Turning an Heirloom Into a Lamp

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I inherited an old silver clarinet from my grandparents. Before starting on the project we checked the value and it wasn’t worth anything and it was too far gone to be repaired. I knew I wanted to do something with it rather than letting it sit in it’s case and never be seen. I decided to turn it into a lamp!

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It was extremely tarnished so I wanted to clean it up. I first tested several techniques for cleaning silver you can see that tutorial here –

I started with the Boiling method: In a pot place a large piece of tin foil in the bottom, fill with 4 cups of water, and 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Bring to a boil. Place your silver in the boiling water for 10-30 seconds and pull out. It’s pretty amazing to watch the tarnish literally disappear!  I took the largest pot I had and did the bottom half and then the top half.
I wiped it clean with a soft cloth and then in between the spaces I used a q-tip to finish cleaning it.
There was a stretch of the clarinet that didn’t make it into the pot so I needed to clean that up with a different method. I first tried a baking soda paste but that wasn’t working as well as I wanted so I used the Toothpaste Method – For this use regular toothpaste (not gel). I used Crest no flavor regular toothpaste.
Put the toothpaste on a cloth and rub the silver with the toothpaste. Rinse off when finished cleaning. Again for I used toothpaste on a q-tip to get in between the spaces.
Here it is all tarnished removed – what a difference!
I bought a square base at Hobby Lobby. We drilled a hole in the center, I painted it black, and put a top coat of polyurethane on it. We added a nut in the center for the next step.
My husband had an extra base for a clarinet stand he wasn’t using. We screwed that into the nut and base.
I placed the clarinet onto the stand.
On top I added a cork light fixture. The cork fit directly into the top of the clarinet and I added a light bulb to the top. I has a plug that you plug into the wall. I secured the cord on the back by attaching it to the clarinet on with some metal wire twisting it through the keys and around the cords.
Here is it all finished and we love it. My husband and I met on in college on band scholarships – we sat right next to each other. We both have a passion for music and we loved adding this heirloom to our home.

Click on the photo below to watch the video of this creation…

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  1. What a fabulous way to keep a family heirloom in view! It can bring back memories every day. So much better than hidden away in a case!

    1. Thank you Linda, I do enjoy having it out on display. It’s in our basement as we call it our “blues basement”. It’s literally blue down there but we have a music clock and art down there. It fits in nicely. 🙂

  2. SO much better than just leaving it in a case. Now you can enjoy it everyday. Such a clever upcycle

    1. Thank you Julie, we really love seeing it everyday 🙂

    1. Thank you so much and I truly do love having it out to enjoy.

  3. I love repurposing things we love this way. It’s so much better than packing them in a box.

    1. Thank you Donna, it’s so true. I don’t get to enjoy it while it’s stored away. Much better to see it and have the memories everyday.

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