Picture of Illuminated texts
illuminated texts 1.jpg
Ok, that is a pretty bad pun. But also accurate! I made the first set of these lamps for a cocktail party I had a couple months ago, and I've been making more ever since. These lamps are easy, fast, cheap and don't require many tools. Oh, and they're also a great way for me to get rid of some of my saved up liquor bottles and leftover holiday lights.

Here's what you'll need:

An empty bottle without, or with only a small, lip
A hardcover book
A string of lights
An exacto or utility knife
A pencil
Thick, quick drying glue, e.g. UHU
Goo gone, if you want to remove your label

The lamp should take under two hours from start to finish.
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Prepping your bottle

Picture of Prepping your bottle
I've made these both with and without labels. If you'd like to remove yours, I'd suggest running the bottle under warm water and using a metal scraping tool. Once the paper is mostly gone you can rub off the sticky stuff with a bit of goo gone on a paper towel. Make sure the bottle is pretty dry before moving on to the next step.

Step 2: Planning your cuts

Picture of Planning your cuts
illuminated texts 6.jpg
Before you start cutting it's important to plan where you want your bottle and battery pack or controller (if you're using lights that have them) should be located. Your bottle will require a hole in the top cover. I suggest choosing an off center location, leaving room to use the open part of the book to display some nice tchotchke. The hole for the batteries or controller will go in the other side, but should be near or adjacent to your hole. Sketch out your cuts in pencil. Also, keep in mind that your book needs to be thick enough to sufficiently anchor your bottle and fit your battery pack or controller.
cspringer11 year ago
Made one of these after seeing this. Thanks for the great project!
ddorga3 years ago
I love this! I've been saving a couple of nice looking bottles including maker's Mark for no reason! Now I have one. This project got me to sign up for this site! thanks.
jordonna3 years ago
Very cool. Where do I get a battery pack controller and did you have to cut the end of the cord off the lights and wire to the battery pack? How do you turn on/off?
jftesser (author)  jordonna3 years ago
I got an LED string attached to a battery pack at Target, but you can buy them many places. I think the brand was Phillips. The hole in the bottom allows access to the switch. I've also used regular LED strings with control boxes. They get bottom-holes too so you can switch mode, and a channel out of the book for the cord.

Most regular string lights have a female plug at the end so they can be extended. If you look at the last bulb in the string you'll often see three wires entering it instead of two. That means the circuit is completed at that point and you can cut off the female plug and seal the ends without destroying your string.

You should NOT have to cut and rejoin wires for this project.

Hope that helps!
jeffeb33 years ago
They look great. Make sure you use LED lights, incandescents waste too much energy, and that's going to be in the form of heat. Not good.
So fancy! I love it! Very classy idea.
mysterion3 years ago
Gosh....You Drink Classy. The Liquor store looked at me funny when i bought a case of Natty Light!
Great project
These are gorgeous! I'd switch out the main photo with one of the photos on seventh step so people get a better idea of the finished project. :)