Introduction: Colorful Recycled Bottle Lamp

Picture of Colorful Recycled Bottle Lamp

These are easy to make, it just takes a little time cause you can't rush things.

You can use a drill to make these, but I have opted for my dremel, cause it is easier to make the holes nice and round (like it makes a difference)

You will need:
Spray Paint 
Empty Glass Bottles
Tape
a Dremel or other Rotary Tool
Diamond Bits
Christmas Lights (the bigger the bottle the more lights need to be on the string)


Step 1: Clean the Bottle

Picture of Clean the Bottle

I used an A&W Cream Soda bottle.  I am making this for my nephew and the ones I have seen made from wine bottles seemed a little inappropriate, even with the label removed.  Clean the bottle and make sure it dries all the way before you start.  If there is water left in it, the dust gets stuck to it, and is hard to wash out.

Step 2: PAINT

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Spray with a thin coat of paint.  The 2 picture use my Christmas colors of Krylon Raspberry and Emerald.  Let them dry over night before you start drilling.  I masked off a heart on the pink one before I started painting, but it's not really needed.

Step 3: Tape

Picture of Tape

To help start the hole, put some tape on the bottle where you are going to drill the hole.  I used a sheet of sticker paper on the first, and learnt my lesson.  The bigger the adhesive, the more the chance of paint being pulled off.  I worked around this problem though, and learnt for the future, use a smaller piece.  It's just enough to get it started, so it doesn't have to be much bigger that the bit.

Step 4: Choices of Bits

Picture of Choices of Bits

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001BK9URM/ref=oss_product

Above is a link to one of the sets I have bought.  As the diamond bits get worn off, the bits don't work as well.  This set is nice cause it's pretty cheap, and there are plenty of different styles.  I start with the ball to get the hole started, then move to one with a point to break through, then use one of the longer ones to grid and make the hole bigger.

Step 5: Start Drilling

Picture of Start Drilling

The tape will help keep the bit from slipping.  Don't press too hard, because I hear it can cause the glass to crack.  Once the hole is started, you can remove the tape; just enough to be able to work with out the bit slipping all over the place.

Step 6: My Advice for Drilling

Picture of My Advice for Drilling

The bit will get hot if you use it too long, and so does the glass.  I like to spend a few minutes drilling, and then let it rest for a few minutes.  My favorite way is to drill during commercials, and let it rest while my show is on.  With a new set of bits, the whole process only takes about half an hour.  As the bits get older it can take longer.  

Step 7: Enlarge the Hole

Picture of Enlarge the Hole

Work the bit around the whole to make it large enough to fit the Christmas lights in.  If the don't fit in easily, grind some more off and try again. After you are done, wash the bottle out and let it dry ALL THE WAY, before you put the lights in.  

Step 8: Take Off Paint

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If you want the old fashioned, worn in look use the tape to take off more of the paint.  You can also sand off some paint with your dremel.  It is not needed.

Step 9: Thread the Lights

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Thread the lights and plug it in.  This green one is using a 35 multicolored strand.  

Step 10: Variations

Picture of Variations

Any glass bottle works, just remember the bigger the bottle, the more lights you need.  I made a huge one out of a vodka bottle a bar tender friend gave me, that I used orange Halloween lights (75% off after holiday sale).  And smaller bottles are great with those small strands that are battery operated, great for desks.  

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Comments

star_above_the_clouds (author)2011-05-29

I really like this! Just wondering, how much light does it put off?

When you paint the bottle, it puts off as much as a night light. When un-painted more like a small table lamp. Someone gave me a huge bottle and it lights up the whole room

Kurisutsure (author)2013-06-05

I have never done anything like this before, so it may be a silly question, but why wouldn't you paint after drilling the hole instead of before? Or does it not matter?

jnifrwebb (author)Kurisutsure2013-06-06

You can paint before hand, but when you drill sometimes gets a little off track and scratches the paint off. Also if you put a piece of tape down to provided traction, when you peel it off some of the paint can come up too. Of course I used masking tape, if I had used blue painters tape it might have been better.

jnifrwebb (author)jnifrwebb2013-06-06

Sorry, let the last part of the comment off. I have done it both ways. I found I like painting after better.

sauci (author)2010-12-01

I really like these! But a little confused by your comment about the wine bottle when you show a beer bottle on your last pic..........

ko'donnell johnson (author)sauci2011-10-01

I believe it was stated in the first step that this is a root beer bottle.

sunshiine (author)2011-07-18

This is so pretty! Thanks for sharing your hard work and great talent!

Biggsy (author)2010-12-27

Very awesome welldone

GreekGadgetGuru (author)2010-12-04

Thats pretty cool I've seen these before but the Christmas lights is a nice twist.

*** Check this out ***

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/428096/crystal_blue_bawls_light_wild_led_light_project/

petergovaere (author)2010-11-30

To avoid overheating the drilling bit: fill the bottle with water before you start and seal it (f.e. with a cork).

Don't you think it's easier if you drill the hole before painting the bottle ?

jnifrwebb (author)petergovaere2010-12-01

I didn't want the paint getting inside the bottle. My husband did his by drilling then painting. There is a spot on the bottle where it got paint on the outside and some on the inside. The light doesn't shine through as well.

petergovaere (author)jnifrwebb2010-12-02

You can first drill the hole, plug it temporarly and then paint.

MoreThanRainbows (author)2010-11-30

Those look really nice. I'm a little worried about the glass breaking though.

With a bottle, if you are careful, there is more danger from glass particles from drilling if you forget a face shield or other protection. Just make sure you take it slow and steady.

jnifrwebb (author)Goodhart2010-12-01

I worked outside and didn't have a problem. I have a friend that has a studio and works with glass (mostly blowing), and he ties a bandanna around his face, like a cowboy.

Goodhart (author)jnifrwebb2010-12-01

I'd still want to protect the eyes for sure.

jnifrwebb (author)Goodhart2010-12-01

I guess I don't think about it since my everyday prescription glasses are OSHA approved safety glasses

Goodhart (author)jnifrwebb2010-12-01

That makes them impact resistant, but will glass dust get "around" them? I have seen too many results from glass in one's eye, to take the chance :-)

Even when I did my ible on redo-ing the logo on a ceramic mug, I had the wrap around glasses on since ceramic can be just as sharp

jnifrwebb (author)Goodhart2010-12-01

Mine have little shields that slide on the earpieces. They work great on bright days to block the sun coming in on the sides.

Goodhart (author)jnifrwebb2010-12-01

Ok, that is better than nothing I suppose :-)

There are different tips on things to do to make sure it doesn't break. But my way works and is a lot easier.

ragdolldude (author)2010-11-30

Diamond coring bits (I got mine on Ebay) work far better for drilling the glass. I've made probably 50 or so bottles with these bits without breaking one bottle. I use some plumbers putty to make a circle around the area with the hole, and fill with water to cool bit. Small drill press puts steady pressure when cutting. Wear gloves to be safe too, as well as glasses. I preferred the LED Xmas lights, splitting a sting or 50-60 bulbs into two smaller strings. Thes bulbs don't build up heat either. This time of the year is best to get sales on these bulbs too. Booze bottle work fine, and I also filled some bottles with etching solution to "haze" the inside of the bottle, without worrying about any sprayed finish from wearing off. I'll attach some images from my other computer tomorrow of a couple of my bottles. Dave

About This Instructable

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Bio: I am the mother of 2 boys. I love to make things for them and the rest of my family and friends.
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