Tag Archives: electric

Project 4: Bottle Lamp

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About a year ago, I made this for Keith. He liked the way the bottle looked so much, I figured we might as well make it useful instead of just letting it sit around and get broken somehow.

He liked it so much that he bragged to his buddies about it and it didn’t take long for his roomie to ask me to make him one too. However, I somehow failed to snag a pic (imagine the above only with a Three Philosopher’s bottle instead).

At a dinner party not too long after that, another friend ask me to make him one as well! Only problem with this one is that it’s made with a vodka bottle (much thicker than beer bottles) and it came from somewhere outside the US (a.k.a not easily replaceable by a trip to the liquor store). Also, if I remember correctly there was some emotional attachment to the event the bottle was gifted to them. *EVEN MORE PRECIOUS TO THE OWNER AND TERRIFYING TO WORK ON!*

Anyway, I’ve kind of been putting it off because I’ve been a little afraid of cracking it. Recently, the same friend allowed us to stay at their lake house for the weekend, so I figured I should get it done and give it to them finally as a thank-you if nothing else! Me and my procrastination skills (oh yeah, isn’t that why I’m writing these posts today :P)…

So, materials!

  • Bottle you want to make into a lamp
  • Wooden base
  • Stain for base
  • Clear sealant (not pictured)
  • Felt for bottom and adhesive spray (also not pictured)
  • Lamp kit
  • Lamp shade
  • Light bulb
  • Clear stik’n seal adhesive
  • Dremel
  • Diamond tip dremel bits
  • Goggles or other eye protection (so that’s why I kept my Organic Chemistry equipment!)
  • Newspaper or a towel to collect glass particles so you don’t get them all over you kitchen floor
  • vacuum/broom/mop just to make sure you don’t walk through a field glass dust in bare feet!

That list is a lot larger than it seems it should be, but I think I included everything. I had everything except the stain and base already so it made for a quick project. You can get pretty much everything at Lowes or Home Depot or any other home improvement store, ‘cept the bottle of course. (I can only imagine… “Hey honey, while we’re working on the deck, lets get some booze to keep us motivated!” *weekend project fail*).

First things first, you need a hole for the wiring. I drilled straight through the back of the beer bottles, but the vodka bottle had a nice little nook that the wire fit in perfectly so I just went through the bottom of it. Make sure to drill slowly. Or rather, have the drill on a high speed but stop frequently to let the glass cool. I’ve seen videos on YouTube where people had the bottle full of water, in a tub full of water to keep the whole thing cool however I don’t like the idea of getting electrocuted so I didn’t do this. I also cracked the bottom a smidgen and the Dremel got away from me a couple times. It was a lot thicker than I expected! Fortunately, it’s all on the bottom.

I already have my lamp kit assembled in the first pic. The directions on the back of the packaging are super easy to follow. I promise, I am not an electrician and I have made three of these now…and have yet to burn down a house!

Then, I stained the base. I used wood-sheen which you paint on and then wipe off. It’s dry and usable in an hour so it’s great for someone with as little patience as I have. My base is in two parts so after they were dry I lined them up and glued them together. I started to attach the bottle and then decided that it would be easier to put the felt on first. I sprayed both pieces (felt and the bottom of the base) and glued them together and put it felt side down under some newspapers and old text books.

 

Attach the bottle with the Stik’n Seal and let it set for 24+ hours. Finally, sit down in your favorite easy chair and read a good book by the light of your own, awesome, one-of-a-kind lamp!

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