Have any extra milk jugs laying around your house? If you do, you're one step closer to a fun and resourceful lighting project. The Milk Jug LED Lamp is easy to make, stylish and will only take a small chunk of change out of your wallet. The coolest part is you can fill up the jug with anything you want. For mine, I chose wine corks.... because I like to drink wine. Pinot Noir preferably.
Step 1: Some Things You'll Need
- 1 foot section of 2700k warm white High Density Flexible Strip Light - $15.99. Request a section with lead wire pre-soldered to the strip light.
- 2 foot section of 18/2 AWG clear lamp cord - $0.70
- Female DC Wire Plug - $3.99
- LightTouch LED Dimmer Switch - $24.99
- 12V 6W Plug-In Adapter - $14.99
Some items you may have or will need to purchase (see pictures below):
- 1/2 Gallon Glass Milk Jug with a 1" diameter opening
- Lamp Shade - The base should have a 10" diameter to fit right. I bought one at World Market for $12.99.
- 2 Ton Epoxy Resin (2500 psi strength) - $6.00. Local hardware store.
- 1/4" Masonry Glass Drill Bit - $15.00. Hardware section of local hardware store.
- 1/8" Drill Bit - $6.99. Hardware section of local hardware store.
- 1" x Close Black Iron Pipe - $1.59. Gas/oil/air piping section of your local hardware store.
- 1" Black Iron Coupling - $2.00. Gas/oil/piping section of your local hardware store.
- 1" x 4" Black Iron Pipe - $2.25. Gas/oil/air pipe section of your local hardware store.
- 1" Black Iron Cap - $2.00. Gas/oil/piping section of your local hardware store.
- Two wire nuts - $1.00. Local hardware store. (Not shown in pictures)
- Electric drill
- Jewelers screwdriver
Step 2: Drill Your Holes
- First, you'll need to drill a hole with the ceramic bit in the backside of the milk jug. Eventually, the lamp cord will feed through this hole. You'll need running water (or a large glass of water) and a container to place the jug in while drilling. Remember to wear eye and face protection when drilling glass. The trick is to carefully drill a hole with firm pressure while pouring water over the glass every few seconds to cool it down. This will prevent the glass from cracking.
- Next, you'll need to drill a hole in the 1" x 4" Black Iron Pipe with the 1/8" Drill Bit. Drill the hole in the center of the threads on one end of the Black Iron Pipe.
Step 3: Assembly (Part 1)
- Feed the 2' lamp cord through the drilled hole of the jug and out the mouth.
- Screw the 1" Black Iron Coupling onto the 1" x Close Black Iron Pipe.
- Pull the lamp cord through the pipes. Now, epoxy the exposed end of the 1" x Close Black Iron Pipe and then screw directly to the mouth of the milk jug until it grips. Be sure to use a good amount of epoxy.
- Feed the lamp cord through the base of the lamp shade. The base of the lamp shade is going to sit on top of the Black Iron Coupling. Eventually, you'll epoxy the base of the lamp to the coupling to keep it stable.
- Feed the wire lead of the High Density Strip Light through the hole (outside to inside) of the 1" x 4" Black Iron Pipe.
- Wire nut the lamp cord and wire lead of the High Density Strip Light together and tape with electrical tape if available. Please note that the picture below doesn't show the wire leads fed through the lamp shade. Be sure to to this before screwing the 1" x 4" Black Iron Pipe to the Black Iron Coupling.
- Screw the Black Iron Pipe to the Black Iron Coupling.
- Epoxy the base of the lamp shade to the Black Iron Coupling.
Step 4: Assembly (Part 2)
- Take the adhesive off the High Density Strip Light and wrap the strip light around the Black Iron Pipe, similar to the design of a candy-cane.
- Screw the Black Iron Cap to the Black Iron Pipe for a clean finish.
- Get your Female DC Wire Plug and tighten the terminals to the lamp cord outside the base of the milk jug.
- Plug the 6W Adapter into a wall receptacle and plug the DC male end to the Female DC Wire Plug on your lamp cord. If your strip light doesn't illuminate than your polarity may be reversed. Loosen the terminals of the Female DC Wire Plug and switch the wires.
- Once the lamp lights up you can plug the Inline Touch Dimmer between the Female DC Wire Plug and DC male end of the 6W Adapter.
- The final step is to unscrew the Black Iron Cap and drop in some cool items of your choice.
Step 5: All Done!
Hopefully, your lamp is now complete! If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll be more than happy to assist you with your project!