HOMEMADE GIFT IDEAS

How to Make a Liquor Bottle Lamp

How to Make a Liquor Bottle Lamp

I would like to share one of my favorite craft projects how to make a bottle lamp. You do have to invest about $15  for a diamond bit, but the bottle lamps can be made for less than $10 and they make amazing gifts or sold for a profit at craft shows and Etsy shops.

You don’t have to be a drinker to get nice looking bottles. Most bars throw out there wine and liquor bottles on a regular basis. I simply asked around a couple bars to save me a few bottles and it wasn’t a problem at all. Worst case scenario you might have to dumpster dive for one lol! I bought the drill bit at Home Depot and they have the light kits for about $5.
Class cutterHow to Make a Bottle Lamp

 

How To Drill Glass For Your Bottle Lamp

When your drilling glass you need to take the proper precautions. Eye protection and gloves are a MUST if the bottle should break. Its very rare  but it can happen. I’ve drilled close to 20 bottles now and I haven’t broke a bottle yet, so as long as your careful and let the drill bit do the work it can be done pretty efficient without breaking them.
How to Make a Bottle LampHow to Make a Bottle Lamp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The key to drilling glass is letting the bit do all the work. You need to have water running over the bit while drilling. The main reason is glass dust isn’t good for your lungs and the water will keep that dust down. The other reason is the water keeps the drill bit and the bottle cool while your drilling so the glass doesn’t stress and break. You can wrap the bottle in a cloth for added protection. Please be aware suziscrafts.com makes no claims about the safety or techniques of these projects. DISCLAMER

To start your hole, put the drill bit at an angle and start drilling out a groove (This prevents the bit from slipping and traveling on the face of the bottle). Once a groove has been established, slowly straighten out the bit so your drilling directly into the bottle. The drilling process can take a while since your letting the drill bit do all the work. Some of the thickest bottles can take close to 10 minutes to drill, but be patient and it will make a nice clean cut.

Installing a Light Kit For Your Bottle Lamp

The particular light kits I’m using have a switch that is perfect for these lamps. All you need to do is take a small screw driver and open this up to see how its constructed. One side of the wire has been cut and fixed into the casing.The top part of the casing has small copper spikes that pierce the wires to complete a circuit when its turned on. The clip on the socket wont be needed, just remove it after the wire has been cut.
How to Make a Bottle LampHow to Make a Bottle Lamp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take the wires from the housing and cut the other side so you have 2 pieces. Splice the wires so they can be re-connected and assembled back into the switch after the lamp has been constructed. Feed the wire with the light socket into the bottle and through the hole you cut at the bottom.

Connect the wires and place them back into the housing. When placing the top part of the switch, make sure the copper spikes line up with the wires that are cut otherwise the lamp wont work and you will have to re-wire it. DO NOT plug it in until the switch is back in place and screwed together tightly.

 
How to Make a Bottle LampHow to Make a Bottle Lamp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like to use 15w light bulbs in these because there smaller than your average lamp and bigger light bulbs may get too hot. For the lamp shades, I use the clip on shades you can buy at Walmart or Fred Meyers for like $3 dollars and I paint them to match the bottle or glue gems on them. I also find these shades all over thrift stores in all different styles and sizes.

Here’s a few of my favorite lamps I have made for gifts or to sell on my Etsy page.

 
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How to Make a Bottle Lamp
How to Make a Bottle Lamp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


How to Make a Bottle Lamp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is also a holiday version that uses Christmas lights and the frosted Ice 101 bottles that look great. Check out my holiday Decorative Bottle lights for a festive spin on this project.

 

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89 Comments
  1. I found your site via Pinterest and I totally love this idea, would love to make my own lamp with a Bombay Sapphire bottle, now I just have to buy the Gin, drink it and then off to make a new lamp!!!

    Thanks for sharing :)

  2. I got a Bombay bottle from work I plan on making one too! Let me know how yours turned out. :-)

  3. Love this idea!!

  4. I LOVE these bottles and so very much appreciate you sharing your talents! Too often artists ars not willing to share their techinques in fear of creating a competitor. And unfortunitaly tips and techniques and tricks will be lost with stubborn artists. So, again, thank you so very much for sharing.

  5. Your welcome. :-)

  6. This is a great idea!!! My friends and family love to keep the cool looking bottles (wine, beer, and booze) but they all just collect dust, at least this way they can be useful! Also a good idea for a wine/booze themed bridal shower/wedding as center pieces!

