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From the minute I bought this house, the one project that I knew I wanted to tackle was replacing the boob lights that were all over the upstairs. If you’re unfamiliar with the oh so classy boob light, it looks like this:
The name comes from the rounded bowl shape and the bowl cap at the bottom that looks like a….well, I think you get the picture.
Fast forward through seven years of homeownership and those boob lights were still there. I have done countless projects in seven years. I’ve painted every room in this house at least once, and some 2 or 3 times. I’ve built a floating deck, remodeled a bathroom, removed texture from the walls, and more. But not once did I put “swap out boob light” on my to-do list.
Until this summer. This was the summer those boob lights were coming down. And down they came. After all this time, it only took me about 2 hours to take down 4 lights and replace them with new fixtures. Procrastination, thy name is Sharon.
But thrifty, thy name is also Sharon. I was headed to the trash with those lights and I stopped myself from throwing them away. Really, I should have donated them to the ReStore but I’ve seen boob lights in there that are probably older than me. The chances of my lights finding a forever home were slim.
What to do with an old boob light?
I set them aside because that’s what cheap-o packrats do. I didn’t have a use for them yet but I was confident I’d find a way to rehab them.
Then one day it hit me. If I removed the bowl cap and turned it over….it was just a bowl. I’d been wanting to make a tabletop fire bowl for a while. I even had the supplies already but I hadn’t made it to the “putting it all together” stage yet. And booyah! My boob light tabletop firepit was born.
I also realized the only thing that could make it any better was alcohol ink. I love working with alcohol ink. Of course, I prefer the smear it around and set it on fire method instead of actually making something recognizable. But this was going to be a fire bowl so who cares?
If you also have an ugly boob light whose days are numbered, here’s how you can turn that ugliness into a thing of beauty. And fire.
Boob Light Tabletop Fire Bowl
Boob light glass
Apply the Alcohol Ink
When you’re working with alcohol ink, make sure you’re working on a protected surface because it stains. I went super fancy and used an Amazon box turned upside down. My method is just to squirt the ink in random patterns. I like the way it looks when the inks combine so I’m not too fussy about this part. I also didn’t care if the ink got in all the crevices because it will be filled with the gems anyway.
Apply the Rubbing Alcohol
The next step is to apply the rubbing alcohol. My main goal was to get the inks to mix a little so I wasn’t really picky about this either. I like to think of it as the abstract way of painting. The day I did this was a little windy so it was hard to get a picture of what it looks like on fire. If you check out my post on the art I made, you can see what it looks like in its fiery glory.
Add the Chafing Fuel
I lucked out and found the chafing fuel at the dollar store. You can’t beat it for only a buck. Center the can in the bottom of the glass.
Add the glass gems
I also found the glass gems at the dollar store. That’s way cheaper than anywhere else I’ve looked and they also have a bunch of colors. I went with clear, blues, and greens since those are the colors I have on my patio. It took about 4 bags of the gems to fill up the bowl but still leave the top of the can and wick exposed.
Light it Up!
If you had told me it was possible for a boob light to be anything but ugly, I would have called you crazy. There’s a moral in there somewhere. All I can say is that I LOVE the way this fire bowl turned out. And I’m really happy that I was able to find a way to give it a second life.
And you know, I still have 3 more lights left… I wonder what else I can do with them??