspend the bulb in mid-air.)
Most importantly, whatever route you go - never use one of these (totally unapproved-by-safety-commissions) lamps unattended!
An important thing to consider, definitely.
If one decides to make this little experimental project, there are many items you might use to shield the plastic mold from the light, ie: you might build a simple base for the bulb so that it doesn't come in contact with the surrounding plastic.
As glass is a relatively poor conductor of heat, it seemed like a good place to start in my tinkering.
Regardless, I will never use it unattended, and I certainly suggest everyone else do the same!