Floating Wine Bottle Lamp




Introduction: Floating Wine Bottle Lamp

About: I am a Quality Assurance Engineer for a yearbook/education company. I used to be a Graphic Designer and still dabble here and there. I am a jack of a lot of trades, but a master of none.

I love making new and exciting things. Often my ideas are improvements, or a combination of ideas. This Instructable is one of those.

Here I will discuss my spin on making a Floating Wine Bottle Holder (seen here: https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Floating-Wine-Bottle-Holder/) and combining it with the idea of a homemade pendant lamp, using it as a desk lamp.

This Instructable (and the two others I will be entering into the Lamps and Lighting Contest) are some of my best ideas I have had lately. If that tells you anything, it means I really want to win the contest. Why else would I spill the beans on my best stuff?! If you enjoy what you see, please vote for me.

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Step 1: What You'll Need...

  • A Plank of Wood...
    • The original Instructable said a 15 inch by 3 inch piece... I started out with a 12 inch by 3½ inch piece of poplar and made my way down to an 8 inch piece, but we will talk about that later.
  • Paint, Wood Stain, or Cooking Oil...
  • Drill
    • With a better chuck then mine, hence the reason I really need/want to win the Lamp and Lighting competition... please vote for me! :-D
  • 1½ Inch Hole Saw...
    • I so wish I had a Drill Press and a Forstner Bit
  • Pencil and Straight Edge
    • A triangle would work best
  • Saw
  • An Empty Wine or Liquor bottle
  • Bottle Cork
  • Glass or Bottle Cutter
    • I used a G2 Bottle Cutter I already had
    • I also tried this by jaggedly scoring the bottle with a regular glass cutter
  • Sand paper
  • Gloves
  • Eye Protection
  • Hot Water
  • Ice Cold Water
  • Traditional Lamp Socket
  • 6 foot Extension Cable
  • SPST On/Off Lamp Switch
  • Light bulb (I used an energy saving florescent one)
    • Just know that anything other than a low watt bulb can, and will, heat up the glass bottle if left turned on for long periods of time. Edison type bulbs are also a great alternative that are not only aesthetically great looking, but they also use lower amounts of power and don't give off nearly the amount of heat.

Step 2: Bottoms Off...

This is one of the best Instructables I have seen for scoring and "cutting" glass bottles... https://www.instructables.com/id/Bottle-cutting-som... (and trust me, I have probably seen them all).

  • First you'll want to remove the label(s) and other potential stickers.
    • I use a straight razor and some very warm (almost hot) water.
  • I basically use my G2 Bottle Cutter (seen in the previous step) to score the bottles and then a process very much like the Inscructable listed to use hot a cold water to separate the bottle where I scored it.
    • There are other great Instructables on jigs and things to make to score your glass bottles.
    • You are essentially after "the perfect score" in most cases, but here a decent score would work.
    • I thought I might even be cool to have a jagged edge to the bottle for a different type look, just be sure to sand and smooth all the edeges.
  • Regardless, once you get the bottom off your bottle be careful. Even clean breaks are very sharp.
    • Use your sandpaper to remove the sharp edges.
      • I use varying grits, going from roughest to smoothest to get the best edge.
      • You could also use a Dremel Tool with a sanding wheel or disc. Using this method with a high-speed Dremel will almost heat and melt the edges. BE CAREFUL!

Step 3: I Lean... You Know What I Mean?

Ok, here's where the idea for this Instructable came from (https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Floa...).

  • I started out with a 12 inch piece of Poplar wood that was 3/4 inch thick and about 3½ inches wide.
  • I tried the 27 degree angle, mentioned in the above Instructable, with an empty Martenelli's Bottle... sadly, it didn't work.
    • The most popular angle most everyone else uses is 45 degrees.
    • I shortened my board to around 8 inches and tried different angles until I came to around 45 degrees (it mainly depends on the length and sizeof the bottle, but a rough 45 degree angle should work).
  • I was fortunate enough to having a sliding compound miter saw to make my cuts.
    • For those of you not so fortunate... measure one ½ inch from the end and make a mark (this is based off the thickness of the wood I am using).
    • Take a straight edge and make a line across the mark.
    • Turn the board on its side and draw a line from the corner to the line you just made. That will create a guide for the angle you want/need.
    • A standard miter box would work just as well without the measurements.

