How to fill a BRÅN lamp from IkeaPosted: 11/01/2011
I’m embarrassed at how much I love Ikea. Yesterday, my mom helped me pick out a rug for our new apartment, since I am inept at choosing items larger than a lampshade. We also bought a lamp, since San Jose apartments don’t believe in overhead lighting. Ikea has a million lamps, so we got the BRÅN, a small lamp with a mouth-blown glass base. We assumed it could be filled with stuff, but we were wrong!
The BRÅN comes with the light housing very firmly attached, and was not meant to be filled. Whether or not this means it wasn’t meant for filling, I don’t know. But I got it home and damnit, I was going to put stuff in it. So, if you want something easy, I’d try to find a lamp specifically made for this project*. But if you are in the same pickle as me, try this:
You’ll need: pins, hair dryer, gloves or non-stick pad, superglue
1. Find a good, strong pin (or an exacto) thin enough to wedge between the metal cap and the glass base. Please, oh, please remember to be careful. If you have some gloves, wear them, but make sure you are NEVER firmly grasping the glass base with your bare hand.
2. Wedge the pin or exacto blade in between the cap and base, pulling out and in all around the diameter of the top. There’s glue keeping it together, so this will just try to break that seal as much as possible. It’s not likely that this will completely do the trick, but try to give it a turn just in case. I recommend using the non-slip pads that are used to open jars.
3. Once you’ve done all the damage you can with the pin (or pins, since you’ll probably bend a few) turn your hair dryer onto the metal. I slowly rotated the lamp to heat all the surface of the metal cap for about a minute.
4. Use the non-slip bad to grasp the metal cap and firmly and slowly twist. Make sure the hand holding the base is covered, in case of breakage. If the cap does not twist off, try a little more heat.
5. Voila! Now you have an open lamp just waiting to be filled with marbles, bobbins, taxidermied mice, whatever. I used little wads of colored tissue paper for now. Once filled, dab a few dots of super glue on the inside rim of the metal cap and place it back on the glass base. This should hold the light housing in place well enough to display, but weak enough to allow for changing out the filling.
*I did some internet sleuthing, and couldn’t find any affordable options for fillable bases. I’m sure they are out there, but maybe that is why these Ikea lamps were so cheap. Well, one of the reasons. It may just make a lot more sense to do this yourself. As always!