Since we installed these salvaged wood shelves in the studio, we’ve been thinking of an effective way to illuminate that little corner. I’ve always loved the FADO table lamp from IKEA, and the simple globe shape and smaller scale seemed like it would be a good fit. The only downside? Because the lamp would ultimately sit on a shelf, the white plug-in cord would be visible (as opposed to trailing invisibly down the backside of, say, a table). Over the holidays, we made a trip to IKEA during our gift-giving-errands, and we took a closer look at the lamp in person. I asked Scott if a swap to a cuter, prettier cloth cord could be an option – simply because you never know how an IKEA item is assembled – and as it turned out, yes! It could be. This was a quick 20 minute DIY (one of our very favorite kinds!), and it’s simple enough to apply to almost any lamp with an unsightly plug-in cord. Here’s how!
SUPPLIES + TOOLS USED
To screw a bulb into the FADO lamp, you need to separate the base from the globe. The first step starts the same way, but this time, cut the white electrical cord in two and remove it – and the socket – from the base plate.
Now it’s time to replace that old cord with a more handsome cloth cord! We’ve been using DIY lighting supplies from Snake Head Vintage for years, as they have one of the biggest selections and the best price points we’ve seen. We purchased this twisted cord and plug set in slate blue, a white porcelain socket and an inline switch. Our cord is comprised of two wires, hot (black) and neutral (white). After pulling the new cord through the base (through the same opening the original cord ran through), use a utility knife to strip back the cloth from the wires. Tip: Wrapping electrical tape around the cloth cord will prevent the cloth from further fraying.
Remove the base plate from the new socket and pull it over the stripped wires. The stripped wires will need to be attached to the corresponding terminal (these are the screws) on the bottom of the socket. In this case, black (hot) goes to gold and white (neutral) goes to silver. By creating a little hook with the exposed wire, the wire will wrap around the base of the screw, and the screw can be gently tightened.
At this point, you can screw the base plate back onto the socket, and then the entire socket can be reattached to the FADO base. Tighten the set screw on the side.
Next, figure out where you want your inline switch. We chose a spot that was about 2′ from the base, which would allow it to hide behind our filing cabinet but still be easily accessible to flip on and off. The inline switch comes apart by undoing 2 screws:
We’ve never installed an inline switch before, but we followed the instructions from the listing, and luckily, it was super easy! Cut back a small section of the cloth to find the hot (black) wire, and once you’ve located which one is which, cut the hot wire in half and use electrical tape to keep the two ends from fraying. The neutral wire will stay untouched – it will bypass the switch and run along the bottom (see below). Just like the socket, strip the ends of the wire insulation to expose the wires, and tighten those ends to the terminals on the inside of the inline switch. Tip: We ended up cutting about 3/4″ from the hot wire to allow for the gap between the terminals inside the switch.
Upate! The photo below shows the white wire tightened to the screws. The black wire should be the one stripped and tightened. Thanks for pointing that out in the comments, Marie! (Ours still works, but do as we say, not as we do, please.)
Use the two set screws to put the inline switch back together, and that’s it! Add your lightbulb to the new socket (we used a 40 watt LED equivalent for a soft glow), put the globe back on the base plate, and enjoy.
Little projects like this always feel so good between the larger renovations. Now, go forth and makeover your FADO lamps – or any plug-in lamp, really!