Outdoor sconce from salvaged tile

Thomas J. Story
Old hacienda tiles bring new light into your backyard

After falling for these handmade clay roof tiles at a Bay Area salvage yard (you can find them all over the West), we’ve at last figured out what to do with them— though we’re still not quite sure what to call the finished products. (Sconces? Hurricane lanterns? Wall lamps?)

Using electrical wire, we attached small lipped glass bottles, which we found at a craft store, to the tiles. Then we inserted lamp wicks (from the store’s candlemaking section) and filled the bottles with olive oil, though lamp oil would work too. Just let the wick soak up the oil before you try to light it.

The trickiest thing turned out to be drilling the holes in the tile for the wire to go through—these old tiles can be brittle. Use a masonry bit just a touch larger than the wire, applying pressure as lightly as possible.

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