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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.