Tag Archives: wood

Project 4: Bottle Lamp


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!


Project 1: String art


Hey all,

How’s your summer going? I’ve been working on everything except the things I probably should be working on so far. Oh well! One of the things I have been working on is string art. You’ve probably seen them posted all over pinterest and etsy and everyone’s blogs so I thought I would try my own.

Here are a couple that I’ve found on the internet that I really liked (I didn’t save the name of the people who did these but whoever you are I promise I’m not taking credit – you’ve inspired me!)

Love it.

Anyway, I now know why no one has ever done West Virginia – squigliest state lines ever thank you rivers.

Here’s what I did.

First, wander around your favorite craft store until you find a treasure like this

(Sorry for the quality, blame my phone :P)  These are natural wooden slabs with the bark, lichen, and moss still clinging to to the edges making the coolest frame. I think these were $9.99 each. In this picture I’ve already painted the inside of one green and I’ll explain why in just a second.

Wow. I need to look at getting some better lighting.

So first things first, I met Keith (my fiance) at West Virginia University where we bled blue and gold for our school on game days *Let’s Go Mountaineers!* Since then, we’ve graduated, gotten engaged, and ended up in Michigan where we aren’t going to the same school but we still ended up with the same school colors-green and white. So the plan is to do one of WV in blue and gold which says “Where two people met…” and one of MI in white and green that says “…and fell in love.” The result of this project is probably going to be Keith’s birthday present because despite his hard, tattooed exterior he’s more of a push over for the lovey-dovey things than I am 😛

So in order to do what I’ve done so far is run to the library and print off a nice outline of WV and MI and then to Jo-ann’s where I picked up the following.

3 bunches of embroidery thread

300 picture hanging nails

(I had paint and paint brushes and a hammer)

wood slab

picture hanging kit

I painted the slabs and let them sit over night to dry. In the morning I tapped the state outline over the slab and hammered in the nails along the outline. You could cut it out and use it as a stencil if you wanted to. I then ripped the paper off the slab and all my nails were very squiggly in the beautiful, familiar outline of WV. I wrapped the embroidery string around each nail to make an outline first and then I started filling in the center – tying a knot only around the first nail. When I ran out of the first set of string it wasn’t nearly enough so I just tied the next bunch on the end and continued until I felt it was covered well enough. To finish I tied the string to a nail again and tucked the ends in. I probably did it and re-did this about five times before I was satisfied with the way it looked so experiment a little bit. Mine was too small to do the heart for Morgantown but that didn’t keep me from trying.

I’m also still debating on the letters. I feel like the nails make it almost too messy. Part of me really likes it, but then another part of me wants to take it down and get the calligraphy pen out.  Let me try to get a better picture.

Much better.

I’ll post Michigan when I get it done.

Not bad for the first of twenty three. Let me know what you think.

Picnic table


My parents bought a picnic table for our memorial day picnic. Now that table was built but unfinished and not weather proofed and it sat outside for about a month. When it had that nice greenish hue of mold and mildew I decided one of us should probably finish it before it weathered away to splinters. So I grabbed the sander and got to it.

Here it is after about an hour of sanding and two coats of stain.

It’s been raining or really humid all week this week so I’ll have to wait until it quits for a while before I put a clear coat on it. I’ll take a picture and add it when it’s all done. 🙂


Finally done, check it out!

I like the way it turned out 🙂



I was amazed. It’s the first time it’s been outside in the rain. I am confident now that it’s not just going to rot away…as easily… anymore! 🙂