    To the first poster have fun drinking the gin just don’t drink and drill! I don’t want to have to hear about you on the news! ;-) hehe

  7. YES no drinking and drilling! lol :-D

  8. I work in a bar, we go through trash bags full of bottles every night! Just go to a bar and ask for some empty bottles. I have a ton of really neat ones. Just got a Remy Martin XO and a really neat tequila bottle. Look for a St. Germaine Elderflower bottle, it’s really neat!

  9. I really love those lamps :) I also like the idea of using all the empty bottles my husband leaves behind :)

  10. Now that’s some great looking lamps! Finally it’s ok to have your liquor bottles just laying around

  11. I looked it up and its a very nice bottle! I’ll be looking forward to making one of those. We just got a crystal skull vodka bottle. i will be sure to post pics when its done. :-)

  12. thank you :-D

  13. I found this on pinterest and can’t wait to surprise my husband…he has at least 15 crown bottles downstairs that he drinks then saves so i’m going to use one and make a lamp for our pool table room…thanks for the idea!

  14. The Crown bottles are one of my favorite. :-)
    There are hanging lamps that may look good for a pool table light on suziscrafts.com/how-to-make-a-lamp/

  15. I want to do this but I’ve re-read the wiring part a couple times and don’t quite get it… Maybe I’m just dumb! Can you explain why you’re cutting and splicing the wire and how to assemble it a little more?

  16. Ok. With the kit I’m using, it has a on/off switch on the cord that I take apart. The reason I cut the cord at the switch, is so I can fit the socket part into the bottle and out the hole I cut. Then when I put it all back together, you cant see that the cord was cut. It just looks nicer than tape on the cord.
    When your putting the cord back together make sure the “copper spikes” are piercing the cord on the side that isn’t complete. That way when you turn it to the “on” position, it completes the circuit.

  17. Where is the rest of the info? How do I attach the lamp top to the bottle?

  18. After the hole has been drilled into the bottle and the cord has been cut, feed the cord down the top of the bottle and out the hole you drilled. If the light socket is too small for the bottle your using, you can wrap electrical tape around so it fits snug inside the lip of the bottle. The shades are clip-on that attaches onto the light bulb. You can buy the shades at almost any department store. I bought a lot of mine from thrift stores for super cheap.

  19. I’m using the exact same light kit but I find the socket is too big for most bottles even bigger ones, did you run into this problem ?

  20. Sometimes the the neck is a bit to big and I wrap electrical tape around the socket to hold it firmly in place. I haven’t run into this problem yet with the bottle being to small. What bottle are you using?

  21. I found a kit at our local Ace Hardware store. Handy. If the switch is on the socket like a push pin, it’s easier, doesn’t have to pass through a hole. Then you just have to connect the wire to socket. Reminder, don’t be plugged in at the time, I actually forgot as I was taking a lamp apart, giggity! As to connecting the fixture to the lamp, seems like experimentation.

    My first try at this was with a large Patron tequila bottle that has a large cork stopper. I squared off the round top, drilled a larger hole to house the bottom of my fixture, and also a skinnier hole all the way through for the wiring, and I also stabilized the bottom of the shade hider into the cork with a couple of screws. Voila.

    I had never done anything like this before, and figuring it out piece by piece and step by step was fun. Also doesn’t hurt if your roomate is a carpenter.

  22. Yes the Patron bottles are one of my favorites! I always strip the labels off and fill them with colored glass gems to match the shade I happen to be using. I like your idea with the cork, thank you!

  23. Hi Suzi,… thanks for sharing this project. Your lamps look great. I was wondering if they neeed to be weighted? Also can they be weighted with colored water to look like they are full of the liquor? How would one make them waterproof and safe if this can be done. Is there another option to appear full of liquor but it’s not? I thought of painting the inside of the bottle (if clear) with a glass paint but this still would not weight the lamp so it doesn’t tip over easily. Comments, suggestions?
    Thanks!

  24. I like to weight mine with glass gems or aquarium gravel. I wouldn’t recommend putting liquid in the bottle. I have tested a Mod Podge mixed with food coloring to get a “full bottle” effect that works pretty good. The Mod Podge dries clear, so its just a matter of mixing the food coloring to the right shade you want.

  25. Thanks for shareing your many talents

    Jan

  26. Hi Suzy! I see in one of your pictures that you cut a rectangular hole in the top of the bottle. Why is that if you are just threading the cord alone through the bottle? It seems to me that it would weaken the neck of the bottle.

