Liberty Bell Replica from a Glass Light Shade

Liberty Bell Replica from a Glass Light Shade

This is one of those project ideas that I’ve carried around in my head for a couple of years now. But I’m just FINALLY getting around to bringing it to life! How did it start? Well, by constantly shopping at Habitat ReStore…seeing shelves full of glass light shades…and realizing that the right one could be perfectly upcycled as a Liberty Bell replica.

glass light shades at habitat restore

I’ll be honest with you, though. I’m not *feeling* super patriotic these days, but that’s neither here nor there. Since the project was begging to come to life regardless of current events, here we are!

Anyway, see what I mean? Very bell shaped…and in numbers like these, definitely prime candidates for repurposing!

glass light shades

I’m no stranger to upcycling light fixtures from Habitat, but I’d never honed in on the bell-shaped shades before. And since this one had several non-sharp chips in the glass, turning it into a Liberty Bell replica felt like kismet.

chips in a glass shade

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Building a Yoke for a Liberty Bell Replica

First and foremost, this glass shade was extra ideal- beyond the shape. The surface was actually gritty, like very fine sandpaper. So, I knew that spray painting would be a dream- no slick or shiny surface to tackle first.

upcycling a glass light shade

Something for you to keep in mind when selecting glass shades to upcycle!

And that’s what I did- I spray painted the shade with the perfect antique-y brass paint (no primer first).

Next, it was time to construct a simple yoke for the Liberty Bell. Now, since my Liberty Bell replica would be standing, not hanging, the yoke didn’t need to be functional at all. Just kinda-sorta look the part, you know?

Starting with basic craft wood, I sketched out the yoke on a thin piece of wood, which Jon then cut with our jigsaw. I also measured out a length of square dowel for the yoke to sit upon.

making a yoke for the liberty bell

My version of the yoke would effectively be a large wooden “T”. The bottom portion would stand inside the glass light shade, and the yoke would be attached at the top. Trust me, keep reading and it’ll make sense soon!

Upcycling the Glass Light Shade

Once the wooden pieces had been cut out and lightly sanded, I stained them a dark color to look aged.

staining the wood for the liberty bell yoke

Then, I set those aside to dry overnight and turned my sights to a handful of cap nuts I had in my hardware jar. They’d be PERFECT as the “bolts” on top of the yoke.

But I needed to paint them first, since they were a bright, shiny silver. So, I pushed them onto long bamboo skewers, sprayed them with the same paint I used on the bell, and let them hang out in a jar to dry.

how to paint cap nuts

With all the yoke parts in hand, I glued the wood pieces together with super glue (there’s the “T” I told you about) and wrapped a bit of jute twine around the intersection. I glued the ends of the twine to the back of the yoke with my hot glue gun.

Then, I began gluing the cap nuts along the top to complete the yoke! Using super glue for these- NOT the hot glue gun.

yoke for a liberty bell replica

Lastly, I turned back to the glass light shade and used an oil-based paint pen to draw the infamous crack on my Liberty Bell replica!

painting the crack on a liberty bell replica

I selected an oil-based paint pen because it’s recommended for use on glass.

Liberty Bell Replica from a Glass Light Shade

And just like that, I had the two components I needed for a decorative Liberty Bell to sit on our mantel!

how to make a small liberty bell

I set the T-shaped yoke inside the top of the glass light shade and it worked like a charm. Doesn’t that look like a little Liberty Bell?

liberty bell replica

It’s really the perfect size for a patriotic display anywhere in your home. And like I said earlier, I’m pretty angry about recent national news. But the bell project deserved to come to life, regardless of my feelings.

liberty bell replica from a glass light shade

Think you’ll be looking at the light shade selection at your local ReStore next time you swing by? They’re just begging for repurposed project ideas, and hopefully this new project of mine sparks your own creative version!

diy liberty bell for patriotic decor

If you enjoyed this upcycling idea for an old light fixture, then you might be interested in this crazy project idea of mine, as well. An antique diving helmet that ALSO started as a light fixture!

Antique diving helmet from recessed light housing

Craft on!


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upcycling a glass shade as a patriotic bell

liberty bell craft idea

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. Shelley S says

    I’m definitely struggling to feel patriotic this year, but this IS very clever. Great job.

  2. Edie Wendland says

    Only you beautiful lady can come up with these amazing ideas. Next up, a book titled “What my crazy brain has instore for you”. Sadie you are full of imagination and I like it.

  3. marilyn A. says

    Wow, I just love this idea. We all need a bit of help with our patriotic thoughts these days. Can’t wait til I start this.

  4. Nancy Walls says

    This is so neat!!!

  5. Sandra Smith says

    Understand TOTALLY about losing all feelings of patriotism. How much worse can it get??? Pathetic! Thank you for a great Liberty Bell recreation! Regardless of the condition of the country present day.

  6. Never thought of these shades as a bell; awesome job. I love the old fancy, sometimes etched glass shades. Inverted with a glass votive candle insert set into them, they make awesome candleholders. And if the candle holder is colored glass, it is even prettier! They are even prettier grouped or in a line on a long table!

  7. You are so creative! I love this idea. I love to repurpose thrifted finds. Very cool post. Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend.

  8. Pamela Smith says

    What a great idea! So creative! I will be looking for that bell shaped globe!

  9. Deb in Oklahoma says

    This is really clever! I love the “Patriotic Season” (Mem Day/Flag Day/July 4) and going all-in with RWB decor, and this a fun little addition. I’m right there with you, though, in feeling defeated right now. But getting lost in a new project can be a good thing and a patriotic-themed craft might bolster your spirits and help fuel your fight to make things better.

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