Simple Bottle Lamps

3 Materials
2 Hours

Unique lamps can be really expensive, but you can make your own!

All you need for each bottle lamp is: a bottle, lamp kit, and lamp shade. Some optional tools: a cork, drill with glass bit, harp kit, rubber grommet, and filler for the bottle (i.e. glass beads).

The bottle lamp kits I bought were at Walmart for $8 each. I had the rest of the supplies already.

Soak to help remove labels, or you can leave the labels on if you want!

Some bottles have a metal collar. To remove these I put the tip of the scissors in and wiggle to move them down a bit, then cut. Repeat to move farther down until the whole collar is cut.

Clean the bottle and remove any leftover sticky residue with rubbing alcohol and a cloth or paper towel.

Many lamp kits have two wiring options. You can run the wire through the bottle and drill a whole for the other end, or you can keep the cord outside the bottle and save yourself having to drill through the glass. Keeping the cord on the outside is definitely much easier, but I will walk you through my steps of running the cord through the bottle.

If you want the cord in the bottle, you will need a drill with a glass bit slightly larger than the kit’s power cord.

To cover the cut glass edge and help the bottle lamp look more professionally done, you can add a rubber grommet.

The kit I bought came with three sizes of bottle adapters. Unfortunately, the largest was a little too big, and the middle was too small. If you have the same problem, you can wrap electrical tape around the one slightly smaller until it will fit snuggly. Another option- use a cork and drill the proper size hole in the center to fit the lamp kit hardware.

I am making two bottle lamps, so I cut the cork in half to have two bottle adapters.

Follow your kit’s instructions for assembly. Mine says to thread the lamp nipple (long threaded piece) into the adapter until 1/4” to 1/2” is exposed at one end. Install the locknut onto the other end and tighten.

The assembly order will look like the picture on the right.

Time to thread the cord. A trick to help pull the cord through is to tie a string to a paper clip that will fit through your drilled hole. Feed the paper clip in the drilled hole and out the top of the bottle. Tie the other end around your cord and pull the cord through.

***If your bottle is transparent and you want to put any sort of filler inside, do it AFTER you’ve fed the paper clip with string, but BEFORE you pull the cord through. This will give you the most space to fit things through the bottle neck, but not make it impossible to wire the bottle. Some good options for filler are glass beads or small rocks.

Other ideas are to frost or paint the bottle, or even decoupage some fun designs on.

It took a while to find glass gems that would fit in the bottle neck, but I finally found some crescent-shaped clear glass gems at Walmart. I added gems as well as USB powered LED fairy lights to each bottle.

Finish assembling the kit as instructed. Depending on the lampshade you pick, you may also need a harp kit.

Add your shade and a bulb and enjoy!

The LED lights I added came with a remote for different settings.

I’d love to see your bottle lamps in the comments!

Resources for this project:

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Frequently asked questions

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  1 question
  • Phyllis Phyllis on Nov 28, 2020

    It seems it would be top heavy. How do you stabilize it to keep from easily falling over?


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