  27. I am not sure what picture you are referring to, but I only cut 1 circular hole at base of the bottle for the cord to come out. I agree that cutting a hole in the neck would weaken the bottle so I haven’t tried that before.

  28. Pic #4 of 18 the one to the right of the picture of drilling the hole in the bottom of the bottle. The pic looks like a bottle neck has a semicircle cut in it. What is that?

  29. I think the picture your referring to is just a bad picture. I wanted to get a close-up of the drill bit and the hole I cut, but I cropped it too much and part of the bottle is missing in the picture. I only cut 1 single hole at the base of the bottle, not the neck.

  30. Awesome! Ok. Thank you. Great gift ideas for Christmas.

  31. I’ve made my own bottle lamp before, and it turned out pretty decent. However, I wasn’t too happy with how I got the bulb housing seated on top of the bottle. How do you do this with yours? Kudos, by the way!

  32. Thanks Jordan! The lamp kit I use on them has a smaller socket that fits into the neck of most bottles. Sometimes I have to wrap a little electrical tape around it for larger bottles. I buy the kits at Home Depot.

  33. I see that there is a little black stopper at the hole you drilled, what are those called?

  34. They are half inch rubber grommets. You should be able to get them at most hardware stores. I buy mine at Cal-Ranch for 40 cents each.

  35. I just finished my lamp about an hour ago and I’m very happy with how it turned out. I made it for my boyfriend for our 3 year/Christmas gift. I was able to get an old Jim Beam bottle from the 1950′s I believe, and it turned out great! I would post a picture but I’m not quite sure how to. Just wanted to share my experience and thank you for sharing the tutorial, it was very creative and fun!

  36. Katie, thats awesome! I’m glad it turned out great. I’m sure your boyfriend will appreciate the gift, because it was made by you for him personally! If you want to share photos of your creations on the internet, you can post pictures to free websites like flickr, Photo Bucket, and Pinterest.

  37. Thank you so much for sharing the instructions. I have been wondering what to give my friend for his 21st birthday. Perfect!

  38. I’m anxious to try this, but looking up the light fixture on Home Depot’s site, it indicates that it fits an opening of 1″…which is larger than most of the bottles I was thinking of using (Bacardi, Jamesons). Not sure how it would work.

  39. The lamp kit has a metal clip that fits a 1″ opening, but you wont need the clip for this project. After you open the switch and cut the cord, just use some pliers to take the clip off. The plastic socket is 3/4 inch and tapers to fit almost any bottle you want. Adding a little electrical tape around the socket also helps keep it snug.

  40. lol….thanks. I actually went out today and bought my supplies, and noticed that. I’m using a Barcardi bottle, got a black shade for it. Have a little more rum to finish, then I’ll start drilling! Thanks!

  41. I loved your job!

    Congratulations!

    Xoxo

  42. Thank you Caroline. I really like your blog! :-D

  43. Finished my Bacardi lamp…was hoping to post a picture, but not sure how….

  44. You mentioned about painting the shades. Is there a certain paint that you use to paint the shades? Thanks for the great idea! I have friends that are wanting them so it will keep me busy :)

  45. Hi Matt I would love to see your lamp, do you use Image Shack or Photobucket?

  46. Jim,
    I use acrylic craft paint and a sponge brush. I just rub the paint into the fabric of the shade. The light doesn’t seem to pass through paint that well so the lamp won’t be as bright when turned on.

  47. Suzanne- I just set one up to share this here…hope it works…

    http://i1294.photobucket.com/albums/b603/shutterbug1970/Rumlamp_zps902d580b.jpg

  48. Lamp looks great Matt!

  49. How did you get the water to stream onto the drill bit? I want to make one of these with a Wild Turkey bottle for my Father In Law for Father’s Day, but I need to know if I will need a third hand (God only gave me two :-) )

  50. Your absolutely right Lara, I forgot to mention that its a thousand times easier to have someone else hold the garden hose while your drilling. Main reason is because when starting the hole, you will need to have one hand on the bottle.

  51. Thank you for the quick response, now I need to find an empty bottle.

  52. I’ll have to put up a picture of the rig I made up to work on mine. I notched a piece of wood like a wine bottle holder, and used a small ratcheting strap to hold the bottle still…that way I had both hands free. granted, I used a much smaller bit (with my Dremmel tool) and used a spray bottle, not a hose.

