Is there any way to easily take a flash light and make it spread its light out more like a lamp instead of just a straight beam?
The simplest method would be to use a Convex Mirror. A convex mirror reflects the light to all directions. This can be used to illuminate a small room, provided the torch is a strong enough. This is by far the easiest hack you can use. It is very economical, and efficient.
Stand the flashlight with the lens up and put a frosted plastic medicine cup (the kind that comes with cough syrup) on the lens. The cup will diffuse the light with little loss (less than a paper cone or cup) and no color shift. The small cups in which single serving preserved fruit are sold will work for larger flashlights.
Pointing the light at any white surface will diffuse the light. This is easy to do in a room with a white ceiling. If your light has a pocket clip, you can also clip an index card on it as shown:
Unfortunately the card blows easily in wind, so it's not quite as slick as it looks. A sturdier piece of cardboard from a white box will work better if there is a draft.