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.