  53. That is a great idea Matt! I made a homemade rig that allows me to hold the bottle in place. It sits in a bucket and it has a pump for water. Its nothing pretty, but it allows me to drill the bottles inside during the winter months. I would love to see a picture of the bit you used on your dremel tool.

  54. Love the site. I made a lamp years ago for a friend using a 1.75 Crown Royal Bottle. The trick I found was to paint the wire that goes through the bottle ‘gold’ it seems to blend so much better. I also opened up the 1.75 Crown bag and glued it to the mini lamp shade. I also used the cording from the bag to trim around the edge of shade. And the final touch was the amber bulb I found at Wally World…

  55. That sounds awesome Lori! I would love to try your idea for the shade!

  56. Hi suzanne.. i have a learning disability and want to understand one thing. I have the lite switch like u have with the wheel.. when i cut it in half i slide the bare end up to the neck and do my lite socket.. than cut the wire just outside the bottle some and redo the switch like it was before?

    Thank you for your time

  57. I cut the wire and feed it through the top of the bottle neck and out the hole in the base. Then I just reconnect the wire I cut. Dont use too much electrical tape or it wont fit back in the switch. Put the switch back together exactly like it was before and it should work. Pay special attention to the little copper spikes, to make sure they pierce the wires.

  58. Bobby has been telling me about your web site and your many talents, and we was gonna look, there it was. I used to do lots of different crafts, used to make lamps with fancy wine bottles. I’m excited, want to see more ideas, maybe I’ll get ambitious and try to be creative. This is real cool Suzie, see you soon. Rena

  59. Check out my liquor lamp page.
    https://www.facebook.com/Lampalooza

  60. Very cool page Vivian! I love your idea of letting customers pick the bottle and shade before you build it.

  61. Thanks Rena! <3

  62. hi there this is stanley from kenya and i wanted to know how to fix that upper part that now holds the lampshade you can send me the replies on walenisi@gmail.com otherwise i must say that i love this

  63. I just use clip-on chandelier shades.

  64. I made these in electric shop in junior high school.good to see that
    someone else did too.!

  65. it’s amazing!i love to do all your craft, but here in the Phillippines especially in the provinces we lack equiptment, i still have to order in Metro Manila, what i do here is to improvised, all my art work are recycled materials.

  66. Thanks for the idea! I’ve had a beautiful Segura Viudas bottle kicking around for ages. I used a clip on chandelier shade (whihc I may dress up with a bit of bling later). The drilling went well. I found a rubber stopper at Lowe’s and drilled it out for the pin. Also found a nice silver cord, only $5 at Lowe’s. Total cost: around $15!

    http://pinterest.com/pin/137359857358708094/

  67. do I need a special drill bit for the glass. what type of bit I should use?

  68. Yes, you will need a diamond coated tile bit. They’re about $20 at Home Depot.

  69. I dont understand the reason for splicing the wire.

  70. The main reason for spicing the wire is to install the light kit so the wires are comming out of the base of the lamp, where the hole was drilled. After cutting the cord, you feed the end of the cord into the neck of the bottle and out the hole in the base of the bottle.

  71. Our local Coast to Coast store will drill the hole in your bottle for $1.00

  72. i find it more fun drill them myself.. i use a hole saw with the diamonds on them.. i never craked any and did 15 bottles in less than a hr.. the on glass drill that looks like a arrow head on it i dont like.. it would crack my bottles.

  73. Ive seen the arrow head bits your talking about. Wondering how they get the hole started… I will have to look into that.

  74. The cal-ranch grommets…. is that http://www.calranch.com? I can not find them on there.

  75. I didnt see any on the website. We have a Cal-Ranch store in town and I buy them in the hardware section. I dont know if this will help, but the item number is #55056 for the 1/2 inch rubber grommet. I would think most hardware stores should have these.

  76. Love this idea. What did you use to re-attach the wires?

  77. The wires are cut after the switch is removed, so just use electrical tape to re-attach the ground wire. After the switch is put back in place, the tape will be hidden.

  78. I just tried this with a Crown Royal bottle. The bottle cracked just shortly after I broke through….. It’s a good thing my hubby and his buddy did a lot of hunting this season… I’ve got back ups to try again

  79. I love making these lamps!!! They have made such great gifts for family and friends. Thank you so much for sharing:)

  80. I’m so stoked to make one of these I painted!!! I’m filling and making a lamp it with lights for a night light and a regular lamp!!!

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