Step 4: I Can't Believe She Drank the Hole Thing!

  • Once you have your angle it's time to cut the hole.
  • If down to an 8 inch board, like me, then measure 6 and 5/8th inches down the board and make a mark.
  • Then measure in half the distance of the width of the board (in our case 1 3/4 inches) and make a mark.to connect the lines
  • The intersection is the middle of the hole you are going to cut.
  • Chuck the hole saw into your drill and away we go!
  • Be sure to test it afterwards.
    • You'll see this can work for larger bottles and even some liquor bottles!

Step 5: Walk the Plank!

  • Take and sand the hole you just cut, along with the angled cut you made earlier.
  • Here is where you will primer and paint, or stain your piece of wood.
    • I chose a nice English Chestnut stain I had a little bit left of.
    • I use gloves and a rag and this takes no time at all.
    • Regardless which method you choose to finish your plank, you will want to let this dry overnight (at least).

Step 6: Wire It Up!

While your plank is drying you can work to wire up your pendant bottle lamp.

  • Take your extension cable and cut the socket end off.
  • Expose the wires.
  • Drill a hole into the cork.
    • big enough for the wires to fit though...
  • Feed the wires into the bottle from the top.
  • Feed it through the hole in the cork.
  • Follow the instructions on the Lamp socket and attach the wires to via the screws on the socket.
  • Screw in your light bulb and plug it in to try.
    • The on/off switch on the lamp socket will turn it on and off.
  • Pull the cord from the top of the bottle so that the cork behind the socket is firmly in place.
    • I also unscrewed the rotary knob on the lamp socket, once making sure it was in the on position.
    • This allows it to fit all the way into the bottle.
  • Now, follow the instruction for the SPST switch (removing a section of the wire on one side and "clamping" the switch in place).
    • This is so you don't have to reach into the bottle to turn the lamp on and off.

At this point you have a homemade pendant bottle lamp. Go and make a bunch of these for your new bar, or to go above your kitchen island. Or, you could finish this Instructable to see how to make this into a desk/kitchen lamp (as if you didn't know how to finish this thing by now).

Step 7: Enjoy...

So there you have it... another one of the neatest lamps I have ever made. Now all there is to do is get your plank, feed the cord through your hole, find the sweet spot for the neck in the hole and balance the bottle. Maybe give your table a little hip bump to test the integrity of your lamp's balance. The bottle may sway and the holder wobble slightly (depending how hard you "Elvis-ed" the table, Uh Huh! Thank you very much), but she shouldn't fall because of the center of gravity and some other laws of Physics (and probably Geometry) that hurt my brain and I won't even try to fake to understand (only thing I know is the center of the bottle must come close to being over the bottom angle in order for this to work).

The only thing I might change, as mentioned in the supply list, is the light bulb. An Edison Light Bulb I think is much more suited for this lamp. I just didn't have access to one when documenting my steps. Even with a 13 watt Compact Florescent this lamp is extremely bright, especially looking into the bottle. I am sure there are other, softer light bulbs that may work as well.

Hopefully you have enjoyed this Instructable. I tried to keep it simple and easy to follow. Let me know if you have any questions and don't forget to vote for me in the Lamps and Lighting contest.

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    5 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Thanks! I love the idea and you did great describing each step. I'm going to try to make one this weekend!


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! It's actually pretty steady once it's plugged in and you set the bottle up. I was skeptic myself (especially trying it with an empty bottle with the bottom cut off), but am pleased and pleasantly surprised.