How to Make a Vintage Bottle Lamp

A few years ago a friend of mine asked me if I would be interested in some old, buried cider bottles from his family's old apple orchard. Of course I said yes! Once I dug out a dozen or so, I decided to make one into a bottle lamp-- complete with a vintage-inspired label!
The state of the bottles before they were cleaned up was pretty grim. There was algae and mud in all of them and it required hours of scrubbing with rag scraps attached to a bench wire hanger (so I could reach inside the narrow bottle neck).
Once it was all clean, I made a hole in the bottom of the bottle with a special drill bit designed for drilling holes in glass.
Then I used a lamp kit to make this bottle into a lamp. The step-by-step picture instructions on how to run the wires through and attach to the socket, is included in my blog post linked at the bottom.
I didn't apple the vintage-inspired label right away, and used it when I was staging some furniture makeovers. I liked the simplicity, but I wanted something a little more interesting on the bottle-- to make it more one-of-a-kind.
The next step was attaching the label I created using a special decal (that is dishwasher safe too!). Details on this decal (that only requires a printer, simple laminator, and a hairdryer to apply) are on my blog post here:
How to Apply Magic Decal to a Bottle Lamp
As you can see, the result is something truly unique and beautiful! This same technique can be done with new glass jugs that can be found at craft stores, but I love the history and story these bottles have and how they tie to the label I made (inspired by the original apple orchard).
I sold this lamp at a vintage market I participate in, called Vintage Market Days (which has many locations across the midwest). If you are interested in other hand-made items I made to sell and learning about my years of experience on selling out at vintage markets and fairs, then you will love this post: How to Sell Out: My Tips for Selling in a Vintage Fair

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

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  • Deb Deb on Feb 16, 2017
    My question is actually regarding the green stool in the phot. MY parents have one and I've never understood the design of the tall back? Do you know the story of them?

  • Marianne Grande-Gasser Marianne Grande-Gasser on Mar 01, 2017
    when you click on this link:, it says it cannot be reached. Is there another link that works??? thank you!

  • Maura Campbell Maura Campbell on May 25, 2018

    Where did the decal come from?


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