If you have great old shades and no decent bases, consider using them atop something cute like an old jug or bottle. Warning: if you want to wire the "new" lamp, you should talk to a local pro or learn about the skill extensively online.
Here are a few ideas for repurposing an old shade:
- Jugs and jars: Flea markets and yard sales are full of vintage and brightly colored bottled that are large enough to look great with a shade atop them.
- Wine glasses: Depending on the size of the shade, a large martini, margarita or wine glass could be beautifully illuminated as a lamp.
- Dolls: Antique or even just retro dolls are often hollow and therefore easy to slip wiring into. This could be a fun project for a girl's bedroom or as an artsy piece, depending on the style of the doll and shade.
- Hurricane lamps: Since they're rarely in use, secondhand shops often have a selection of old-fashioned hurricane lamps. Since they have an empty glass base, they can be easy to retrofit with new wiring for a simple shade.
- Candlesticks: They can be just the right height for a lamp and since most are hollow, it can be easy to rewire them for active duty with the right shade.